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About Me

I was around sixteen years old when I pleaded to my parents for guitar lessons.  I was immersing myself in the music of the classic blues and rock greats of the 60's and 70's and bands of the day like Dire Straits, Camel, Gary Moore and I was hooked on the sound.

Regular lessons taught me good technique and a desire to practice and improve. It was art though, not music, that had the biggest appeal and several years at various art colleges followed.


After a stint of working overseas, I settled back in Cheltenham,  took a number of Rockschool Grade exams in guitar and bass and focussed on music studies again.

Bass guitar became a passion, as did teaching others. And then a few years ago came the drums... well, I just had to find out out if I could do it!  After all, my own dad had been a drummer, and though long retired, the kit was still packed away in his loft......

I was still at school when I fell in in love with sharing what I had learned and had my own first students. Building a teaching business grew in stages and in between bringing up my family, with the most recent ten years established here in Cheltenham. 

Now with forty years experience and thousands of lessons delivered, I still have the same passion to share the fun and rewards of learning to play an instrument - whether you're coming back to music after maybe many years, or considering it for the very first time.


Adult Band Workshops, writing arrangements and organising gigs are projects that have grown from my one-to one teaching business.  As for performing, it's recently on the drum kit that I have had opportunities to play and gig with various bands including the wonderful Glevum Big Band.

Niki Stokes Drums
On drums with Glevum Big Band

 "Niki is a really inspiring teacher, She has a really calm laid back manner which puts me at ease. I am a total beginner but Niki has got me playing along to recognisable songs with confidence!"

"If you’re thinking of starting lessons then contact Niki, she’s a great teacher and in my case, very patient. Fun and full lessons in a cool studio environment. Can’t recommend her highly enough."

"I had a crash course on the drums and Niki was the best music teacher I've ever had! - She taught me a lot and the lessons were fun and relaxed. Thank you so much!"

"Niki does a great job of one on one tuition, I've been going to bass guitar lessons for a few months now and can say I really love the lessons, I come away feeling like I have learnt something."

—  Liz, Adult Student

—  Pete, Adult Student

—   Natalia, Adult Student

—  Steve, Adult Student

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