Sue Richardson is an experienced professional musician and educator offering Jazz Ensemble, Improvisation & Master Class workshops as well as music theory specialist teaching & live performances tailored to schools.
With 25 years experience as an educator, sharing her passion for performance skills as well as more academic learning, Sue has a broad range of teaching skills - from primary schools to university; special needs, mental health and prison workshops to one to one instrumental teaching. Her private students have a 100% success rate in piano, singing, music theatre, trumpet and music theory, Grades I to VIII.
A professional jazz trumpeter/singer who has performed in more than 50 countries, Sue has made four acclaimed albums, headlined at Ronnie Scott’s many times and composes and arranges all her own music. Her album, Too Cool, was in The Sunday Times 100 Best Records of The Year 2013 across all genres worldwide.
To enhance students’ learning Sue runs improvisation workshops. Absolute beginners will learn how to start making up their own improvised lines using a variety of methods from basic ear training to shaping simple lines and playing with a swing feel. More advanced students can work on developing these skills and learn to use scales, modes and licks.All scores are provided (including original compositions) and are tailored to the overall level of the group. Each piece focuses on a specific skill from simply being free to improvise to using scales and cycle of fifths progressions. Bespoke works written with/for your students are available.
In addition to teaching improvisation Sue runs workshops focussing on ensemble playing for jazz bands. She provides charts of her own compositions for bands to rehearse before a final rehearsal looking at collective playing and a performance where Sue plays with the band.
Encouraging brass players, especially girls, is a passion for Sue. Master Classes look at brass performance techniques. Traditional Master Class format can be used with students performing a song and each person receiving specific feedback on how to improve their performance.
Students focus on various technical aspects in their choice of piece, explore the key elements of the music’s style and its relationship to performance whilst developing artistic expression and musical communication through their performance.
Sue also offers Vocals Master Classes for singers who want to explore jazz. Students explore phrasing, timing, feel and performance skills as well as improvising using scat singing.
Sue has developed her own music theory teaching system that she uses with her degree students as well as ABRSM Grade students. Her website musictheory.me.uk features worksheets and video tutorials on a number of common topics.
To enhance the educational sessions, Sue has written a concert to perform with her own band (comprised of some of the UK’s top professional musicians).
Beats & Roots brings together the compositions played by the students as well as key elements from the GCSE & A Level syllabi, such as fusion, blues and the progression from jazz to pop. The show features the African roots of Jazz, Salsa & Samba, charting these genres’ development as well as the progression to popular music by way of rock ’n’ roll and The Beatles. With interactive elements for the audience it is also great fun. This concert has a relaxed narrative and as well as being educationally useful for students is also an enjoyable concert for friends and parents.The concert can be performed in a variety of ways - as a stand-alone; with the students from the workshop performing during the first half and/or with instrumental staff from the school taking part should they wish.All songs performed can be supplied as sheet music and recordings for use in class to enhance and deepen learning. These can be used to study form, cadences, chord progressions and other musical elements.
As well as Beats & Roots Sue has three other great shows: Too Cool - The Life & Music of Chet Baker; Screen Sirens (looking at the great actresses from the hey day of Hollywood and Jazz Immortal - The Life & Music of Clifford Brown.