Welcome to our 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 8: Rosie Rushton
Years studied 2009-2013
Course BMus (Hons)
First study Viola
I studied the BMus (Hons) course at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and graduated in 2013. I knew before coming to college that I wanted to be an educator. During my time at the Conservatoire, I volunteered with the charity Melody Music and was an apprentice for the In Harmony Telford and Stoke project, both of which I’m still involved in. It was here, I discovered my passion as a music educator working with individuals with additional needs.
After leaving the Conservatoire, I set-up Big Top Musical Adventures, a community interest company that creates and delivers multi-sensory music-making for people with additional needs. We work with schools, music hubs and in community settings across the West Midlands.
I also completed a Masters of Education and a MA in Social Research (Education) at the University of Birmingham. I’m now a PhD researcher, supported by ESRC, investigating how music can support play opportunities for children with profound disabilities. I work hard to share my academic research into music education, to publish my ideas and practice in journals, to give talks at conferences at home and abroad.
I love the challenge of creating accessible and meaningful musical opportunities for people. My role continually forces me to be imaginative and inventive, re-evaluating what is possible and questioning the ‘why’ behind my practice. The children and young people I work with are my greatest teachers. I hope to always be open to the things I can learn from them.
I’d encourage anyone to pursue a career in music education. Learn and research your field, know what you’re doing and understand why, ask questions, but most of all, develop your own teaching style, celebrate the small things, stay genuine, and always be prepared to be surprised.
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.