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 15: Benjamin Hill
Years studied 2011-15
Course BMus (Hons)
First study Saxophone
I studied at Birmingham Conservatoire from 2011 to 2015 on the BMus (Hons) Music Performance course, with my primary study being the saxophone. As a student at the Conservatoire I took the pedagogy module in my fourth year with Luan Shaw, which provided me with a valuable insight into musical education, applying practical and academic skills.
After graduating, I gained funding through Arts Connect to become an emerging practitioner in the arts, which enabled me to work with Richard Shrewsbury in RBC’s Learning and Participation Department. While working within the Department, I also started working at Services for Education, Birmingham as a specialist woodwind teacher and later at CSharp Music School in Stourbridge. In these roles, I ran whole class instrumental teaching in primary schools across Birmingham as well as small group instrumental teaching. One of the key projects I am currently involved with is SoundLab COV, an educational project led by RBC which aims to inspire young people to create, perform and engage with music.
What I enjoy most about teaching is the way music can inspire, uplift and give confidence to all involved. I would highly recommend students to have a career in music education, alongside gaining experiences in performing professionally. It is such a valuable skill to be able to teach, alongside which your instrumental skills always have to adapt and develop.
My advice to anyone thinking about a career in music education is to go out and try it, talk to local music services and educational leaders at RBC for work experience, and remember that whatever the teaching task, music is about the enjoyment of inspiring others to create and engage with the brilliant art form that is music.
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.