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 10: Sam Wyne
Years studied 2009-2013
Course BMus (Hons)
First study Euphonium
I studied the BMus (Hons) course from 2009 to 2013. My first study was euphonium, second study trombone and I opted for the teaching pedagogy module in my final year. During my third year, I took part in the Erasmus exchange scheme. I went to Leuven in Belgium and studied with Nick Ost at the Lemmensinstituut. On my return, I won the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Brass Prize in my final year. I was also a finalist in the Birmingham Philharmonic Concerto Prize and the Doris Newton Music Club Prize.
Within a week of leaving the Conservatoire, I was appointed as a brass teacher at Berkshire Maestros, the county music hub in Berkshire. At the start of 2016, I was promoted to Area Senior Leader for West Berkshire and held various roles within the management team before leaving in February 2021 after starting a family. I am a brass teacher, member and trustee of Wantage Silver Band, and will be working on a number of educational projects and partnerships in the future.
Throughout my time at the Conservatoire, I had many opportunities to help young people. I was a mentor for the Junior Conservatoire, Musical Director for Gresley Colliery Youth Band and undertook the New Horizons programme delivered by Quench Arts in partnership with Birmingham Music Education Partnership. It was these experiences, coupled with the pedagogy module, that helped me to realise that I wanted a career in music education.
In my teaching practice, I enjoy helping young people to achieve their potential and to be ambitious. I hope that every young person I teach will develop a life-long love of music whether that be professional or just as a hobby.
The most rewarding moment in my career in music education so far has to be conducting Wantage Youth Brass at Birmingham Symphony Hall in the Music For Youth National Festival. I’ve been to and performed at this venue many times, but conducting a group of talented young people on this stage, after months of preparation, was very special indeed. As well as this, the sense of accomplishment I felt when successfully crowdfunding £18k to start up 20 new baby/toddler music classes across Berkshire was immense. It was this achievement alongside the work I do at Wantage Silver Band that led me to be awarded the Brass Bands England Social Impact Award in 2020.
I would absolutely encourage students to pursue a career in music education. More than ever, the arts needs graduates to enter into careers in music education and to fight for their prestige and value in society. Without music, the world would be a very dull place. If I could offer advice, it would be to gain as much experience, network with as many people in music education as possible and never say ‘no’. This certainly paid off for me, and I’d be happy to speak to any graduates who are thinking of entering a career in music education.
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.