Meet the team

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Oliver Crooke

Deputy Head of Music Service

After a long training in classical music, and a childhood growing up in Africa, Ollie became a professional bassist, playing and recording in punk bands, rock and jazz bands, and a large number of African bands around the world until around 2000, when he joined Hackney Music Service as it started. Initially responsible for ICT Music development, and the production of events such as the annual Festival, he now also manages the peripatetic tutors teaching in our schools.

Prior to this, during his performing career, in the 1980s and 90s Ollie also taught bass and music technology in most of Hackney's secondary schools, and also ran 3 large scale community music programmes on various estates in the borough. He also set up music departments in HMP Holloway and Pentonville. His very first student, at around age 19, was whilst on tour with The Clash, when Joe Strummer asked him to explain how major scales work. He was very excited to find out, after a couple of lessons, and Ollie realised he was capable of explaining things clearly, so it was a mutually beneficial (unpaid!) experience! Since then, Ollie has taught many people who have gone on to play professionally with major artists in all sorts of musical genres.