Welcome to our weekly series highlighting the great work that RBC alumni are doing in the field of music education.
Each week our guest will reveal insights such as what led them to do what they are currently doing, the projects they have been involved in since graduating, what inspires them on a daily basis, and what advice they would give to any music student considering working as a music educator in the future, whether full-time or as part of a rewarding portfolio career.
Episode 7: Dan Milverton
Years studied 2009-2016
Course BMus (Hons), MMus Performance and Pedagogy
First Study Saxophone
I studied BMus and MMus Performance and Pedagogy at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire from 2009 to 2016. During my BMus, I took part in the pedagogy modules run by Interim Vice Principal (Learning and Teaching) Luan Shaw, which first got me interested in music education.
As a result of this module, I took the MMus Performance and Pedagogy course to increase my knowledge and confidence in music education. This was a fantastic and insightful course that really made me consider how to be the best teacher I can be. I quickly found there is more to being a good teacher than just explaining how to play an instrument, and the course made me examine and evaluate how I relate and communicate with students.
Aspiring to create a life-long love of music in students is an incredibly rewarding vocation. Since leaving the Conservatoire, I have worked on various education projects with different orchestras and charities including the CBSO, InHarmony and Orchestra of The Swan. These projects immersed me in different settings from using music to engage and motivate students in low socio-economic areas to writing operas with children from special educational needs schools, which they then performed at Town Hall Birmingham.
Currently I teach saxophone at Repton School and King Henry VIII School, and work with a variety of ensembles from saxophone groups and jazz bands to concert bands. I’m fortunate to work in fantastic departments and with some incredibly passionate and talented students. The end of year concerts always amaze and fill me with a great sense of pride. Seeing hundreds of musicians come together and play some incredible music is always a privilege and a humbling experience. I also manage a busy performing career in pit bands and as part of a contemporary music duo based in the Midlands.
I would certainly encourage anybody to get involved in music education to share their love of music. The best advice I could give is not to be afraid to ask for help and support. Try to observe others teaching and try out your teaching on friends. There is a wealth of knowledge out there, and, in my experience, people are more than happy to share this when asked.
If you are one of RBC’s alumni and would like to take part in this feature, contact Interim Vice-Principal (Learning and Teaching) Luan Shaw, Head of Pedagogy Dr Adam Whittaker or Head of Learning and Participation Richard Shrewsbury.