Music for Families & Music Centres

Learning an instrument and joining a band helps children to listen, co-operate, concentrate, co-ordinate and develop manual dexterity, memory, self-control, imagination and confidence. Learning with new friends as part of a group is part of the fun and the benefit of joining a music centre with like minded young people.

Young people develop their musical talent and experience in bands, orchestras and choir. We run sessions for all levels, from beginner groups to advanced ensembles in the Wirral, Cheshire, and Cheshire West.  Young people can also take exams if desired, we work with the ABRSM and Rockschool.

If you would like to join one of our music centres or buy lessons please register on our Parent Portal. Alternatively, attend one of our music centres and talk to a tutor or email for more information.

Music lessons

Young people grow into skilled musicians who listen and co-operate with each other with confidence and creativity.

Instrument tuition is provided by our team of qualified instrumentalists within schools and from our music centres in Chester, Wallasey, Bebington, Winsford, and Weaverham.

Group lessons in schools are also available for beginners, and as students progress and become more experienced they usually prefer to have an individual 20 or 30-minute lesson.

Instrument tuition starts from £7.20 per lesson and includes FREE Music Centre membership.

You may be entitled to full or partial remission on your music fees. Read our remissions policy to find out more.

Music T & C’s

What’s included:

  • Trumpet lessons, trombone lessons, euphonium lessons, tuba lessons, tenor horn lessons, french horn lessons
  • Flute lessons, oboe lessons, bassoon lessons, clarinet lessons, saxophone lessons
  • Violin lessons, viola, cello lessons, double bass
  • Guitar lessons – different styles of music, acoustic and electric inc. bass guitar
  • Ukulele lessons, drum lessons and orchestral percussion
  • Piano & keyboard lessons
  • Don’t see your preferred instrument on our list? Email

Instrument Hire

Edsential can provide an instrument from our extensive range of stock for you to hire for an agreed period.

Instrument Hire from £24.80 per term (20% discount applicable if pupil has lessons with an Edsential tutor). Please contact for more details or select instrument hire when you register for lessons on our portal.

Music Centre Membership

As your child progresses, there are also plenty of opportunities for students to play or sing together in groups, present thrilling performances and put music at the heart of local communities.

Creativity lives in our wide range of Music Centres, where we host our music lessons, bands, orchestras and choirs. Groups take place in the evenings and weekends in local Music Centres providing a fun and friendly environment where children and young people are motivated to develop their musical skills under the guidance of experienced music tutors.

Music Centre Membership includes:

  • Access to all our ensembles.
  • Additional online theory lessons
  • Free music production and music technology courses

Membership is charged as follows:

  • Edsential instrumental tuition students – FREE
  • Junior Membership – £30/term
  • Senior & New Noise Membership – £52/term

Wirral Music Centre - Wallasey

Available: Brass / Woodwind / Percussion

Wirral Training Brass Brand (Beginners +) Monday 5:30pm-6:30pm

Wirral School’s Brass Band (Grade 3+) Monday 7pm-8pm

Wirral Schools’ Concert Band (Grade 4+) Saturday 9:30am-11am

Area Lead: Helen Chetwood

Wirral Music Centre - Bebington

Available: Woodwind/ Brass/ String/ Voice

Wirral Schools’ Junior Strings (Beginners +) Wednesday 6pm-7pm

Wirral Junior Band – Wind, brass, percussion, guitar (Beginners +) 6-7pm

Wirral Schools’ Senior Strings (Grade 3+) Wednesday 7:15pm-8:15pm

Wirral Schools’ Junior Choir (age 8-14) Wednesday 5pm-6pm

Area Lead: Helen Chetwood

New Noise Music Centre - Birkenhead

New Noise Music Centre is here to support the next generation of music makers. This is a space for young people aged 14-16 to experiment across a range of instruments and music-making techniques. Try your hand at guitar, bass, keyboards, drums, DJing and rapping in sessions led by our team of hugely experienced and passionate tutors. And take your turn behind the mixing desk as you get to grips with live sound and lighting.

Sessions run Saturday mornings during term time, 9.30am-midday, until Saturday 16th July (with a week off on 4th June).


Area Lead: Helen Chetwood

Vale Royal Music Centre

Available: Strings/ Wind/ Brass/ Percussion / Voice

Cheshire Youth Orchestra (Grade 5+)  Monday 7pm – 8:45pm

Cheshire Youth Training Orchestra (Grade 2-5) Monday 6:30pm-8pm

Vale Royal Senior Band (Grade 4+) Tuesday 7pm- 8:45pm

Vale Royal Junior Band (Grade Beginners-3) Tuesday 6pm-6:45pm

Vale Royal Mezzo Strings (Grade Beginners-3) Tuesday 6pm-6:45pm

Vale Royal Senior Strings (Grade 4+) Tuesday 7pm-8:30pm

Vale Royal Junior Choir (age 8-14) Wednesday 6pm-7.30pm

*Please note Vale Royal Junior Choir is located at a separate location at Oaklands School, Montogomery Way, Winsford. CW7 1NU88*

Area Lead: Alex Harper

Chester Music Centre

Available: Wind/Brass/Percussion

Chester Concert Band (Grade 3+) Tuesday 7pm-8:15pm

Chester Training Band (Grade 1-3) Tuesday 5:45pm-6:45pm

Chester Junior Band (Grade Beginners) Tuesday 5:45-6:30pm

Area Lead: Catherine Singleton

Winsford Music Centre

Available: Strings/Wind/Brass/Percussion

Winsford Acoustix Band (Beginners +) Tuesday 3:45pm-4:45pm

Area Lead: Alex Harper

Virtual Classes

Online music theory lessons (laptop/desktop required).

Music Theory Beginner Class (Up to grade 3) Monday or Thursday  5pm-5:45pm

Music Theory Advanced Class (Grades 4-5) Monday or Thursday 6pm-6:45pm

Music Production (Beginners +) Thursday 5pm-6pm or 6pm-7pm

Area Lead: Alex Harper

Music Tutors



Mike Goodwin

I came into formal study of Music as a mature student when I was 32 at Liverpool Hope University achieving a BA Hons in Music and English literature with a PGCE in Secondary Music a year later.

Prior to that, I was self-taught as a musician and I performed in rock bands and duos in Liverpool and Manchester intermittently. I have busked too which is an excellent way to develop playing styles and repertoire.

I also studied Classical Guitar and achieved a Grade 8 of my own volition as a kind of hobby, although I have performed as such.

I recently left a busy successful cover band after ten years to start a new one, although the pandemic has temporarily halted progress.

I have written and recorded my own material and have an album ready for release shortly around Christmas 2020.

I have taught full time in Secondary School as a Music Teacher, and I have taught instrumental with Wigan, Sefton and now Edsential Music Services respectively since 2006.

My students have collectively achieved nearly three hundred Music Medals as well as dozens of Grade exams over those years,


Matthew Gray

I have been playing guitar for 16 years and Ukulele for around 5 years

I successfully auditioned for the Music Diploma course at Wirral Metropolitan College in 2007 and went on to study Jazz and Classical guitar, music theory, composition and arranging, and other related subjects for three years-gaining my Diploma in 2010.

After my studies at Wirral Metropolitan College, I went on to successfully audition for a place at a Liverpool University to study BA (Hons) Music.  While at university I focused heavily on classical guitar performance, as well as musicology and musical education, taking on many teaching placements in several schools throughout Merseyside. I graduated with second class honours BA (Hons) Music in 2014.

I am extremely passionate about music and I love to pass on my passion for it through my teaching. I like to make learning as much fun as possible and every lesson unique and interesting.

I have been playing in bands since I joined his first band in secondary school with friends and competed against other acts in the school’s annual talent show. Since leaving university, I have toured around the U.K as a performing musician, honing his craft and technique and performing as a session musician for various acts. I have played in small intimate venues to big outdoor stages at some of the U.K’s most popular music festivals.

Bowed Strings

Caitlin Sherwood

I am a violinist and I studied Music at The University of Manchester. Before studying at University, I used to play in Cheshire Youth Orchestra.

It is lovely to work for Edsential as my experiences playing in the youth orchestra inspired me to study music and become a teacher.

My favourite performances include playing in the orchestra for the Manchester leg of Gruff Rhys’ Babelsberg Tour and performing at for the Love of Sci Fi alongside dozens of stormtroopers and other Sci Fi greats! Alongside Classical playing, I love playing fiddle in my Ceilidh band. I love teaching as I get to share my passion with others and hope to inspire them to find the love that I have for music. I also love musical theatre, and regularly play in pit bands for shows, and when I’m not playing, I’m is usually either walking my dogs or playing with my 2 guinea pigs.


Catherine Singleton

I began playing the cello when I was 11. I had played some piano and flute before this, but I really loved the sound of the cello and loved playing it as soon as I could make a sound on it. I went to university and graduated from university with an honour’s degree in music. I focused on performance and composition with additional training in teaching strings and conducting.

Since graduating, I have enjoyed a wide and varied career in music including performing in ‘pit’ orchestras for operatic performances, performing regularly in a quartet, teaching, arranging music and conducting.

I have lots of experience working with young people from the ages of 3 to 19 through working as the music specialist at a pre-school, a director of music in a youth theatre, orchestral conductor and a teacher of strings. I am so lucky that I can have a career in an industry that offers so much variation and experience.

Music has been at the centre of my life since I was a child and has given me lifelong friendships, shared experiences and skills that I have been able to excel at. I really enjoy helping to develop skills in my students and sharing my education and performance experience.

In my spare time I enjoy sailing, running and taekwondo. Occasionally, I challenge myself to participate in half marathons and the odd muddy and gruelling assault course with friends. You are never too old to challenge yourself and learn new skills!

Melanie Harvey

I trained as a musician in London and as a teacher in Liverpool and have performed regularly as a soloist, quartet player and with orchestras both professionally and as an amateur.

I have been teaching violin, viola, cello and double bass as well as classroom music for nearly thirty years. I love directing ensembles and led the Crosby music centre string orchestras when I worked in Sefton music service, which consisted of 60 young musicians in total. I have also created string groups in a number of primary and secondary schools. I am passionate about music education, even more so about the benefit to children of playing in ensembles and making music together.

Music 2 (16)
Music 2 (15)

Helena Jones

Instruments taught violin, ukulele, recorder and singing. I am also able to teach cello, viola and double bass.

I studied at Sandown College of Performing Arts where I gained a Graduate Diploma in Music with Merit. I then studied teaching at Saint Catherines’ college. I am also a fully qualified British Wheel of Yoga Teacher specialising in teaching yoga to people living with cancer.

Professionally I play with Lancashire Chamber Orchestra which is much fun and keeps my playing up to scratch. I also love to play folk fiddle with my friend and in various shows in the local area. I love playing for musicals and one of my favourites to play is Gilbert and Sullivan.

I love to teach music because I see it as a gift which I like to share. I was lucky to have the gift of music so I like to pass that on, everybody can enjoy music even if other subjects at school are not your thing and I love that. I also love the fact that it doesn’t matter what language you speak, music is universal.

Some of my playing highlights include Youth Orchestra tours with Wolverhampton Youth Orchestra where we went to Germany, France Holland, Belgium and former Yugoslavia. I made a lot of friends in Youth Orchestra who I am still friends with now. At college we did lots of lovely performances in the Philharmonic Hall. I also played folk fiddle at my wedding which was both scary and lovely playing in front of family and friends. I also played at the annual vets conference a few times which was a great experience sharing folk music with lots of vets who also love folk music.


Mark Hooper

My name is Mark Hooper and I am a Drum Kit and Percussion Tutor for Edsential. I have been hitting drums since I was 7 years, initially self-taught but then more formally as I studied Music Performance at both BA and MA level. I now have a full-time teaching schedule as well as performing and recording all over the UK. My best musical experience was getting the chance to record an album at the legendary Rockfield Studios where some of the greatest recordings have been made, including all of the Queen albums. Outside of music you will most likely catch me either cooking or scrambling up the side of a mountain.



Glenn Thomas

I began my musical route singing in choirs at his primary school. At the age of 11, I intended to learn the saxophone but got redirected as my teacher encouraged me to play a smaller instrument: the clarinet. Since that day, I have ‘never looked back.’ Like most musicians, I went through my music grades, and studied A-level music. Having completed my grade 8 before university, I was perfectly set up to pass the Bachelor of Arts (BA Hons) degree and a clarinet teaching diploma (LGSM).

After university, I went on to join the army as a musician! Touring the world in a military band afforded me the experience of travelling to over 15 countries parading and lifting spirits. The highlight of my army career was getting the opportunity to play at the Royal Garden Party held at Buckingham Palace many times, as well as visiting as a guest. I have performed in front of most of the Royal family! Whilst in the army I passed the prestigious master’s degree (MMus) in conducting and performance as well as a diploma in conducting (LRSM). Upon leaving the army regulars, I switched to the army reserves in Liverpool, which is still an important part of my life, and joined Edsential as a music tutor to pass on my abilities and passion to the new generations. I continue to enjoy playing music in the Wirral Symphonic Wind Band.

Julia Wells

I am a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) where I studied clarinet from 2012-2016. As a former member of the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain I have had the opportunity to perform in major venues across the country, notably the Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms which is one of my favourite musical experiences. I have a passion for teaching, and I want to inspire the next generation of musicians. I enjoy working with children and adults of all ages and abilities. In my free time, I enjoy walking and baking!

Gillian Hazlehurst

I play clarinet (my main instrument) flute and saxophone.

I’ve taught music since I was 18 which is nearly 40 years!

I love playing the piano and I also play the church organ at St Nicholas Church in Wallasey.

I love inspiring children to enjoy such a wonderful lifelong skill.

My best music experience has been playing in the Merseyside Police Band as a guest many years ago! I’ve also played in the orchestra pit for many musicals at The Gladstone Theatre.

Its lovely playing for children to see the different instruments that an orchestra makes up.

My hobbies include knitting, walking, reading and my grandchildren!!

Gillian Hazlehurst
Music 2 (17)

Anna Powell

I started the Oboe after hearing a performance at my primary school and loving the sound. I graduated from the RNCM with a degree and post graduate diploma. I love the Oboe for its versatility- playing very early Baroque music right through to modern times and I’ve enjoyed the full range playing with The Kings Consort on Baroque oboe, orchestras such as The BBC philharmonic and RLPO on modern oboe and performing national tours of musicals such as Beauty and The Beast, Mary Poppins and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I really enjoy teaching and passing on the opportunities that music has brought me and the fact I am constantly challenged and made to think by my pupils! In my spare time I try to give our cat Wilson some attention, run, cook and have started doing Lino printing!

Bethan Harper

My name is Mrs Bethan Harper and I teach clarinet, saxophone, flute, piano and music curriculum for Edsential.

I studied clarinet at the Royal Northern College of music, where I gained my BMus(hons) degree, Licentiate of The Royal Schools of Music and PGCE specialising in instrumental teaching.

Since graduating, I have performed with numerous orchestras and chamber ensembles across the North West of England and North Wales.  I have also given solo recitals at various venues and have won awards at The National Eisteddfod of Wales.

There are several reasons why I love being a musician whether it’s performing or teaching, the work is always extremely rewarding, and I believe it’s such a privilege to be able to share your passion with others.

It’s very difficult to choose just one favourite musical experience from performing in orchestral concerts at venues such as the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester and Symphony Hall in Birmingham, to giving a solo recital on live television, to spending the day recording at Future Yard with the wonderful Edsential Leaps and Bounds team- it’s all been amazing!

When I’m not performing or teaching, I enjoy running and baking but I suppose I’m lucky enough to be able to say that music is my main hobby as well as my career!



Alex Harper

Alex Harper

I began playing trumpet at primary school at the age of 8. I remember initially being ‘wowed’ by the sheer power the instrument could produce. I continued to play, practice, and perform my trumpet as much as possible throughout my childhood. I was around 16 years old when I realised that playing the trumpet is what I really wanted to do with my life. After taking my A-levels I was awarded a place to study the trumpet at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester where I was able to develop as a musician through playing in high quality ensembles, solo performances, and recordings. Whilst at college I developed an interest in teaching, working part time for a local music service alongside my studies. Once I had completed my degree, I was offered a place on the very first PGCE course to offer instrumental teaching.

From then on, I never looked back, taking a job with Cheshire County Council which over the years became Edsential Musical Routes where I now work as an Area Lead for Music. I still like to perform my trumpet whenever I get the opportunity, playing with Symphony Orchestras, Chamber music groups and Big Bands to name a few. Outside of the music profession, I like to keep active. I am a keen runner and cyclist, often taking on the odd challenge such as the Manchester marathon or the Coast-to-Coast bike ride.

Rob Watson

My name is Rob Watson and I teach Brass instruments for Edsential. I teach across the range of Brass instruments but my own instrument is the Horn and I dabble in Trombone playing from time to time. I studied Music in the 1980s at Sandown College of Performing Arts in Liverpool, then did my PGCE at St Martin’s College in Lancaster. I have been performing since the age of 16, both professionally and with amateur orchestras, in all sorts of music from Musicals through Jazz and Classical music.

I love playing because of the adrenalin rush of performance and the sense of camaraderie, especially in a horn section. I love teaching because I get to share my passion for music making, hopefully inspiring my students to enjoy music making themselves. My favourite musical experience is any time I get to play a Mahler symphony. My other pastime is walking my three dogs and training and competing in dog agility.

Rob Watson
brass-classic-classical-music-close-up-45243 (1)

Janet Barraclough

My main instrument is Euphonium, I am also a very keen trombone player.

I studied music at the University of Huddersfield, and during this time I thoroughly enjoyed immersing myself in the world of brass bands.

I have been very fortunate through playing in brass bands to perform in some amazing concert halls such as the Royal Albert Hall and Birmingham Symphony Hall and play in the pit band for Brassed Off at Theatre Clwyd.

My true passion is conducting my junior brass band, seeing the future musicians develop both musically and socially.

Jayne Laird

I took up the trumpet when I was eight and it was probably the best thing I ever chose to do, but at the time I wanted to play the clarinet. I put my name down for clarinet at school but was given a trumpet instead, in a very heavy case. I started lessons and practised hard but I still wanted to play clarinet. So, the following year, when I was nine, I decided to ask the Headmistress if I could swap, but she was very fierce (a bit like Miss Trunchbull) and I didn’t dare. Instead, I waited until secondary school, and told my music teacher (who was like Miss Honey) that although I enjoyed the trumpet, I really wanted to play the clarinet, and she said, ‘you are doing so well, I think you should stay on the trumpet’. Everything changed when I joined a band. I made friends with other brass players and later, playing in orchestras, I got to perform alongside the clarinets too! I began to discover just how versatile the trumpet is and what a special role it has in the orchestra.

I grew to love the trumpet and I decided I should like to make a career of it, so I went off to London and studied at Trinity College of Music for four years. During those years, as well as doing lots of playing, I had a go at teaching young brass players and found I really enjoyed it, so I enrolled at a teacher training college to learn how to do it better. Since then, I have been lucky enough to teach hundreds of pupils on all sorts of brass instruments and many of them have a continued to play after leaving school.

Music can be a wonderful hobby. I often think back to my teachers and am grateful to them for encouraging me to keep going when I felt like giving up. Making music with others is just brilliant. Have a go and see for yourself.

Jayne Laird


Helen Chetwood

I trained at Liverpool Hope University as a Primary School Teacher, specialising in Music. I am an experienced class teacher, as well as music teacher, and have worked in a number of primary schools across Merseyside and Cheshire. I now work as Area and Vocal Strategy Lead for Edsential Musical Routes.

I am passionate about song-writing and have led many song-writing workshops and projects with primary schools and music residential workshops at our residential centre on Anglesey.  I previously worked as choral conductor for Preludes, the training choir for Chester Music Society and have led many primary school choirs. I am now leading Edsential’s very first virtual choir – Virtuoso, for children across Wirral, Chester and West Cheshire. Out of difficult times, comes unprecedented opportunities, and Virtuoso is one of those.

Helen Chetwood

Piano and Keyboard

Alison Gale

Alison Dale

I studied at Bangor University from 1994-97 gaining a BA Hons degree in Music, and then a PGCE from Manchester University a year later. I have taught music in Primary and Secondary Schools for 23 years, 17 as a Head of Department in a High School. I have a wealth of experience playing in bands, orchestras, pit orchestras in the theatre, and accompanying choirs and soloists. I enjoy playing all genres of music, but I particularly enjoy jazz as it has the thrill of improvising and is never the same twice!

I really enjoy sharing my enthusiasm for the piano with my students. It’s so worthwhile when you take students on a musical journey, introducing them to new pieces, genres and composers. I love to hear my students play and demonstrate their confidence in performing and expressing themselves. I also love playing the recorder, and I play the Great Bass in the Manchester Recorder Orchestra. The power of music amazes me every day, and I have the best job in the world!

I have had so many wonderful performance opportunities. There are so many to choose from, but probably performing at the Royal Albert Hall, London. The vast space and huge crowd were completely overwhelming, and totally thrilling!

When not playing or listening to music, I love long walks with my adorable cocker spaniel, Tilly.


To Access the Edsential Music Portal, please