Students and Alumni

Stephen Dutton

Stephen knew he wanted to be a teacher from the age of twelve. Although he is not from a musical or academic family but was inspired to start learning music at fourteen on a small electronic organ. Stephen was fascinated by the coordination needed and practiced consistently for many hours a day, eventually, he picked up a real curiosity for how music works and how we learn. 

In spite of a lot of mistakes in learning, by fifteen Stephen gained a grade 8 in Music Theory and a grade 8 in piano, he also gained a piano diploma when was sixteen.

Not being from a wealthy family, Stephen started playing out in the Liverpool and Manchester clubs to earn money to pay for his piano lessons and later Organ lessons. He was accepted into The Royal Northern College of Music and gained his degree in the Organ.

From the age of sixteen, Stephen started directing choirs and upon reflection, he felt that he didn’t really start learning effectively until he was about thirty when he went back to first principles and the basics of how music and learning works.

Twenty-five years later, Stephen is still learning something new about music and acting everyday.

In his career, he has taught Music, Music Technology, Singing, Acting, Performing Arts, as well as Musical Theatre (which he is very passionate about!)

He has coached a notable number of students in the industry, who are now performing in the West End (latterly in the cast of Hamilton and Dear Evan Hansen) and a few who have been Spotlight Prize finalists.

Academically, Stephen completed a Postgrad diploma in E-Commerce, gaining the prize for the best student research paper. He has completed several Post Grad Certs, including one in teaching Shakespeare to young people and adults and latterly the Post Grad Cert in Voice Pedagogy with the Voice Study Centre.

"What a huge joy doing this course has been. I have loved every moment, every challenge and every realisation I have made along the way. The academic and pastoral team are the best: friendly, super supportive, caring and academically sharp as a tack (seriously top notch) and the wealth of internationally regarded practitioners and academics contacts that the Voice Study Centre have to help you if you need help with your focus of study is exceptional.

They have a wealth of academic papers and webinars from the best in the various fields that is truly extensive. The first thing I did on the course was to read every paper and watch every webinar in their academic store – It took all of my summer holiday but it was joyous to have that opportunity! I learnt such a lot right across the board from these that I would not have had access to otherwise and they keep adding more papers and webinars.

Within the qualification having the genuine freedom to choose what you want to specifically focus on academically is, I think, quite unique but it certainly allowed me to create the course I knew would make the most difference to me and my own teaching.

The course certainly surpassed my expectations, it is the real McCoy, with clear academic rigour and if you are interested and like a challenge, from experience I can thoroughly recommend Voice Study Centre."