Our Teachers

There are currently 9 guitar teachers on our team. We’re like-minded music teachers who love playing the guitar and share similar beliefs about the gift of music. We’re excellent at what we do and together we have a combined total of over 200 years’ experience in playing and teaching guitar. (200 years!) We aim to offer an elite guitar teaching experience to all of our students.

Captain Andy

I’ve been playing guitar (acoustic, electric and bass) since I was 10. I have a BTEC ND in popular music and grade 8 on guitar.

I have been teaching since I was 19. Over the years I’ve taught a wide variety of music: rock ‘n’ roll, heavy metal, punk, alternative rock, indie, reggae, ska, folk, blues, funk, jazz etc. I don’t think there’s any genre I can’t teach.

As well as showing students how to play songs they like, I enjoy teaching them how to improvise and become more creative guitarists. I also cover music theory and guitar grades if desired.

As well as teaching, I’ve played in bands. I was the guitarist and singer for Sheldon. Over the years we did several tours of the UK and recorded an album: ‘Intravaganza’.

I am currently the bass player for Cowboy Jedi. I also perform and record as a solo artist: Captain Andy. I have an album up for stream at http://captainandy.bandcamp.com called ‘Gypsies, Heroes, Pirates & Beggars’.

I’m a big enthusiast of open mic nights and currently run one at The Bridge Inn in Chester on Sundays. In August 2013 I took a trip out to Toronto in Canada to play and document the open mic scene over there.

Chris The Veteran

Here’s some info on my background as a guitarist and also a music teacher:

“16 and bored with games”

Whilst in sixth form, a few of us lads decided that games on a Wednesday afternoon were a little tedious. So, inventive as only teenagers can be, we formed a band.

This permitted us to forgo getting muddy by tripping over a ball in a field, and instead ‘rehearse’ (I use the term loosely) in a derelict school outhouse.

Why am I telling you this? Well, one of these lads was already a bass player, another owned a drum kit, while yet another would look very good as a front man – that left a guitarist’s position for the taking. That’s why I bought a guitar… and I have never looked back since!

“Frets, plugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll”

I spent the next ten years of my life touring Europe with a band called Who’s Rachel? We wrote original material, played extensively in all manner of venues and generally had a jolly good time.

I have continued to write, perform, arrange, record, engineer and produce songs, using the guitar and voice as my principle instruments, ever since – that’s over 30 years now.


After having children and discovering the unparalleled delights of imparting knowledge, in 2005 I began to teach my daughter, and two of her friends, to play the guitar.

Since then, I have continued to teach music, both privately and at Derwen College, a specialist college for young adults with LDD. I have also had considerable teaching experience in Chester Primary schools and other local places of learning.

I have qualifications in teaching, music and audio engineering, am a member of the Registry of Guitar Tutors and constantly strive to increase my personal, professional development.

Steve The Songsmith

I first picked up a guitar at 17yrs to learn songs by The Beatles. I realised that I had a talent for songwriting and quickly created a decent set of songs and started gigging!

I’ve played in various bands and performed throughout the UK and Europe. I also spent 4 years performing as a professional musician in Spain.

I have a City & Guilds Level 4 Teaching qualification and completed the Rockschool Level 3 Music Educator Programme (Passed with Distinction).

I specialise in teaching lessons from beginner level and many of my students have taken Grade exams (I have a 100% pass rate!).

I regularly play live and can advise students on live performance and songwriting skills.

I have appeared in one of Brian May’s music videos and was lucky enough to meet him and get a signed guitar from him!

Here’s a video of me playing one of my own songs with my most recent band, “Jet Black Cadillac”.

Nick Super-Slinky

I’ve been playing the guitar for 25 years and teaching for over 20 years. I have extensive experience teaching students of all levels, styles and ages both privately and in the music school ‘Tafelmusic’. I trained in Withens Lane college on the Wirral, gaining a music diploma and grade 8 classical theory.

In addition to my private tuition I also work for the company ‘Music for life’ providing tuition in various Cheshire schools.

I’ve performed with a wide variety of bands over the years – including Rock bands, Heavy metal/thrash bands, Jazz ensembles, 50′s/60′s covers bands, and a The Doors tribute act.

I’ve also spent time as a professional composer and have a home studio where I currently write and produce my own music. I play lead guitar in the corporate function band ‘Slinky’ (playing rock, pop, funk and dance covers from the 50′s to now). My main areas of expertise in music tuition are: Rock lead guitar technique, improvisation, music theory and reading, classical and Jazz solo guitar, music technology including amps and effects and teaching children.

Jon The Hairy One

I specialise in teaching 60′s to current rock songs by bands like The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Muse, Oasis, Radiohead, The Doors and The Rolling Stones.

Growing up I was always mad about Music and Jackie Chan. These days I can’t go a day without playing guitar and I have the hair and Kung Fu skills of Jackie Chan himself….Well pretty much his hair 😀

After I finished school I found out that there was a Btec National Diploma in Music College Course near me, and I was there! I kickstarted my musical adventure and learned all about music theory, music tech and gigging.

When I started out, I had the passion to be a front man singing. After years of being in bands I decided it was time for me to learn more guitar skills for myself and to go it alone. I took a trip to Australia, bought a mini acoustic guitar and a beginners guide to guitar book and I never looked back.

Along with the help of a couple of great tutors I am now a fully qualified Grade 8 Acoustic Guitar tutor. The independence and creative freedom is amazing. I very much enjoy creating my own original songs and regularly play them at local open mic nights in and around Chester. Whether you want to learn some of your favourite songs or want help creating your own master pieces, I am more than happy to help 🙂

Mark TheWhizzkid

Playing the guitar has been a major part of my life since I was 11 years old. From my mid-teens through my 20’s I’ve gigged and recorded constantly with bands. Most notably with Chester band, The Suns.

We released our debut album Big Trouble In Little Deva in 2010 and have supported and shared bills with The Courteeners, Cast, Black Lips, The View, Howard Marks, Twisted Wheel, Dodgy, Kid British, The Buzzcocks and Razorlight.

I’ve been teaching guitar for around 6 years, both privately and at various music schools around Chester and Ellesmere Port (Chester Music School, Ellesmere Port School of Rock, ClivesEasylearn Music Schools).

I have a very varied taste in music so I’m comfortable teaching most styles of popular music (Rock, Indie, Hip-Hop, Pop, Metal, Blues, Country) and I’ve also taught and guided students though their Rockschool exams.

I firmly believe that learning the guitar is a very personal experience. What works for one person may not work for another. Some work towards exams while others just want to learn songs. Some people like Rock, some people like Hip-Hop. We’ll work around whatever you like best.

Rob The Patriarch

I learnt to play guitar in the 70’s when pants were even tighter than they are today and rock bands really rocked!

I’ve been teaching music for over 20 years and am a very versatile tutor. I enjoy the process of teaching and educating people in all aspects of guitar playing from simple chords through to more advanced theory.

I work part-time as a primary school teacher and spend the rest of the week teaching guitar and painting.

I’m happy teaching classic rock but also enjoy modern chart music and I specialise in making learning fun and exciting for kids.

RobThe Patriarch

Mike Academy Founder

I started playing the guitar when I was 15 and I instantly loved it. I could tell within a week or so that it was going to play a big part in my life. And so it proved. Over the years I started various bands and played hundreds of gigs in the UK, Europe and America.

Through most of my twenties I was in a rock band called The Mags and we were lucky enough to enjoy some real highlights including recording an album in America with some genuine music industry legends producing our first record: Danny ‘Kootch’ Kortchmar(Billy Joel, Carole King, John Lennon), Will Schillinger (The Beastie Boys, Aerosmith, The Ramones) and grammy award winning sound engineer Matt Shane. We gigged all over the world and as a huge football fan playing at the opening ceremony of the 2006 World Cup in Germany was very special.

Sting once said he didn’t need awards or money because “music is its own reward”. That’s easy for a multi-millionaire to say of course(!) but I honestly believe he’s right; it’s a magical thing.

Teaching guitar is something I enjoy immensely as I firmly believe that the gift of music is a priceless one, so it’s incredibly rewarding to help someone achieve their goal of learning a musical instrument.

Below you’ll find some pictures from my adventures over the years and a short vid-doc which was filmed during our third trip to the US and documents 24 hours in the life of the band.