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Instrumental Tuition

Students at Huntington School have the opportunity to take up or continue instrumental tuition each year.

We have a number of visiting instrumental and vocal tutors who offer lessons at Huntington School.

Interested in instrumental or vocal tuition? Here's a short video on how, and why you should.

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These instrumental teachers operate as independent tutors using the music department as a base. Parents deal directly with instrumental teachers, but details of the lessons they offer can be found below.

Flute, Oboe, Clarinet and Sax

Rachel Letham

Rachel graduated from Birmingham Conservatoire in 1994 with a BA(Hons) in music majoring in piano and oboe. She then went on to complete a MA in music therapy.

After qualifying as a teacher, she went on to teach for a number of years in a secondary school in York whilst also teaching piano and oboe privately. Rachel then joined the peripatetic music service in York as a woodwind specialist teaching oboe, flute, clarinet and saxophone and now teaches across the city and on a private basis. Rachel also teaches music theory to those pupils wanting to progress past grade 5 on their instruments.

Contact Rachel

Guitar and Bass

Phil Thwaite

Phil has taught acoustic, bass, classical and electric guitar both privately and at schools in and around York for over 20 years.

He is experienced in preparing students for graded examinations, GCSE, A level and degree performances.

Lessons are typically a blend of technique and performance practice, taking into account students' personal goals and interests.

In addition to teaching, Phil is also a gigging musician who has performed as a soloist for recitals and weddings, as well as playing in pit bands at the York Theatre Royal and Joseph Rowntree Theatre. Phil also writes his own music, and loves to arrange and publish material.

Contact Phil


Connor McLean

Since graduated with an MA in Music from the University of York in 2018, Connor has been teaching brass and working as a freelance trumpeter.

As a performer, he has played at a variety of venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall and York Minster. His most recent festival performances have been with the New York Brass Band at Glastonbury (2019) and Rio Carnival (2020) . Connor also plays in pit orchestras and bands for musical theatre, and is the founder of the York Brass Quintet.

Contact Connor

Cello and Double Bass

Catherine Strachan

Catherine Strachan grew up in Aberdeen, where she benefited from a superb start to her musical education thanks to the local authority music service and local youth orchestras. Catherine studied modern and baroque cello performance with Myra Chahin and Alison McGillivray at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly RSAMD), and followed this with an MA in baroque performance practice at the University of York.

Catherine is now based in York, where she enjoys a varied career as a freelance cellist and string teacher. She is the cello tutor at York Music Centre and performs regularly with various local ensembles including Otley Baroque, Leeds Baroque and York Guildhall Orchestra. She also recently performed the Beethoven Triple Concerto with Thirsk Sinfonia and will be playing it again with Banbury Symphony Orchestra in May 2023.

Other upcoming projects for 2023 include cello recitals in Aberdeen, York and Boston Spa. Catherine will also be the baroque cello tutor at HISS (Historically Informed Summer School) in Beverley in August 2023.

Contact Catherine

Drum Kit

Joe Brooks

Joe graduated from Leeds Beckett University with a first class honours degree in Music Production and Performance in 2017, and since then he has been working across the music sector in many different areas.

Specialising in drum kit tuition, Joe has taught in both primary and secondary schools regularly since 2017 and prides himself on his friendly, relaxed approach to teaching, whilst also having a deep passion for the musical and creative development of young people.

Other areas of expertise include composition & songwriting, music production & audio engineering, DJing and ensemble/workshop leading.

Contact Joe

Violin and Viola

Sarah Loughran

Sarah Loughran, a York-based violinist, has been teaching the violin since 2010 and is an accomplished gigging musician. She is passionate about teaching and guiding children to success in their music exams.  Alongside teaching, Sarah conducts York Intermediate String Orchestra, as well as setting up and running York's Junior and Senior folk ensembles, Folkestra. 

Sarah is a qualified teacher and on the City of York Council’s Approved Teacher List.

Contact Sarah



Buffy Breakwell

Buffy is an experienced instrumental teacher and classroom practitioner. She has successfully tutored students through hundreds of music exams,  from pre-Grade 1 to Grade 8 and beyond, in piano and woodwind, both in the UK and abroad.

As well as instrumental lessons, Buffy has 25 years' experience in Music Education, having trained at the Universities of Sussex and Cambridge. She has taught piano to students throughout this time, as well as delivering curriculum Music in both primary and secondary schools.

Buffy also works as a community musician in York, leading choirs and workshops for all ages and abilities.

Buffy is on the City of York Council’s Approved Teacher List.

Contact Buffy


Kate Peters

Originally a classically trained singer and pianist, Kate now specialise in Pop and Jazz. After graduating from Leeds College of Music, she has worked alongside some amazing artists, such as Candi Staton, Jaki Graham, Roachford, Katrina Leskanich (Katrina and the Waves) and Angie Brown.

Having worked extensively as a session singer, Kate has experience recording and writing with a wide variety of people including Rappers and ‘top line’ dance music producers. Featured on several dance compilations, Kate has worked in a variety of styles and areas of the music industry, and appeared on national and international radio as well as national TV programmes including 'Heartbeat', 'The Royal' and 'The One Show’.

The Kate Peters Septet, was nominated for best band at the Jazz Yorkshire Awards.

'I love to sing, especially with others'.

Kate performs regularly with The Honeybirds, a 1940’s style Andrews sisters trio, and runs her own Jazz Choir. She is currently touring with award winning DJ Judge Jules, singing dance classics with a ten piece band. Her latest project is performing with her big band, celebrating the music of Ella Fitzgerald.

Contact Kate


Classical Guitar

Mark Currey

Mark first started playing classical guitar at the age of ten and later studied music at the University of Birmingham.

He has been a guitar teacher, conductor and composer based in York since 1996. His books for younger guitarists include Beyond Orange and Hunting the Purple Buffalo.

Contact Mark