Raising your game

Nigel Kennedy annoyed many music teachers annoyed last month by suggesting in The Guardian that they were teaching a standard formula, stifling creativity and producing factory lines of musicians. Now whether you agree with him or not, no teacher wants this for their students but it can be hard to make sure you’re always steering them on the right path. Teachers have to tailor music tuition to suit their student’s mind and body and endeavour not to teach them bad habits along the way. Finding the right way to approach each different student can be challenging and sometimes overwhelming.

In order to support these teachers and enable them to become the best they can be, the European String Teacher’s Association (ESTA) in partnership with Chichester University have created the UK’s first specialist string teaching qualification - the PG Cert. Aimed at all teachers from experienced private teachers and school peripatetics to new graduates building a teaching practice, the course culminates in a Level 7 qualification which develops practical teaching techniques as well as research, communication and curriculum-planning skills.

Developed by Richard Crozier, former Director of Professional Development at the ABRSM and teaching Fellow at Chichester University, Laura Ritchie, the course focuses on 4 main core units, covering teaching, learning, curriculum and technique. This flexible one year long online course includes a week long residency at Chichester University, with webinars, forums and discussions online as well as one to one sessions with each student’s own experienced teaching mentor who guides them through the course, coaxes and cajoles them if necessary, helping them to become a more rounded, confident teacher.

With this new course ESTA and Chichester University hope to raise the overall standard of string teaching in the UK which would in turn benefit the country’s musical life. The inaugural year begins in March 2017, completing in February 2018 and the deadline for applications is February 1st 2017. At a mere £2999 for this level 7 qualification we think it is money well spent for any teacher who wants to up their game...

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