Our Tutors

Please contact us and we will be happy to put you in touch with our tutors

Ben Richmond


Ben Richmond

Gradulate in music with many years of experience in guitar playing. Proficient on both electric and acoustic guitar. Ben believes the best way to learn is to always enjoy yourself and keep an open mind when it comes to music. Whether you would like to learn to play your favourite songs or dive into the theoretical side of music, Ben is happy to take you through the wonderful journey of learning the guitar



Fran Knowles

Fran Knowles is a drummer, percussionist, teacher, performer and ethnomusicologist who has toured with international drumming street theatre show, Spark!, since 2014. She plays with Newcastle-based bands Beccy Owen & the Refuge and Poor Moi, and has been teaching drums at Core Music since 2009.

George Hutton


George Hutton

Clocking up nearly 10 years' experience teaching drum kit, and an even longer performance career, George's passion for the drums, music and teaching shines through in every lesson. This is shown in his excellent grade exam pass rate and by those students who have gone on to study further at universities and conservatoires across the UK



Malcolm Bushby

An enthusiastic, friendly and highly experienced performer and teacher, with over 15 years experience in violin tuition. Malcolm teaches from absolute beginner to advanced and will tailor lessons to suit the student’s needs. He specialises in folk and traditional fiddle but can teach a wide variety of styles from Scandinavian fiddle to bluegrass. For those wishing to take exams, Malcolm has a 100% record in the ABRSM exams.


As well as teaching, Malcolm is a member of famous Scottish folk band, the Tannahill Weavers, with whom he has toured the world with including the USA and Canada.



Dan Ward

Dan received his first drum kit 30 years ago and has been actively performing and recording in and around the North East and the U.K. ever since. Dan began teaching in 2008 and currently also teaches in schools in Tynedale and the surrounding area. Whether its grade certificates you’re looking to work towards or simply a new hobby, Dan can accommodate your needs.

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Acoustic and electric guitar

Craig Mcdearmid

I have worked as a professional  musician and tutor for over 30 years specialising in all styles of guitar. As well as performing and working with bands I enjoy writing and recording and have studied music to degree level. Over the years I have taught thousands of students of all ages and levels  in workshops, groups and individual one to one lessons.

I look forward to helping you on your musical journey at Core music whether it is learning songs, technique, reading, theory or improvisation on acoustic or electric guitar.

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Acoustic and electric guitar

Graham Morris

 I have been playing guitar for 25 years and teaching for 7. I obtained a
degree in Jazz from Leeds College of 

Music in 2004 and have been playing
in the local prog rock band Cauls for the last 10 years which culminated
in us performing our latest album launch at the Sage Gateshead. 


I’m into all sorts of music and am happy to teach anything from Joe Pass to AC/DC!

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Rupert Hughes

Since his beginnings in the North East of England, Rupert Hughes has performed across Britain and Europe playing traditional bluegrass, folk, self-penned rock and everything in-between. 


Not only does musicality and harmonic input rank highly amongst Rupert's values, he also appreciates the need for visual construct and sees performance as a multi-dimensional aspect, not just reserved for the ears. As well as performing across the Continent with The Often Herd, Rupert has also led instrument specific and full-ensemble workshops focusing on getting the best from your instrument, technical skills, and performing.

Penny Kempson


Penny Kempson

A friendly and experienced violin and viola teacher, specialising in classical and folk music but enjoys playing all genres! Penny is very experienced with exams with 100% pass rate. Whether you want the framework of the exams to progress classically or space to explore folk techniques on traditional tunes, there is a place for you. Penny teaches from total beginners up to post grade 8 training, and has taught ages 6-96!



Mary Hitch

Mary started singing in her teens and continues to sing in many concerts and recitals al over the world. She has had a long career as a singing teacher in schools and colleges.  Mary is the Study Leader in Singing at Sage Gateshead Young Musicians Programme in which she coaches thye most talented young singers in the north-east

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Elle Sunderland

I am a singer and singing teacher of over six years, specialising in musical theatre and other contemporary styles. I studied music at university and have a first class honours degree and I am currently working towards my teaching diploma. I teach/have taught many different abilities and ages and can guarantee promising results due to my flexible teaching style.  


Classical guitar, Renaissance and Baroque lute

Martin Eastwell

In a teaching career spanning almost 40 years, Martin has inspired hundreds of students, from young children and complete beginners to young professionals at the outset of their careers. 

As a performer, he has developed a special interest in early plucked instruments including the lute, baroque guitar and vihuela.

During the COVID lockdown, he has been offering online lessons using Zoom, FaceTime and Skype from his home studio equipped with high quality microphones and a dual webcam system, and looks forward to teaching face to face at Core Music as soon as normal life resumes!

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Acoustic and electric guitar

Joe Steels

Joe studied Jazz guitar at Birmingham Conservatoire, giving him an understanding of a variety of musical components. He has attended a range of master classes from international musicians. He has played in many groups from rock bands, pop bands and jazz bands.


He can provide an eclectic range of guitar lessons on both electric and acoustic guitars, exploring and enjoying different styles and techniques. Teaching is catered for individuals based on their stage in the musical process as well as their learning style. Emphasis is placed on learning the skills to make your own music. This leaves plenty of room for personal taste. Most importantly, enjoyment is required!



Heather Ecclestone

I have been teaching and performing piano for over twenty five years. A graduate in music specializing in classical and Jazz genres but I enjoy many different styles. I have worked as an accompanist for choirs and soloists in the UK and abroad. I like to encourage my pupils to develop their improvisational skills as well as their classical studies. I enjoy teaching all abilities and ages and have much experience and success with entering pupils for examinations.