About us

Learn more about how and why we got started
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Music theory tells us how music works. It allows us to understand why certain music makes us feel happy, or why the soundtrack in action films makes the visuals so much more exciting. It’s also an integral part of any music student's learning journey - in fact for any student wishing to take an advanced exam on their instrument, they are required to pass the Grade 5 music theory exam first.

Unfortunately, for years music theory has been packaged as a boring set of rules which must be learned simply to pass an exam. This view is highly detrimental to students, and the lack of engaging resources is also having a negative effect on instrumental music teachers. 

The mission of Starling Music Academy is threefold; 
1) create interesting, accessible resources for students,
2) relieve pressure on instrumental teachers, and 
3) create well-paid, flexible jobs for musicians. 

We aim to solve the first of these issues by creating high-quality video tutorials, quizzes and revision materials which are delivered as a 100% online course. Online courses have become much more common in recent years, but we combine the best parts of traditional learning with the best parts of online learning through our course’s two unique features: firstly, each student receives a unique course plan which we create with the help of our specially developed algorithms, and secondly, every student is paired with their own personal music theory tutor. 

Instrumental music teachers are currently taking time out of their lessons to teach theory, but this is forcing them to give up valuable lesson time to focus on an area of music that they may not be qualified to teach, and often don’t enjoy teaching. By outsourcing this area of learning, the student will gain more contact time with their specialist teacher and also acquire another music tutor who will be able to provide them with new musical perspectives.

We are committed to creating jobs for musicians who have suffered financially as a result of the pandemic which can be completed around other commitments, such as practice, rehearsals and performances.
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Meet our founder

Rhiannon Jeffreys

Rhiannon is a professional musician, entrepreneur and the founder of Starling Music Academy.

In 2020, Rhiannon was named as one of the winners of Innovate UK’s Young Innovators Award and has been using this support, as well as support from the University of Hertfordshire’s Business Incubation programme, to help her realise her ambition of launching the first Starling Music Academy course - focusing on music theory. 

As a performer, Rhiannon has played at the BBC Proms and on the soundtrack for the production of ‘Small Island’ at the National Theatre. 
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We would also like to thank all of the people involved in Starling's journey so far, including the business advisors, content creators, marketing specialists and the testers who gave up their time to give us feedback on the course. Your input has been invaluable and we are incredibly grateful!
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We are fortunate to have been supported by