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Dr Tom Sykes

0151 291 3743

I studied for my undergraduate degree at Leeds College of Music on the jazz course, during which my First Study was violin and Second Study piano. I have an MA from the Open University and a PhD from the University of Salford. After working as a visiting instrumental teacher for Sefton Music Service I taught at the City of Liverpool College, leading HE Music provision there, and as a visiting lecturer at various universities including Salford and Edge Hill. I joined Liverpool Hope University in 2020.

I perform professionally around the North West and beyond, across a range of styles but specialising mainly in jazz and classical music with my own and other ensembles including Sonorous Quartet and St Helens Sinfonietta.

My role as a member of the Music staff team is predominantly in performance, overseeing music performance activities, seminars and assessment, as well as coordinating our Visiting Music Teachers who provide specialist one-to-one tuition. I am Level H Music Lead and I also have a role as the Lead for Postgraduate Research (PGR) across the School of Creative and Performing Arts. My current research interests are in bowed strings in jazz and the intersections between jazz, pedagogy and community.

Teaching Specialisms

Music Performance

Dissertation/MA Project Supervision (mainly popular music, jazz and music education)

Doctoral Supervision (as Research Advisor) for practice-based and education researchers in music

Professional Organisations/Networks

Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (AdvanceHE)

Member of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music

Member of the International Network for Artistic Research in Jazz

Member of the Jazz Education Network

Member of the Independent Society of Musicians

Composer member of the PRS for Music

Recent Works

Original arrangement of 'Scarborough Fair' (trad.) for Liverpool Hope University Big Band, performed at the Capstone Theatre in June 2022 and at the Eurovision Village Stage, Pier Head, in May 2023.

'El Barranco Francés' arranged for Mindset Ensemble, 2016. This was rearranged for Jazz Flute Big Band and performed at EFG London Jazz Festival, November 2016, and re-orchestrated for Liverpool Hope University Big Band in 2022.

Recent Journal Publications

‘Learning music for fun, not credit: the value of popular music practice in the extra-curricular university jazz ensemble’. IASPM Journal 13.1, pp. 99-121, 2023.

'Grappling with Grappelli: Contemporary jazz violin pedagogy and the legacy of gypsy jazz', Jazz Research Journal 13.1-2, pp.151-177. Co-authored with Ari Poutiainen, 2019.

Book Chapters

'Dissent, Resistance, and Music of Social Protest'. In The SAGE International Encyclopedia of Music and Culture, Janet Sturman (ed.), pp. 743-744, Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2019.

'Censorship'. In The SAGE International Encyclopedia of Music and Culture, Janet Sturman (ed.), pp. 484-485, Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2019.

'Making scenes: Social media and new conceptions of jazz communities'. In New Jazz Conceptions: History, Theory, Practice, Roger Fagge and Nicolas Pillai (eds.). Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 36-62, 2017.