About Us

We are a team of music educators, passionate about teaching and learning. Our mentors and contributors come from all walks of music education, to enable us to share a wide ranging skill set.

Our Story

Marie first set up the Certificate of Music Educators course at the Elgar School of Music in Worcester. It was here that one of the first ever courses validated by Trinity started to run and the course saw success not just locally but across the UK by delivering the course both in person and online. Chris was one of the first learners to take the course, and so has experience of the whole journey from learner to mentor. As a team they ran several successful projects including working with Music Hubs such as Telford Music Service to provide Professional Development, and deliver the CME to their staff members.

With the recent rise in online learning, Marie and Chris wanted to deliver a course that was accessible to anyone, combining the convenience of online learning with a personal and direct approach.

Music Educators Online (MEO) was set up to provide not only the CME, but also as a space for other online courses designed to support the profession.

Meet Our Team

Dr Marie McNally LTCL, MPhil, PGCE, FISM, BAHons, MsC

Academic Director and Senior Partner

Marie McNally started her music career as a classical clarinettist, studying with major performers such as David Campbell (BBC clarinettist and the man behind the 1992 Rhapsody in Blue Galaxy advert) and working with orchestras including the English Symphony Orchestra, and the Midland Sinfonia. Marie has performed chamber music with various ensembles, including original work with Quartette Lunoire, and the jazz based Little Rumba (clarinet, saxophone and vocals). As a saxophonist and vocalist, she was a founder member of the successful UK Pink Floyd Experience, and more recently can be found on stage with The George Michael Story. She also plays with the saxophone duo Saximised, freelances on clarinet and saxophone, and is equally happy on a vast theatre stage or in a small intimate concert venue. As a music educator, Marie has been a successful instrumental teacher for 24 years. She has been an examiner for Trinity College London since 2003, and has run professional development sessions for Trinity and for music services since 2013. Marie obtained her Doctorate in the area of motivation in instrumental music teaching in February 2023, from uCL, London. She has additional interests in music education and mental health in adolescents and also teaches Psychology in a 6th form college. Marie initially set up the CME for the Elgar School of Music in 2012, where she successfully ran the course until December 2019, when she left the school to pursue her research interests, and set up this partnership. 

Chris Licence BMus, DipABRSM (Performing), CME, MISM

Business Director and Senior Partner

Chris graduated from Birmingham Conservatoire in 2014 after being fortunate enough to be able to study as a mature student. His main instrument is Trombone and he has wide experience in the brass band movement, playing at the highest levels. Until recently he was principal Trombone with the A W Parker Drybrook band and has played with local orchestras and many stage shows. His time at the Conservatoire gave him the opportunity to learn from some top brass tutors and this has given him the skills and knowledge to be able to teach brass to a high level. In addition to his work with the Elgar School of music and Kings School in Worcester Chris teaches privately through the West Midlands Brass Academy. In 2017 he successfully completed the Trinity CME course giving him a recognised teaching qualification. In addition to his teaching commitments Chris is musical director of Worcester Concert Brass and Malvern Hills District Brass Band as well as composing and arranging music for ensembles.

Anna Downes Violinist, and Previous Head of Department (Music)

Mentor and Strings Advisor

During the course of her career, Anna has been invited to perform with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, the Royal Shakespeare Company, English Symphony Orchestra, Welsh Chamber Orchestra (Principal 2nd Violin) and British Philharmonic Concert Orchestra among many others. She has performed in professional orchestras accompanying internationally renowned soloists such as Leslie Howard, Catrin Finch, Nicola Loud, Simon Dinnegan, Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Isata Kanneh-Mason. Crossover work has included National Symphony Orchestra with artists such as Katherine Jenkins and Russell Watson, English Pro Musica with Kerry Ellis and concert tours with The Limelight Orchestra. 

Recording work has included Wagner’s Gotterdaemmerung (Act 1) with English Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Downes Symphony no 6 with Central England Camerata and String Quartets nos 1&2 with the Amabile Quartet. She has also recorded strings on albums for singer songwriters David Jenkins and Coyote Grove, and for composer Dom Mason.

Pit orchestra work has taken Anna to major theatres and venues across the UK, such as The New Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham, Theatre Royal Nottingham, Derby Playhouse, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Wolverhampton Grand Theatre and Buxton Opera House. Anna’s teaching career began in 2000 when she gained her PGCE in Secondary Education at the University of Central England. Her first post was Teacher of Music and French at Kings CE School in Wolverhampton. In 2002 she was appointed Head of Music at the Crestwood School in Kingswinford. She moved to Old Swinford Hospital, a boarding school in Stourbridge in 2007 to become Head of Instrumental Studies and then Director of Music in 2015. During her time at Old Swinford Hospital, Anna helped almost 40 students achieve top A level grades and then pursue music at Music College, University including Oxbridge and many of those are now working in the profession. She also co-trained several student teachers on the GTP programme with King Edward’s Consortium. Anna has extensive experience as an instrumental teacher of violin, piano, keyboard and music theory, both privately and for Dudley Performing Arts. She has a busy private practice both in person and online.

Linda Hardwicke – Singer, Woodwind – Classical, BEdHons, FTCL, LTCL, ALCM, PGCert., SpLD, CELTA

Mentor and Dyslexia Advisor

Linda Hardwick studied Music at Royal Holloway, University of London, and Education at the University of Warwick; she also has diplomas in Recorder and Flute from Trinity College, London. Linda is a highly qualified, experienced, professional teacher, musician and educator, and is a skilled piano accompanist for singers and instrumentalists. Over a long and varied career, Linda has taught music across all key stages, including 1:1 tuition, small ensemble work, organising concerts, acting as MD for shows and preparing candidates for music festivals at county and national levels. Since returning to live in Malvern, Linda has been MD for two Youth Theatre shows at the Norbury Theatre, Droitwich. Linda has extensive experience as a soloist and ensemble player, performing regularly with groups, including: Ex Cathedra (Birmingham), Lichfield Cathedral Chamber Choir, St Mary’s Singers Truro, City of Bath Bach Choir, Elgar Chorale and Severn Voices.

In addition to her musical experience, Linda is a qualified Specialist Dyslexia Teacher and she currently supports undergraduate and post-graduate students with their academic studies as a Study Support Tutor. Linda is also a qualified teacher of English as a second language and has experience of working at summer schools supporting overseas students of all nationalities, ages and abilities. Linda is an enthusiastic, dedicated practitioner who is able to inspire children and young people in a friendly, positive and professional manner. Linda combines her teaching style with an approachable attitude, combined with a good sense of humour, and she liaises comfortably with school staff and parents.

After seeing a practitioner in action at a music event, Linda was inspired to learn British Sign Language and has gained a Level 2 qualification in this field. During her time in Cornwall, Linda worked in a pilot mentor scheme for Trinity College, learning to recognise and develop the abilities of non-specialist music teachers. Linda is excited about the opportunity to continue this work for Trinity College, as part of the MEO team in Worcestershire

Pam Watkins, Singer – Opera and Musical Theatre BSc (Hons), Dip.LCM, CME

Mentor and Musical Theatre Advisor

Pamela has had a passion for all things musical theatre since she joined her local theatre at the age of 11. Pamela studied under Claire Prewer-Jenkinson in Worcester mixing classical and musical theatre examinations to diploma level, to compliment her voice tuition and teaching Pamela has taken part in both Levels one and two of the Estill Voice Training, and the Advanced Figures.  She has participated in masterclasses with Anne-Marie Speed and Paul Farrington. Over the years she has enjoyed playing a variety of roles from ‘Madam Dubonet’ in The Boyfriend, Carmen in “Curtians’ and ‘Alice Beineke’ in The Addams family. Pam was a founding member of the Musical Theatre Academy based at the Elgar School of Music in Worcester where she was also on the vocal staff, specialising in Musical Theatre and Rock and Pop and helping to run the Special Music Makers. Pamela left the Elgar School to develop Malvern Hills Music and Wymsical Theatre in 2016. 

Pam’s initial degree was in psychology, with a particular interest in educational psychology. In 2015, she led a seminar in “Learning Styles and the Psychology of Achievement” for the Elgar School of Music’s annual staff training session. Pamela is a certified chaperone for Worcestershire County Council and is the producer and designated safeguarding lead for her theatre company Wymsical theatre  (Worcester Youth Musical Theatre) as well as being part of the costume department! In addition to teaching for Malvern Hills Music, Pamela is a peripatetic voice teacher at Kempsey Primary School and Bowbrook House School.

Victoria Bates


Victoria Bates’ current role is as Deputy Head at Durham Music Service. She has worked in the service for nearly 20 years having previously worked as a woodwind teacher in the West Midlands for both Wolverhampton and Birmingham Music Services. She is originally from central Scotland and started learning the oboe at the age of 13. At 17, she went on to study oboe at the Royal Scottish Conservatoire (formerly the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama) then made the brave move south to complete an MA in Performance at Birmingham Conservatoire. It was at this point she realised how much she loved teaching while working in local schools Victoria’s current role includes service development, team-leading teachers through performance management and creating CPD programmes to support teachers’ work in schools. She has a wide range of experience in woodwind teaching ranging from whole class wind band, clarinet and recorder teaching to small group and individual lessons in a wide range of settings.

Victoria believes in supporting young people’s learning through music by creating lessons which are enjoyable and truly inclusive. She has in recent years developed a range of opportunities to enable all pupils to perform and achieve. A recent highlight being Durham Music’s Big Play, which was shortlisted for the 2021 Music Education Awards. Away from teaching, Victoria maintains her own performing across the North East and enjoys outdoor activities such as running and cycling.

Adam Chester, BAHons, CME

Mentor and R/P Advisor


Heather License

Disabilities Assessment Advisor