The committee is made up of a collection of parents and music teachers who share a wealth of experience of working with special needs.
Founder - Rosie Cross
Rosie Cross studied at the Birmingham School of Music (now Birmingham Conservatoire) and, after qualifying as a teacher, worked as a secondary school music teacher for a number of years. Childcare commitments led her to becoming a piano teacher and she built up a large and successful practice which included teaching many able and high-achieving young people. Rosie has always been interested in finding ways around various learning disabilities in order to help those children to engage with music and put many of her ideas into practice when she was asked to teach Tom, who has Down's syndrome. This was an exciting venture for Rosie and it led to the formation of the charity Melody in 1994 and later, to the development of the Melody Music Birmingham project.
Chair - Helen Coll
Helen Coll studied music at York University and then trained as a teacher. She taught music in secondary schools and worked in the advisory service before moving to Birmingham Polytechnic (now Birmingham City University) to lead teacher education programmes. Helen eventually became Head of Secondary Education at the university. Now semi-retired and working as a consultant, Helen is a professor emeritus of BCU and a former chair of the National Association of Music Educators. Helen became a Melody trustee in 2006.
Secretary - Lauren Coles
Lauren Coles graduated with a BMus (Hons) from the Birmingham Conservatoire in 2010 after studying piano with Victor Sangiorgio. She currently works as a freelance accompanist and piano teacher and is Musical Director for the local amateur dramatics group, The Arcadians. Lauren has been a volunteer tutor for Melody Music Birmingham (formerly known as Special Virtuosi) since it began in 2009 and has thoroughly enjoyed her time working with various students throughout the past few years. As co-director of the group alongside Clare Murphy and Rosie Rushton and as trustee of Melody, she is looking forward to what the future holds for Melody.
Tresurer - Michael Cross
Michael Cross has a PhD in Mathematics from Durham University and was Head of Mathematics at Bishop Vesey's Grammar School in Sutton Coldfield until his retirement. He is the Treasurer of Melody and a keen amateur photographer.
To find out more about our other trustees, please click here
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