Benedict Heaney – Multi-instrumentalist, Vocalist, Teacher from Oxfordshire

Benedict Heaney

A professional multi-instrumentalist & vocalist from Oxfordshire delivering enthusiastically and overwhelmingly positively received performances for the broadest age range, across the spectrum of ability, needs and experience.

Ben is constantly amazed that what started as a simple interest and enthusiasm for violin, prompted by the local violin teacher saying in school assembly, “hands up who wants to learn violin,” has been a constant in his career.

He has been involved with music making for as long as he can remember, starting with violin lessons about aged 6 and within a couple of years piano and trumpet lessons too. He quickly became fully immersed in the local, county and then national youth music scene and continued his studies at the Royal Northern College of Music. After graduating in 1993 with a special interest in electric violin he immersed himself in the music scene in Manchester and worked with the broadest range of musicians from a diverse cross-section of musical society.

After successfully completing a PGCE course at the Manchester Metropolitan University he gained Qualified Teacher Status in 1998 and the following year moved to Abingdon working for Maestros (formerly the Berkshire Young Musician’s Trust). In 2001, he was offered a full-time teaching post at Cokethorpe School where he went on to become their Music Leader and Performing Arts Co-ordinator.

Since 2014 he has launched his own company to publish educational resources and original music and work primarily as a self-employed musician serving the community across a very broad range of musical work.

– He directs the Abingdon Community Orchestra and provides weekly music workshops for early years learning, special learning needs and those with dementia related conditions in residential care.

– He recently founded a Music Health Service providing highly specialist and tailored live music experience for residents with dementia related conditions at care-homes; recovering stroke-victims in hospital and adults with severe educational and special care needs at support hubs.

– As an electric violinist he is currently performing with The Epstein, August List, Great Western Tears, The Hoolies and has recorded for DuoTone, Marc Canham, Death Of The Maiden and Waiting For Smith.

He holds music, learning an instrument and making music with people to be a fundamentally good activity for the individual and society. Music is a fabulous and powerful thing. Making music is one of life’s wonders and can be experienced fully from young to old. In his weekly work he engages with people in music from aged 4 to 94.