Seven UK music teachers across the UK have received honours at the 15th annual Classic FM Music Teacher of the Year Awards. The presentations were made across three nights at the Music for Youth’s Schools Prom concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, in front of a live audience of thousands.
The judges were looking for primary, secondary, peripatetic and private music teachers, as well as those who work with SEN children, who have made a real difference to the musical lives of young people. The awards were presented by a number of high-profile guests, including film producer Lord David Puttnam, Homeland star Damian Lewis and Skyfall director Sam Mendes. The winning teachers will each receive musical equipment and instruments from Yamaha and software from Avid. Prizes from the Musicians’ Union will also be awarded to the winners of the Private and Peripatetic music teacher categories.
Classic FM’s managing director, Darren Henley, said: ‘Every single day, inspirational music teachers change the lives of thousands of young people across the country, helping to develop Britain’s next generation of brilliant musical talent. We’re proud that our awards celebrate the outstanding work of the UK’s very best music teachers inside and outside the classroom.’
After a particularly strong round of entries, the judges decided to award this year’s Primary School Music Teacher of the Year jointly to Kate Smart (Corpus Christi School, Lambeth) and Siobhan Martin (Holy Cross Boys’ Primary, Belfast). Secondary School Teacher of the Year went to Rebecca Lewis (Parkside Federation Academies, Cambridgeshire), and Matthew Tiffany (North Leeds Music Centre) was awarded the Peripatetic Music Teacher of the Year. Shropshire flute teacher Claire Hennie was named Private Music Teacher of the Year, and the Special Education Needs Music Teacher of the Year was awarded to Jocelyn Watkins (Treloar School, Hampshire).
The prestigious Lifetime Achievement award went to Peter Bridle (King Edward’s School, Birmingham), in recognition of the outstanding contribution he has made to music education over the last 46 years.