Meet The Team
Owner & Founder
Helen started learning to play classical guitar in a caravan in a back garden a long time ago. Her teacher smoked a pipe, and her overwhelming memory of those lessons is a metal foot stool and tobacco smoke! Things have changed since then, and now, with two (nearly) grown up daughters and a very understanding husband, she has the most perfect job in the world - running Little Strummers!
Aside from work, Helen enjoys travel, shopping, reading and spending time with her family.
Charlie has been playing the classical guitar since the age of eight. She obtained a scholarship to the High Wycombe Music Centre, leading to multiple competition successes and a performance to an audience of over 1000 at the Swan Theatre. Residential courses and rehearsals with the National Youth Guitar Ensemble (NYGE) and Guitar Circus at the Royal College of Music, led by world leading guitarists including members of the Vida Quartet, are real highlights of her musical career so far. An advocate for ensemble playing, Charlie has also performed with the West Yorkshire Classical Guitar Society and is excited to rejoin the National Youth Guitar Ensemble again in her twenties, as a member of the Alumni Fellowship ensemble.
Charlie is particularly passionate about Hispanic repertoire and culture, an interest which led her to studying Spanish and Music at the University of Leeds where she obtained a First for her studies. She spent a year living and working in Cádiz, Spain, during which time she enjoyed regular lessons with Francisco Bernier at the Conservatorio Superior de Música in Seville and experimented with flamenco playing with local enthusiasts.
Asides from enjoying teaching for Little Strummers, Charlie likes listening to Indie Rock, Jazz, Ska, House...anything bouncy...and LOVES going to live concerts, to see anything from Paolo Nutini to Bach. She also really like gritty crime series, going to the theatre and walking in the Chilterns.
Simon began learning to play guitar in 2005 and a few years later studied a Higher Diploma in Music Performance at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance. Specialising in rock, pop and acoustic guitar Simon has been teaching for the last 4 years, building lessons around the students goals.
Codrut started to play guitar in high school, playing in a rock band started by his older brother on drums and a friend on bass guitar. His teaching activity began before going to university and developed into a full time profession after graduating from National Music University - Bucharest, Romania.
The last two years teaching at Little Strummers have given Codrut the chance to discover the vast British popular music from the ‘30s ukulele hits to the ’80 rock anthems through individual and group lessons that regularly take place at West Wycombe studio and other satellite centres.
Codrut's hobbies include history, politics, travelling, cooking and he likes to get involved in any live performance activity that he happens to be present at.
"Stephanos began playing the violin and piano aged 4; in the following eight years, he had completed all of ABRSM's 8 grades on both instruments and began developing himself in areas not covered by the syllabus – chiefly improvisation and composition. A keen self-taught guitarist, this new instrument opened up a new palate of genres (rock, jazz, pop and more) which he incorporated into his violin and piano playing alongside Middle Eastern and Oriental influences from his family heritage. At age 15, he also added grade 8 viola to his list of qualifications. Alongside teaching, he now performs around the UK and Europe."
Connor is a 20 year old classical guitarist from High Wycombe. He has been playing guitar since the age of ten and worked his way up to grade 8 with distinction. Currently Connor is studying music at the University of Surrey where he was awarded the honour of the Joyce Dixey Composition Prize. He has worked for Little Strummers for the last three years and will hopefully carry on for many more!
My mum started teaching me piano when I was six and I was desperately keen to pick up any instrument that was offered. By the time I finished primary school I was playing piano, viola, guitar, trumpet, recorder, flute and oboe, all entirely classical. I joined my first orchestra on viola when I was 10 and never looked back, and I now lead the viola section of Windsor and Maidenhead Symphony Orchestra.
While I was at university I bought myself an acoustic guitar and taught myself how to play it. I also learnt keyboard techniques, and since then have joined bands on both (and on bass). I have probably sat more music exams than anyone else in the world, now holding ABRSM grade 8 in six instruments and grade 5 in a further nine, and I am in the process of recording Beethoven's 5th Symphony by myself.
I first started teaching music while I was in Papua New Guinea in 2002, and enjoyed it so much that I decided to leave my career in mapping to become a self employed music teacher in High Wycombe in 2010. I joined Little Strummers in 2018 and it's lovely to be part of such a great team!
Darren teaches classical and electric guitar.
Claire started singing when she was 11 and has loved it ever since! She was classically trained from the ages of 13-17, but decided to go down the musical theatre route instead. She graduated from the London College of Music in 2018 with a first class BA(hons) degree in Musical Theatre.
After graduating, Claire went on to perform professionally in pantomimes and plays but decided that she much preferred teaching her students to being a professional performer! Claire teaches a variety of singing styles from Musical Theatre to Pop, Rock and Classical and she is told by her students that her classes are always fun.
When she is not teaching she can be found doing anything arty and crafty, cooking lots of food or watching a good Netflix series.
Francesca learnt to play guitar in primary school, however she has not picked one up since! She has previously worked as a school administrator and a gymnastics/trampoline coach. Francesca is a Mum to her daughter Hallie who loves listening to nursery rhymes and songs.
Francesca's hobbies include walking, baking, dunking biscuits and spending a lot of time in various coffee shops!
Yolly plays a vital role in the Little Strummers office and is often the person replying to your emails and phone calls.