As term starts again and music teachers around the country prepare to set up and run ensembles in their schools, we catch up with Modulo Leader extraordinaire Sarah as she reflects on her experience working with Orchestras for All as part of the Modulo Programme. Find out more about the programme and how you can get involved by visiting the Modulo page on our website.
Why did you sign up to the Modulo Programme?
Our students play lots together in school but I wanted to broaden their scope. The Modulo Programme encourages young people from different backgrounds to play a range of culturally diverse Music together and gets them out playing at terrific venues nationally.
What are the main challenges you face as a music teacher?
Lack of time! I teach in a fabulous 11-18 school with lots of keen musicians. We offer a range of courses including Arts Award, GCSE, BTEC and A Level as well as a vibrant extra-curricular offer including joint Musical Theatre projects with our Divisional colleagues in Drama and Dance.
How did the Modulo Programme benefit you and your students?
I loved the differentiated resources and well-orchestrated music. The materials supplied by Modulo addressed common misconceptions and encouraged students to get involved with music they might otherwise never have experienced. Modulo sent musicians from the BBC Philharmonic to work with our students to develop their work further by applying their learning to a professional environment. My students adored the Modulo ensemble days at Manchester and were inspired by their gig at the Royal Academy of Music where they experienced studying music at an internationally renowned venue with conductors working with ensembles such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Berlin Symphony. Cultural Capital indeed!
You’ve also been involved with Conductors for Change. Why did you come, and how did it help?
I’m always looking to develop my practice and am specifically working to make progress with my conducting skills. It was fantastic to work with Justin Fung who gave some brilliant one to one differentiated tuition on how to improve my conducting technique. This has had a huge impact on both the clarity of my directing and a consequent improvement in the sound created by our ensembles.