What my students say

A wonderful teacher…

“As professional piano teacher taking up the viol I can wholeheartedly recommend Jacqui’s teaching  – the lessons been some of the most comprehensive I’ve ever received. A wonderful teacher.”

Sam Girling

Clearly presented…

“Since returning to the viol after a very long gap I’ve really appreciated the expertly thought through and structured techniques and repertoire so clearly presented in Jacqui’s teaching. Thank you!”

Diane McGuire

It’s rare…

“It’s rare to find a teacher who can so lucidly explain not only what to do but also how to do it.”


John Stones

Highly enjoyable…

“Jacqui was my viol teacher for 4 years while I was in secondary school. She is an experienced and gifted teacher.  In that short time, I learnt two new viols going from a relative beginner to playing Marais on bass. (My previous experience as a violinist helped here.)  I particularly liked that Jacqui gave me choices about what repertoire I wanted to learn, which really motivated me to practice. Her lessons did wonders for my confidence, and were highly enjoyable too.”

Leah Edwards

An incredibly inspiring teacher…

“Jacqui is an incredibly inspiring music teacher that we have known for very many years now. She has taught two of my daughters to play the viol, both in individual lessons for treble, tenor and bass and in viol consorts. Jacqui has an amazing depth of knowledge and experience of these instruments. She has imparted this passion for early music to both of my girls and given them some of the most amazing opportunities to perform over the years. Her style of teaching was always to give them the joy of playing whilst ensuring they got a really solid grounding in the proper techniques needed to play these instruments with real skill and sensitivity, something she is passionate about and it shines through in their playing still. I would very highly recommend her as a tutor.”

Alison Marshall

Understands the challenges…

“Jacqui is a widely experienced viol teacher, always warmly encouraging and inspiring, and I would recommend her so highly as a viol teacher to anyone, of any age or standard.

I have played the piano and violin and viola for many years now, so my instrumental playing focus has been on music from the baroque period to now – but I have had a passion for earlier music for practically all that time too, and often thought how wonderful it could be to try a viol.  And about ten years ago, I borrowed a treble viol, then managed to buy one, which was followed by obtaining a tenor viol last year – and throughout this wonderful discovery period, I have been so lucky to have had Jacqui as both a teacher and a consort coach, sometimes on the hugely enjoyable RVA courses that she co-runs.  It has been very inspiring for me that Jacqui has originally come from the classical world herself and absolutely understands the challenges for someone with my background, of learning the contrasting techniques and musical interpretations that are unique to the viol and to the early music world.  Along with this, I so much appreciate how thorough Jacqui is in her teaching, in every respect: from correcting posture, bow hold, left hand position, bowing angle, bow stroke, sound, ornaments, musical style … in fact, everything relevant to any piece being learned at the time, and beyond!  Jacqui has an impressive understanding of just how far to push me as a student too, I feel – often with plans that at first appear possibly too difficult, but which then prove to be part of a very exciting journey.  I have also found her wonderful series of tutor and pieces books and YouTube videos all wonderfully supportive of her teaching, and to listen to her perform is an extremely special treat.  Truly wonderful teaching!”

Janey Katovsky

Tremendous teaching skill…

“Jacqui taught our daughter viol and cello from age 8- 18 !  Jacqui’s enthusiasm, encouragement and love of music was a powerful influence, her warmth and generosity and her tremendous teaching skill brought music alive and into our daughter’s life  along with huge benefits.

We were so lucky to have Jacqui in our daughter’s life for such formative years.

She was an inspirational teacher and really a positive ‘life coach’ for our daughter and for the other young people that formed an early music group locally with Jacqui at the centre.

Jacqui’s unfailing interest and thoughtful involvement with the young people was a pleasure to behold, she became an important and valued influence and positive force in their lives.”

Becky Wylde

Always responsive to requests…

“Taking up the viol for the first time was my retirement project and I’m fortunate to have Jacqui as my principle teacher. She is rigorous in her teaching methods, setting high standards, but patient, supportive and encouraging at the same time. Her series of Rondo Publishing tutor books take students through a carefully thought-out progression of technical skills and are also useful as a revision tool. The books are now supplemented with the series of helpful online videos which Jacqui has produced.

My lessons with Jacqui have now had to move online but, although they are not really a substitute for face-to-face teaching, nevertheless have been equally motivating. Jacqui has recorded tailored play-along audio files for some of the pieces I have been working on and she is always responsive to requests for help with specific technical challenges.

Playing the viol gives a huge amount of pleasure and the learning experience with Jacqui is inspirational.”

Sue Mottram

Patient and encouraging…

“I’ve studied with Jacqui for a number of years. Jacqui is patient and encouraging with lots of experience of teaching both adults and young people. She is particularly keen on developing good habits in technique, in order to encourage the best sound that you can get from your viol.  During individual lessons she might focus on the bow-hold and action, or finger and hand placement, and then build up the technique with studies to achieve fluency. These skills can then be applied to a wide range of music, when interpretation and musical expression are discussed as a partnership between student and teacher. I always come away from lessons with lots to think about as well as plenty to practise.

As a player and teacher Jacqui has a specific interest in the solo bass repertoire, but is equally at home teaching treble and tenor viols, as well as tutoring consort groups from beginners to experts. Her range of tutors and consort books (published by Rondo Publishing), which are targeted at novice and intermediate players, are approachable and instructive. Jacqui runs regular short residential courses which are an ideal immersive experience for all standards of viol players.”

Sam Grainger

Genuine understanding of how to communicate…

“To be a good teacher you need to be more than just a brilliant musician. You need to understand. You need to understand the technical demands of your instrument and, most importantly, you need to understand people and how they think and learn. Not only is Jacqui an exquisite and stylish gamba player she has a genuine understanding of how to communicate. She instinctively knows how to get the best from all her students at whatever level.
I have been learning the viola da gamba with Jacqui for over ten years now and from the very first lesson Jacqui made me feel comfortable and at ease. There’s a real delight in working with someone who really knows what she’s doing. Not only does Jacqui have a solid technical expertise and an astonishing knowledge and understanding of the repertoire, but she has a talent for finding the story in the music. She knows how to bring it to life. She is a true inspiration. Even on those days when I am struggling to play even some of the right notes, she can always find something good and encouraging to say. I don’t know how she copes with me sometimes, but she does.
In all my forty plus years of making music, as a student, performer and teacher, Jacqui is one of the people from whom I have learnt most.”

Philip Sutcliffe

Jacqui presented me with wonderful opportunities…

“Jacqui taught me the viol from when I was in year 3 right up until I went to university. Jacqui is a fantastic teacher, and the lessons were always perfectly pitched (if you’ll excuse the pun) to my age and ability. I am not at all naturally musical and I especially struggled with rhythm but Jacqui was extremely patient and I ended up able to hold my own in a viol consort, performing in prestigious venues.

Jacqui also presented me with wonderful opportunities along the way such as playing the viol on local radio, writing for a viol publication, traveling across the UK and to New York and France. The way she helped us become confident performers has also helped me throughout life and translated well to everyday skills such as interviews and giving presentations.

As a result of Jacqui’s teaching, I have also picked up other instruments over the years, including the guitar, which she encouraged to the point where (by her design) I switched from viol to guitar halfway through a jazz Bach performance in a French cathedral! I am eternally grateful to Jacqui for giving me a musicality that I would never otherwise have achieved, she even helped me to an A in GCSE music! I play instruments on a daily basis and have found it immensely therapeutic, especially during these lockdown months.”

Dr. Joe Ferner

Fun, patient and has incredible attention to detail…

Jacqui was my Treble Viol and Cello teacher for just under 11 years, from the age of 7 – 18. She is fun, patient and has incredible attention to detail. Lessons with Jacqui were always interesting and challenging; often I was surprised by what I was able to do, thanks to a new technique or ‘trick’ she had up her sleeve for playing a certain difficult phrase or new piece of music..! Jacqui is a marvellous teacher and has the wonderful combination of being relaxed and passionate, as well as an incredibly talented musician. I thoroughly enjoyed learning with her, recommend her highly as a teacher.”

Jossi Nicholas 

Benefited from concerts in beautiful settings…

Jacqui taught my son music from when he was 7 till he was in Sixth form by which time, he in turn, was teaching viol to younger players.

Jacqui inspired and motivated him to play regularly, become confident before an audience and exercise the discipline and sense of responsibility required to be a member of an inter-dependent consort group.

Thanks to Jacqui’s technical and pedagogical skills, her patience, persistence and wonderful way of being relaxed with young people the consort gained ability and confidence. They benefited from concerts in beautiful settings – like Stratford-upon-Avon, on board the Golden Hinde, Greenwich College, Reims Cathedral, New York and the wonderful biennial viol festival of Asfeld in the east of France.

We owe Jacqui a great deal. She has remained a friend of the family and keeps in touch with our now 27 year old son. He continues to play music – in lockdown lunch hours – and he currently picks up a viol, a guitar or a mandolin daily. We are not a musical family and Jacqui gave him the gift of music.

Diana Foster JP