Virtual Music Centre

Meet the Tutors!

Peter Chivers

Jazz & Funk Online Tutor

Peter Chivers studied at Dartington College of Arts, gained a Music Degree at Huddersfield University and studied at post-graduate level in Advanced Performance at the Royal Academy of Music, subsequently completing a Post Graduate Certificate in Education at Kingston University.


Peter is Head of Music and Arts for Brighton & Hove’s award winning SoundCity music hub. His background spans the arts, music and education and he has received the Cultural Champion Award from Arts & Business. As a trumpeter he has performed across the UK and Europe and continues to teach and work with young musicians presently conducting the Brighton & Hove Youth Big Band.

Emma Collins

Orchestra Online Tutor

Emma is an experienced music teacher, performer and facilitator. She studied flute and saxophone at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, gaining an MMus in Performance Studies. As Learning & Partnerships Manager for Brighton & Hove Music & Arts/East Sussex Music, Emma works with partners from the creative, cultural, education and health sectors to facilitate new opportunities in music for children and young people, with a particular focus on increasing engagement and supporting progression for those in challenging circumstances and/or with Special Educational Needs/Disabilities.

Peter Michael Davison

Jazz & Funk Online and Orchestra Online Tutor

Peter Michael Davison is a film/tv composer and conductor having worked on international films including the feature stop animation "Strike" and the poignant "Emu Runner". He has worked on BAFTA winning games, including Horizon Zero Dawn and conducted professional orchestras such as the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the City of Prague Philharmonic.  


Peter conducts as part of the Brighton Youth Orchestra set up, and having been a Head of Music and teacher in Brighton for 19 years, is a passionate advocate for youth music. Peter is originally a trumpet player with a strong focus on classical, and also has played a great deal of Jazz.

Gordon Dodridge

Family Strings Online Tutor

Gordon Dodridge is the area manager for Hastings and Wealden with the East Sussex Music. He is a qualified teacher with a post-graduate in performance studies as a high level performer of the Violin who has played with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the English String Orchestra.      


Gordon is committed to providing equality of access for all students and believes that students should be offered the very best in music education. He believes that developing positive relationships and embracing change are key for any organisation wishing to develop and thrive.

Helena Pearce

Family Strings Online Tutor

Helena is a Cellist from East Sussex. She started her musical journey with East Sussex Music when she was 6, becoming a member of many of the East Sussex Music ensembles. She then went on to gain a Music BA from the University of Chichester. Helena still performs regularly and teaches in the Wealden Area, where she is also Music Centre Leader. Helena is also the project leader for PIER:One – East Sussex Music’s inclusive ensemble.


Helena is passionate about creativity and inclusivity in music education, believing in the power music has to break down barriers.

Owen Eastwood

Jazz & Funk Online Tutor

Owen Eastwood is a Jazz Pianist from Brighton & Hove. Passionate about music from a young age, he started piano lessons when he was five and as a teen was a member of several Brighton & Hove Music & Arts Music programmes. He went on to attend the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.


As an educator, Owen works with the Brighton & Hove Youth Big Band as a rhythm section tutor and teaches Jazz piano. He is passionate about inspiring young musicians to discover Jazz and modern improvisational.


Owen also plays with his Jazz trio and a number of other ensembles, both locally and across the country.

Faye Polden

Rock & Pop Online Tutor

Faye joined the team in September 2019 on the Music Leader Internship Programme. Previously Faye has worked within the music industry gaining experience from live performing, studio recording, composing and stage managing within festivals. Whilst working within the industry Faye developed an interest in social media and its application within music. Faye has also established a successful guitar themed YouTube channel and hopes to gain new ideas and insights for the channel during her internship.

Andrew Sherwood

String Ensemble Online and Orchestra Online Tutor

Andrew Sherwood has performed in many parts of the world as a conductor and violinist. He has been Conductor of Brighton Youth Orchestra since 1994 and is currently Director of Music for Orchestra at BHMA, as well as teaching centralised violin lessons there. He is also Professor of Violin at TrinityLaban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.

Chris Simmonds

Rock & Pop Online and Grade V Theory Tutor

After graduating a degree course from BIMM, Chris spent ten years working as a freelance musician touring and recording with a number of high-profile artists. Having played worldwide music festivals spanning from Japan to Europe, headline shows and releasing a number of charting albums and remixes, he then stepped into teaching and is currently curriculum leader of guitar for us at East Sussex Music.

Simon Smith

Simon is a full time teacher with East Sussex Music. He began playing the violin and viola at the age of seven and has never looked back! He grew up in Leeds and had lessons through the local Music Service, before being taught privately by members of the Orchestra of Opera North.


Simon then gained a degree in Music from the University of Hull, before heading to Cardiff to study for a Postgraduate Diploma in Performance. In 2008 he joined East Sussex Music and teaches in schools around Lewes and Newhaven. As part of his work with the Lewes Area Music Centre he conducts the Telemann String Orchestra. 

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During this unusual time, we are pleased to offer young musicians online instrumental and vocal lessons and Virtual Music Centre activities. For more information click below.

 Online Lessons | Virtual Music Centre

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