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Our Staff

We are very lucky at Funky Monkey to have a diverse and talented group of musicians bringing our classes to life. Read more about them here!
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Ali Edwards, Director, Founder & Teacher

I launched Funky Monkey Keyboard Classes in 2003, as I had always been inspired to educate children not only in the art and discipline of learning an instrument, but also how to read and write their own music. The electronic keyboard seemed the perfect choice being an inexpensive, accessible instrument, with the added bonus of headphones to aid concentration within a group session.

 

My own musical career all began with a Casio keyboard, which in turn inspired me to take up the piano age 7, followed by the oboe age 11. After gaining Grade 8 on both instruments, I then auditioned successfully onto the specialist music course at Peter Symonds College, Winchester, and then again to Birmingham Conservatoire where I completed a BMus (Hons) and MMus (Dist) in music performance.  

 

As I moved back to London, it was my private teaching practice that built rapidly and it was this that motivated me to write my own set of books to encourage children to enjoy learning an instrument in a group environment. Now, the business takes up all my working time, alongside having a busy family of my own! I also run weekly piano lessons for children and grown ups and fun 'crash courses' for beginner adults, which often involves a lot of laughter, patience from both sides and occasionally a spot of 'dutch courage' for those extra nervous pupils!

VICTORIA - IPSWICH/STREATHAM
Joined 2003


Victoria is principally a flautist and second study pianist and has a CV bursting with experience in various workshops and mime and music based activities throughout the UK.

She has an extremely busy schedule teaching in various schools during the day and is the longest serving member of the Funky Monkey team to date, having joined us right back in 2003! Her classes are consistently lively, engaging, always enjoyable and she has an excellent rapport with both pupils and parents (and incredible patience, I might add) She has seen endless pupils through our scheme and gleaned fantastic exam results through our Trinity Syllabus year upon year. She has now moved from London to Ipswich and is helping launch our classes here as well as returning to London to teach.

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ANTONIO - CLAPHAM/HERNE HILL

Joined 2021

Antonio is a classically trained pianist, keyboardist and music producer with over 10 years of experience in music. His passion and love for music have led him to work with recording studios, brands and talented creatives across Europe. As a teacher, Antonio now has more than 4 years of experience in working with pupils of mixed ages and skills, including keyboard/piano lessons, music workshops and piano accompaniment for vocal classes.

 

Antonio completed two degrees. Including a BA degree in Music Production & Performance at the University Of East London and an MMus in Composing for Screen at Kingston University. He is fluent in English and Italian and has many cousins, so working with kids is a breeze!

DAN - BALHAM/TOOTING BEC
Joined 2018

 

Dan has been playing music for most of his life and will proudly tell you that keyboards are his main instrument! He passed his Grade 8 Piano with distinction in 2010, then went on to study at Goldsmiths College and graduated with a degree in Popular Music in 2014.

 

As a teacher, Dan teaches students of all abilities both at home and in schools. He has a wide age range of students -  from 4 to 65! His passion for teaching music came from receiving great tuition when he was growing up, and now works hard to ensure his students understand and enjoy their lessons, connect with their instrument and get the most out of music.

 

As a performer, Dan plays keyboards in many different bands and projects. He enjoys playing all styles of music, including rock, jazz, blues, pop and theatre music and is currently working on a new single with his Glam-Pop band Showboy!

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AISLINN ('Ashling' ) - EAST DULWICH/BECKENHAM/HERNE HILL
joined 2023

Aislinn is a musician from Cork with a huge passion for music and the performing arts. Growing up she was always involved in the performing arts, taking classes in singing, drama and Irish dancing as well as training in classical piano. She sang in the youth choir in MTU Cork School of Music and later, after completing a degree in English and French, decided it was time to explore contemporary music. She furthered her voice training and went on to study Music, Management and Sound as well as Music, Performance and Production where she specialised in songwriting, recording, performing and managing. Since then she has continued to pursue her passion for songwriting and performing. She has performed with various cover bands and original artists in venues all over Ireland. She has also completed the BAST Singing Teacher Training course with Line Hilton. Aislinn has years of experience working with children in different music and performing arts schools teaching all ages and hopes to pass on her love of music! 

 

JACK - BLACKHEATH

Joined 2019

Jack has always experienced a strong connection with music. He started playing drums at four years old and has been playing the piano since the age of nine, taking ABRSM classical piano and music theory grades before studying jazz. He has plenty of performance and teaching experience, having taught at music schools and given regular private one to one lessons to children, teenagers and adults. He appreciates and has played a wide range of musical styles, from classical to pop/rock, funk, soul and of course jazz! 

 

Jack graduated from a BA (Hons) Degree in Jazz with first class honours and the highest score in his year. He has graduated from the MMus Jazz Master’s course at Trinity Laban in London with distinction.

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TREVOR - SYDENHAM

Joined 2024

Trevor has many years of experience teaching the piano to students of all ages and musical styles and is passionate about helping young learners be creative and expressive through music.

Since studying Music at Bristol University Trevor has worked as a teacher, performer and composer. As well as playing in a number of ensembles and bands he also plays solo classical, jazz and pop piano as well as fitting in work as an accompanist and session musician.  Trevor has composed, performed and released solo piano music and written music for library companies and short films. He also enjoys making arrangements of students favourite songs that they can work on in lessons

MELANIE - BARNES

Joined 2023

 

Melanie has been playing piano since the age of 4 and achieved ATCL performance diploma at the age of 17. She had few years experience teaching in Hong Kong but now is continuing her career as a piano teacher here in London.  In her lessons, she skillfully combines the Funky Monkey tunes with motivating games and quizzes all based around music, as well as drawing and learning the music signs and symbols that are needed for all instruments. Melanie is passionate about seeing progress of every student who comes to us so you are in great hands!

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REBECCA - TUNBRIDGE WELLS

Joined 2024

 

Rebecca’s musical studies started at the age of 6 and since then, music has always been an important part of her life. She has a BMus degree from Royal Holloway, University of London and an MA in Performance from Kingston University. A first-study flautist, Rebecca also plays piano and has over 20 years’ experience of teaching both instruments in schools and privately. 

A previous Funky Monkey teacher (she ran classes in London and Kent between 2003 and 2012), Rebecca currently teaches children of all ages and levels in and around the Tonbridge/Tunbridge Wells area, as well home educating her three children through the primary and secondary school years. She approaches teaching music with enthusiasm and energy and aims to pass on her love of music to all her pupils.

In addition to teaching, Rebecca is Principal Flute for a local orchestra and enjoys performing regularly in concerts.

CAT - Deputy Teacher

Joined 2022

 

Cat is currently studying postgraduate music performance at Trinity Laban Conservatoire. She has a long history of performing on flute, piano and harp, reaching the UK Finals of the 2010 Rotary Young Musician Competition and performing for HM The Queen. She then went on to read Music at University College, Oxford, and achieved a PGCE and Master’s in Music Education at Magdalene College, Cambridge. She received instrumental and choral awards at both institutions. Catriona has several years of full-time teaching experience, helping students with the keyboard, ukulele and a range of other instruments, so is a perfect asset to the Funky Monkey Team!

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