Welcome to a new weekly series where we highlight 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 5: Rob Jones
Years studied 2011-2015
Course BMus (Hons)
First study Joint Principal Study Composition and Classical Saxophone
I studied at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire from 2011 to 2015 on a joint principal study course where I studied composition and classical saxophone. Since I graduated, I've been involved with music education in many ways, including teaching at RBC Junior Department – where I’m currently a Visiting Composition Tutor – and at a school in Warwick where I teach musicianship.
Perhaps my proudest achievement in music education has been co-founding Misfits Music in 2018, a Birmingham-based charity, which aims to bring people together through group music-making opportunities.
This project has seen me work with hundreds of local adults, guiding them through a range of workshops, concerts and other activities. I truly believe in the power of music to improve mental and physical wellbeing, so during the pandemic we have been working hard to keep members of our community together through socially-distanced and online workshops.
Our project, the Moseley Misfits sees me and another RBC alumnus Reuben Penny prepare arrangements that enable players of all instruments to all abilities to play alongside each other. In attempt to meet the demand from the many amateur guitar players in Birmingham, we also now run The Capo Guitar Group, which provides weekly group sessions for beginner guitarists to play together, improve their musical skills and make meaningful social connections.
I have found my roles in music education to be extremely rewarding. When a workshop or lesson goes well, I get such a buzz, and I love providing opportunities for people of all backgrounds to get the best possible musical opportunities. My advice to others pursuing a career in music education would be to always be prepared. I always have extra activities or ideas up my sleeve, as you never know what's going to happen in a workshop or lesson. For me, bringing music to other people is so enjoyable and has such a big impact on their lives – I couldn't recommend it enough.
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.