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Special Virtuosi CIC (SV) is a music group comprising children and adults with SEND. Founded in 2006, the SV staff are made up of musicians and teachers who support the students on a one-to-one basis. The group sessions are held weekly at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester. Our SV Orchestra is an inclusive group allowing those who have no prior experience to gain the benefit that playing music in a group brings. Making music at SV is a fun experience and alongside this we incorporate creative musicianship through a variety of games, composition skills and singing. 

We are all aware of the essential life skills that can be learned by working regularly with the arts. Music is a language understood by everyone and can help children and adults to develop communication and interpersonal skills, coordination and discipline, as well as being a great source of fun! We believe it is vital that people of all ages and abilities have the opportunity to engage with music.

We were delighted to be shortlisted as a finalist for the Music Teacher Awards for Excellence, Best SEND Resource 2017. To celebrate this achievement, SV were invited to perform on the performance stage at the Music and Drama Education Expo in London, February 2017. The Musicians' Union generously sponsored the trip, covering travel costs and also providing new tshirts for the performance. Performing at the Expo was a great experience for our students and we are very grateful to the MU for their support.

We look forward to the possibility of sharing our work with you in the future, get in touch via our contact page.

Meet the tutors

We are endebted to a dedicated team of tutors, all of whom work for SV on a voluntary basis. Their collective biographies feature professional work for the BBC Philharmonic, Manchester Camerata, the Halle, RLPO, RNS as well as peripatetic and classroom music teaching. We have qualified teachers, band-leaders, composers, all sharing their skills in the weekly sessions.


Management team

Noriko Tsuzaki, Director

Noriko's undergraduate studies took place at the University of Manchester where she studied the violin with Leland Chen and gained her MusB (Hons). She continued her studies at the Royal Northern College of Music studying violin with Thomas Kemp and achieving a Postgraduate Diploma in Performance and an MPhil in Performance. Noriko is passionate about teaching and currently teaches violin and piano at schools including Tudor Hall, Sibford and The Elms. She is also a tutor for the English Symphony Orchestra Children’s Orchestras which she helps organise the courses and coaches young musicians aged six to eighteen on courses during school holidays. Noriko plays with various orchestras around the country and is a member of the Darwin Ensemble Chamber Orchestra and the English Symphony Orchestra.

Kate Valentine, Assistant Director

Kate has built a successful career as a music teacher across the North West teaching privately and also classroom curriculum in schools. Since graduating from The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 2009, she has become a fully qualified teacher and is currently Head of Junior Music at Alderley Edge School for Girls. She also provides private music tuition on cello, piano and voice and in addition to her school commitments, Kate also trains the children's choir at St Peter's Church, Swettenham. 


Gemma Bass, Project Leader

Gemma grew up in Loughborough and completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Manchester. From there she went on to spend two years at the Royal Northern College of Music learning with Ben Holland, graduating with Distinction in 2009. Gemma is now a member of Manchester Camerata, the BBC Philharmonic and the Vonnegut Collective. Also interested in the use of music as a therapeutic and educative tool, she regularly leads and assists on education and outreach projects for organisations such as Special Virtuosi, BlueSci and as part of her job with the Camerata.