Craig Walsh is a professional bass player (4 string, 5 string, fretless), double bass player, and instrumental teacher (LIPA – The Liverpool Institute For Performing Arts, Graduate: Class of 2013) based in Liverpool. Craig has toured, recorded, and performed with artists/producers such as Clean Cut Kid (Polydor), Steve Levine (The Beach Boys, Culture Club, America), Tony Draper (Gold Award, Justice Collective “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” – UK Christmas #1) and Mike Lindup (Level 42). You can hear Craig’s bass playing on records that have been featured, and played on, BBC Radio, BBC Radio Merseyside, Spotify/Apple Music, LFC TV and European TV/Radio stations. Craig is also an experienced pit musician and has played in many Musical Theatre productions, including; ‘Best Little Whorehouse in Texas’, Variety Shows and, most recently, Liver Birds Flying Home – BBC stage adaption (Barb Jungr & Mike Lindup – Royal Court, Liverpool).
Meet the Team
Meet the SoMi Academy Music Teachers & Directors
Claire graduated from Liverpool Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts with a diploma in voice and a degree in Performing Arts (Music). As an authorised teacher with Vocology in Practice, a global network of elite voice professionals, she has studied vocal science under some of the world’s leading vocal coaches. Alongside her teaching, Claire has worked as a session singer for over 15 years and is lead vocalist and co-writer for EDM group ‘Flip and Fill’. She has collaborated with charting artists and producers in the UK and America as both a vocalist and a vocal coach. She also has a passion for musical theatre and believes that student centred coaching is vital to support progression in the music and performance industry.
Jeremy Wing graduated from LIPA with a First Degree in Music 2004 which included a focus on Community Music & Songwriting. He has delivered group and 1-2-1 piano, singing and songwriting lessons with all ages since 2007. Jeremy has been the youth choir leader and piano & singing tutor at RARE Studio Liverpool since 2012, youth music leader at Catalyst Performing Arts in Toxteth since 2010, and as part of the Royal Court Youth Theatre Summer Schools since 2014. He has toured the world as Echo & The Bunnymen keyboardist & musical director since 2009. Continuing to perform & record albums, he gained his PGCert teacher qualification in 2017.
Rachael is an experienced and passionate musician, teacher & teacher/creative practitioner trainer. She studied her BMus at Goldsmith’s College, London and PG Dip in Music Education at the Kodaly Institute, Hungary, developing as a performer and educator. Rachael has a broad spectrum of experience teaching in nurseries, schools and youth clubs over the past 20 years. She is a Founder & Director of ‘Music 4 You’, a charity based in Hackney between 2004 and 2007, and is now lead teacher trainer for SoMi Academy.
Will Rogers is a LIPA graduate (BA Music) who is primarily a guitarist and teacher. He has worked as a session guitarist for artists such as Chelcee Grimes, and played in the pit for productions at the Royal Court (Liverpool), Shone Productions. He also does extensive private work as a soloist, duo and band member with companies such as Genre Music, Musique and Actual Music. Will is also a songwriter and co-founder/guitarist of ‘Vote Edison’, an alternative rock band from Lancashire. He has extensive experience as an educator, working for Front Row Music and then SoMi Academy for the past four years, delivering piano, guitar and ukulele lessons and workshops, based on the Kodaly method.
Will is a Liverpool based session drummer and music teacher, and a graduate of The Liverpool Institute Of Performing Arts (BA Hons Music). Will has worked on UK Tours (Midnight Train to Georgia, Let Me Entertain You), musical theatre and pantomimes (Crossroads, Regal Entertainments), as well as on cruise ships with Royal Caribbean. He has a wide range of experience playing with function bands, tribute artists and musical theatre, as well as radio/ television play with recording artists. (BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 6, ITV This Morning). Will has been teaching since graduating in 2017, and has experience teaching from ages 5 upwards, using his industry experience to help students develop their own voice and personality on their instruments
Leon is a professional saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist and arranger. From a young age, he has played regularly in: big bands, wind orchestras, pop bands and as a solo performer. Leon graduated with First Class honours in BA Music from LIPA in 2022. Since then, he has continued to perform around the UK as both a session musician and in function bands. Leon is well versed in the current Liverpool music scene, playing and writing with multiple bands as well as working with electronic producers to write and record house music, often playing flute or keys. Leon’s teaching work focusses on developing creative expression, enjoyment and technical skills development.
George is a composer, band leader and music teacher. Playing music from a young age, George studied BA Music at LIPA, graduating in 2022 with First Class Honours. As a musician, George has a wide range of experience, regularly gigging across the UK and France with several Liverpool based bands; including Tilly Louise, and his own project George and the Jungle. He has worked a session musician for recording and function bands; as well as composing original music for short films and podcasts. Since 2021, George has been delivering multi instrumental 1:1, group and ensemble lessons to students age 5-16, across the North West. with an emphasis on student-led learning, SEND teaching and developing engagement.
Jamie Turner is a record producer, artist manager and managing director of Actual Music Ltd. Born and bred in Lancashire, Jamie learned piano and guitar from a young age and went on to study Music at the prestigious Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.
Following his graduation in 2012, Jamie formed Love Music Education alongside education & community music specialist Joe Wilson, and went on to become resident at LIPA Primary School, developing and delivering the in-class and extra curricular music at the school.
Jamie became a founder of SoMi Academy CIC, a successor company to Love Music Education Ltd in 2020, alongside Joe Wilson and Ramena Farahi. Jamie acts as managing director, and has day-to-day responsibility for the operations of the organisation. SoMi Academy is now responsible for the overall music & performing arts provision at LIPA Primary & High School.
Jamie also guest lectures at Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, Royal Northern College of Music and was featured on LIPA’s graduate panel masterclass in 2018.
After graduating with a degree in English & Music from Swansea University in 1997, Joe worked in post-war Bosnia & Herzegovina with Community Music Sarajevo and the Firefly Youth Project. Joe trained with Community Music, London and Audio Active, Brighton and has been a commissioned composer & piano teacher since 1998, with work on independent & international release.
Joe has trained with international performers including Bosco D’Oliveira, Romero, Jahman Sillah & Seckou Keita. Joe has studied Carnival in Sao Paulo, Brazil and performed across the UK & Europe.
Joe was founder-director of Planet Sound Community Arts (1998-2007), which was based at The Mitchell Memorial Youth Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent. At Planet Sound, Joe was responsible for a team of over 50 artists, delivering community arts projects across North Staffordshire and working internationally. Joe secured significant levels of funding for community music & arts projects and designed & directed large-scale carnival events.
In 2014, Joe became music teacher at LIPA Primary School and subsequently Music & Performing Arts Lead. Joe has written & developed the school’s music and performing arts policies/curricula and supported the school in its development of a flourishing performing arts timetable. Between 2014-7, Joe helped to establish one-to-one & small group instrumental lessons, daily Kodaly-based singing in every classroom, and a comprehensive whole staff CPD programme. Joe trained with The Voices Foundation & NYCoS and was also instrumental in helping the school to achieve the Silver Flag Award as an Eco-School.
Since 2017, Joe has moved back to North Staffordshire and now works as a freelance Music & Performing Arts Consultant, supporting artists & organisations across the UK. Joe is still director of Madula which 20 years on is still delivering outstanding community music projects.
As director of SoMi Academy, Joe continues to advise & support LIPA Primary & High School in its policy & curriculum development and funding strategy.
Ramena is a director at SoMi Academy and is responsible for the quality assurance of classroom provision and the partnership developments. Ramena is a qualified teacher alongside being Music & Performing Arts Lead at LIPA Primary School & High school. Ramena holds a First-Class Degree in Popular Music Studies as well as being fully trained in Musical Theatre. Ramena has achieved her ABRSM grades in music theory and singing. Additionally, Ramena was awarded her certificate from ABRSM on Becoming a Better Music Teacher course. Previously, Ramena was part of the Walt Disney Company in Shanghai and contributed her expertise to the development of the Disney Academic curriculum. Whilst working at the Walt Disney Company, Ramena secured her TEFL – C from Cambridge University.
Having previously ran singing/musical theatre workshops at local academies, Ramena also taught as a visiting lecturer at The Liverpool City College as well as working as a vocal coach at LIPA 4:19.
Alongside her career in academia, Ramena has performed across the country on tours with established artists such as Diversity and has made TV appearances on channels such as ITV, Channel 4 and AKA Channel. Ramena has performed as a soloist at venues such as Wembley through to events at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival.