Instrumental Lessons

The Valley school are in a working partnership with Hertfordshire Music Service and we have two amazing music tutors; Matthew Dear and Ross Lanning. They both have excellent backgrounds in working with special needs children.

About Hertfordshire Music Service

Our mission is to enable all young people in Hertfordshire to discover or develop their own unique musical voice and express themselves through the language of music.

As a DfE funded organisation through Arts Council England, Hertfordshire Music Service is perfectly placed to support the educational, social and emotional outcomes of your pupils.

Hertfordshire Music Service promotes total inclusivity to provide music tuition for all children and young people in the county. HMS is one of the largest and most successful music services in the country, having won awards from the National Music Council on six separate occasions. HMS works with schools and other key partners to provide a comprehensive range of high quality musical programmes and activities across all key stages, as well as delivering CPD and curriculum support for class teachers, music specialists and heads of music. HMS is committed to supporting our most vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people with a range of projects and activities to support access, inclusion and engagement including SEND Arts Awards and a Remission of Fees scheme.

More information about your local music centre can be found at Stevenage Music Centre (

About our tutors

Matthew works extensively with children with special education needs, both within Herts Music Service (HMS) and for some national music charities. He is the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Development Lead for HMS.

His main instruments are piano and flute although he also enjoys singing and plays a little guitar and drums. At The Valley he works with students on the keyboard, within singing groups and interactive music, helping students to develop musically, but also seeing music as a context to develop social and communication skills and confidence.

Originally a graduate of music he has completed post-graduate training in Sounds of Intent (a music and special needs framework) which is now linked to Trinity College of Music. Matthew is able to assess students at the Valley for Trinity Sounds of Intent Music Awards. He has also completed a University certificate in Autism Spectrum with the University of Birmingham.

He previously lived in Asia where he helped establish an early intervention centre for children with autism.

He enjoys a range of classical music as well as blues piano and a variety of modern song genres.

Ross works in many areas of the music service from leading workshops to 1 on 1 and group lessons. His first interaction with Herts Music was teaching with the Funky Pie Company, teaching and creating workshops for young people with SEND backgrounds.

His first instrument is guitar and has studied this for 16 years but also plays a number of instruments like drums, bass and ukulele. He also focuses a lot of his time on music production and really enjoys to teach this also. He studied music in Brighton and has a degree in Professional Musicianship where he studied many genres and has a real love for culture in music.

At The Valley he teaches a number of instruments and feels that anyone can learn or create a song on an instrument of their choice.