Management Team


Gordon Dodridge, Area Manager GBSM | DipMus | PGCE

One of two area managers for East Sussex Music, managing and leading an extremely motivated team of 40 Music Teachers is the best job ever ! I also oversee the leadership of both Hastings & Wealden Music Centres and manage the County’s Summer School.

My team teach 3,000 students in their schools each week, aged 3 – 18 year olds as whole classes, small group and individual lessons. My two Music Centres teach 400 students each week and 600 students attend Summer School each year.

I believe that developing positive relationships and embracing change are key for any organisation wishing to develop and thrive.

I was part of the first cohort to attend ‘Rising with the Tide’, a national part-time one-year course for leaders in music education with Open University accreditation. This has supported with the role of leading my team. One of the most valuable outcomes was in developing contacts with 30 other Music services throughout the UK and in maintaining an up-to-date knowledge of current developments in music education and how the different music services respond to these developments.

I am a qualified teacher with a post-graduate in performance studies as a high level performer of the Violin. I have played with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the English String Orchestra.

I am committed to providing equality of access for all students and I believe that students should be offered the very best in music education.


Simon Lock, Senior Manager. CMgr FCMI | FRSA | MBA | BMus(Perf)(Hons) | PGCE

I studied as a music scholar at Wells Cathedral School and the Royal Academy of Music before embarking on a career as a professional violinist, giving solo recitals, chamber concerts and playing in orchestras in the UK and Europe. I have also appeared on tv and film, recorded with artists such as Meatloaf and Gabrielle and provided music for a royal wedding.

I taught violin for over 20 years, specialising in whole class instrumental teaching. I also conducted a range of orchestras and managed projects and partnerships in music services in the South East with, among others, Mick Jagger, The London Philharmonic Orchestra, Glyndebourne, Barbican Creative Learning and The Academy of St Martin in the Fields. I co-authored a whole class teaching programme, edited a Makaton signing songbook and have led a range of national education initiatives such as transition, creative practice, youth migration, community cohesion and language development.

As Head of Slough Music Service I created a new service which, within 2 years, won 2 national awards for creative and innovative practice. Following roles as Head of Buckinghamshire and Bedford Services and studying for a Masters in Business Administration, I moved to East Sussex Music in 2016 as Senior Manager. I am a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts.

I have a passion for leading innovative and creative organisations, inspiring young musicians from diverse communities and preparing them for life in the 21st Century.


John Sims, Head of ESAM BMus | PGCE

John began his teaching career at a large secondary school and soon established a reputation for high-quality outcomes across music and the performing arts. He developed new strategies to ensure that students felt that music was an accessible subject for all, and oversaw growth in the performing arts during his time in this school.

John then worked as part of the management team for a music service in East London. This award-winning service ensured that it gave opportunities for 100% of children in Local Authority Schools an opportunity to engage with music and the arts. He continued to teach while in this post, both in the classroom an in a range of other settings, including as an instrumental teacher and as the head of a Saturday Music Centre.

John believes that outstanding teaching means putting music-making at the centre of every lesson, rehearsal or workshop. Through working practically and creatively he ensures that students are given the best possible chance of making musical progress in every single musical activity in which they take part. He has developed strategies to ensure that students are given opportunities to make music in authentic settings and with incredible musicians, and he understands the importance of working in partnership with other colleagues.

John has taken youth ensembles on many tours in Europe, Africa and the USA, and has ensured that his students play at incredible events and venues, including at the Barbican in London, at the O2 with Roger Waters, and at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics.