Music has the power to transform lives – that’s the message from ATLP CEO Richard Gill, who joined more than 60 professionals at the West Midlands Music Quality in Teaching and Learning Day on 1 March.
Directors and senior managers from across the 14 West Midlands Music Services – a collective that seeks to improve the lives of communities through music – attended the key event at the University of Birmingham.
The focus of the day was a collective enquiry into, ‘What makes for quality in music services and education?’. Richard Gill was among the speakers and delegates, who included former national schools commissioner, Sir David Carter, now executive director of system leadership at Ambition School Leadership and the Institute for Teaching; Abigail D’Amore, West Midlands Music strategic partner; Chris Jones, West Midlands Music chair and Mandie Hayward, headteacher of Old Park Primary School.
The day aimed to broaden professionals’ understanding of the fundamental aspects of music delivery, so that they can feed that back to school leaders to improve music quality so that children and young people get better tuition and support.
During his presentation, Sir David Carter posed the questions,“What does a quality experience look like? How do you collaborate with purpose to make change happen?’ He said:
The teaching of music and the position of music in schools is something I am passionate about. There has never been a greater need for children to be exposed to music’
National leader of education, Richard Gill, is chair of the Teaching Schools Council. As well as his ongoing commitment to education and school system leadership, Richard is passionate about music. Following on from his tuba studies at Huddersfield University, the keen musician mixed his love of music through teaching as a peripatetic music teacher and as a freelance musician, performing in a number of nationally acclaimed brass ensembles and orchestras and working as a conductor/musical director in the professional theatre.
Having committed himself to teaching, Richard became a full time teacher for Staffordshire Music Service, eventually becoming an area manager coordinating peripatetic instrumental teaching in South Staffordshire and providing a range of ensemble opportunities for local people across Codsall and Wombourne.
Music enriches children’s experiences and helps to shape their lives. It brings together students, staff and parents. Mandie was right when she said there isn’t any other subject where all children can perform alongside their peers and get a reaction from an audience. Like sport, music students core skills such as independence, collaboration and team work. We need to engage more young people in music by asking them what they want and by giving them access to quality provision, that’s relevant, enjoyable and purposeful. It was a great opportunity to meet so many dedicated professionals who are equally committed to supporting music quality in teaching and learning. What an absolute privilege to work, once again with Sir David – every moment I spend with him adds so much value to what I aspire to achieve. Next time, we will look at how we can embed excellence across all schools to reach even more children and young people by passing on the lifelong gifts of music and education.”