I'm interested in challenging expectations of what music education can and should be.

We are constantly being told that our young people need to be 'creative' and 'innovative' but music education, a field that should be an example to other disciplines, is often lacking in these two vital areas.

My ideas towards education projects, whether that is a workshop or a long-term project, focus on an experimental, collaborative approach. 

Putting an emphasis on 'making something' versus subjective ideas about what may be correct or incorrect practice leads to young musicians rediscovering a sense of fun in music education while at the same time engaging in progressive concepts of music-making.

Past clients include:

Sage Gateshead, EFG London Jazz Festival, Tall Ships Regatta 2016, Aldeburgh Young Musicians, Leeds College of Music, ChapelFM


''Chris Sharkey is a highly creative and dynamic musician, composer and teacher. He always delivers 100% on any project he undertakes.’'

Ros Rigby OBE, Performance Programme Director for Sage Gateshead 2004-2016, President of the European Jazz Network


''Chris has a unique way of getting his students to explore creativity in ways that really challenge their perception of both music in general but also their own capacity for music making. His personable and enthusiastic approach puts people at ease while allowing them to take creative risks, drawing the best out of each individual student. He conveys his extensive knowledge and experience in a clear and concise way, and his contribution to the workshop programme at Leeds College of Music has been invaluable.''

Kari Bleivik, Principal Lecturer and Foundation Year Curriculum Co-ordinator, Leeds College of Music


''Chris Sharkey is an innovative musician and facilitator. His creative and passionate approach to Learning & Participation projects and performances, inspires and enables participants from a wide range of ages, backgrounds and abilities''

Louise Dennison, Head of Learning and Participation, Serious 


"Chris knows how to make things happen. His direction is incredibly dynamic, and the result was a powerful performance with full expressive and creative engagement by the players. The audience loved it".

James Birkett - Course Leader BMus(Hons) Jazz, Popular and Commercial Music, Sage Gateshead 


"Chris Sharkey of TrioVD fame, alongside the East London Creative Jazz Orchestra (ELCJO), created a sensational, jaw-dropping free stage performance at the Barbican for the 2012 edition of London Jazz Festival.  The result of an intense, creative residency with ELCJO, Chris Sharkey and fellow TrioVD members Chris Bussey and Chris De Bezenac worked with the ELCJO and band leader Paul Griffiths to create new compositions, free improvised pieces and a re-working of existing TrioVD material especially for the Festival. 

 The project was a free stage highlight – a true testament to the commitment and passion Chris Sharkey and TrioVD share in inspiring a next generation of young musicians.  Outstanding!"

 The project was produced by Serious in partnership Barbican Creative Learning Team