Chris Simon

Musical director

My musical career began at the age of 7 by taking violin lessons at school. I was made aware of the fact that the violin was arguably the most difficult instrument to play.

I quickly rose to the challenge and in so doing found an absorbing interest. As a child I was very quiet and introvert, so this was a means by which I was able to express myself. I remember playing "3 Bourees" whilst my mother was ironing. It must have sounded awful in those early days. She went through a lot of earache but always gave encouragement.

I have never forgotten this lesson and realise as a teacher now how important this is. I continued having lessons at school but also had private music lessons and played in several amateur orchestras.

I remember being the leader of the Redditch Junior College Orchestra and playing second and then first violin in the senior orchestra also. By the age of seventeen, I had reached professional standard and done all the necessary theory exams also. It was a necessary requirement to be able to play the piano.

I learned to play the piano under duress as I didn't enjoy it very much. Insufficient challenge. So I also took up the organ - two hands and feet, far more difficult, more sounds and rhythm accompaniment too.

The organ seemed to loose popularity when the keyboard came into it's own and then I gained a renewed interest in the piano also. During this period I also leaned to play the trumpet and cornet, and played regularly in 3 brass and silver bands.

Even whilst working full time and having all the normal responsibilities that comes with adult life - my passion for music never wavered.

Throughout my working life, music is all I have ever truly been interested in. Having had enough of working generic jobs, I made a decision to combine my passion with my work. With the help of a Technics Music Academy which was sponsored by Steve Grice from "Cranes Music" in Worcester who is a dear friend, with whom I had met whilst studying music many years earlier.

Together we opened our first Technics Music Academy in Halesowen at the bottom of Mucklow Hill. It was successful but location was not perfect. After a few years, it reopened in it's present location on Long Lane in Halesowen.

After nearly ten years my association with Cranes Music was switched to Colbecks in Sutton Coldfield with Wayne Merrick supplying instruments as required. During this period I was taught by Panasonic UK at their headquarters on a regular basis - as was my longest serving piano and keyboard teacher Miss Rosalind Hillhouse.

When Technics pulled out of the manufacture of musical instruments some years ago, my association with Colbecks was no longer necessary, so I bought out their interest in the business.

So now the school is called MMS or Midlands Music School. I have taught thousands of students of all ages and many of those students have learned to play here. The only thing I can add however, is that not one person has ever failed an exam. I really don't know how much longer this record will stand but so far it stretches back over 40 years and we are looking forward to many more thousands of successful students of all ages.

I look forward to meeting each and every one and more importantly teaching you to play the instrument of your choice.

Chris Simon - July, 2013.