Teacher Hub

The Skinners School - the story of their new recording facility

Written by William Thompson15/09/23

Simon Hendry, head of music at The Skinners School, Tunbridge Wells, tells of the journey to achieving his dream recording studio.

"I first wanted to build a studio at our school after being in the school a few weeks as we are quite spoilt with one of the acoustics in the department. After a post on my own social media, a friend recommend I get in touch with William Thompson at Chamberlain Music, saying how good he was. They were not wrong. The attention to detail in the install was matched only by his understanding of what I wanted to do. His clear experience as a musician as well as working for Chamberlains and with schools shone through in every conversation. He was extremely patient with me as he kindly explained how and why different equipment was used (a lot has changed since I was using a studio in my university days!) and even after the install was so helpful in his communication, checking everything was working and that I could make the recordings work the way I wanted.

The initial stage was sitting in the space with William discussing what I wanted to do, and here he made recommendations on what could work and what had worked in previous projects. After the detailed plans and equipment list had been drawn up I then had the job of persuading the school to part with the money.

Whenever a question was asked, he responded with a clear explaination which always gave the member of management the understanding they required. The most exciting revelation for me was that we could have stage boxes in different parts of the department simultaneously. This has meant we can record all over the department with minimum fuss to a good quality, the only draw back being my own ability. At one stage there was some disagreement between the school site staff and William on the placement of some equipment, but William handled it brilliantly and calmly explaining why his original plan worked, the site staff agreed.

When it came to the install, I could not believe how quickly William completed it. There were some issues with the rest of the build with electrics not being quite ready. Despite this the technical install was finished on time and ready for the first day of the academic year.

I cannot fault any of the process and would recommend his services to anyone interested in installing a high-quality studio. We are so very grateful for all of his hard work in creating this amazing resource in our school.

We are having a lot of people ask to come and see the studio from other schools."