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Music for Education & Wellbeing Podcast [23] TRANSCRIPT: Ije, Victoria and Ross, music tutors at Hertfordshire Music Service

AH: Hello, it’s Anita here and welcome to this month’s podcast. In this episode I’m talking with Ije Amaechi, Victoria Port and Ross Lanning who work as music tutors for Hertfordshire Music Service, and we’re going to be talking about reflective practice. Why I thought you’d be interested is that if you employ or contract music tutors it’s a really powerful way that they can grow their skills to work with a range of young people for a range of outcomes, including young people with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. And to give you a bit more background, the work they’re doing also forms part of Changing Tracks. This is a programme of support and learning for music services wanting to improve equality, diversity and inclusion. It’s run by Hertfordshire Music Service and funded by Youth Music, and is part of the Alliance for a Musically Inclusive england. 

I’m recording this introduction after the interview because I wanted to apologise for the poor sound quality. Thankfully this has only affected my questions, not the tutors’ answers so I really hope this won’t spoil your experience too much.

So thanks for waiting patiently Ije, Victoria and Ross while I gave that rather long introduction. Welcome and thank you, it’s great to have you here. I don’t know if you each want to say hello?

IA: Yeah, hi, I’m Ije.

RL: Hello, I’m Ross.

VP: Hi, Victoria.

AH: Brilliant. And this is the first time I’ve done a podcast with three people who are together in a room and trying to socially distance, so this should be interesting. I’ll crack on with the questions, and I wanted to start really by asking each of you to tell me a little bit about how you ended up doing what you do today, and perhaps, why it’s important to you?

IA: So yeah, I started off by actually being in Hertfordshire Music Service as a participant. Going to Songwriter workshops and also performing at the Royal Albert Hall for their Summer Schools Gala. And then I went to university, I went to SOAS (University of London) and did a degree in music and development studies and then in my final year, second year, I started working as a trainee for Herts Music Service doing music tutoring and workshop leading, and then became a full, part-time tutor for them. And now I’m doing some project officer work and evaluation reporting, and yeah, it’s important to me because I was always interested in music and I did some grades in piano but then it didn’t really connect with me in the same way as like when I was playing the guitar, or learning the ukulele or songwriting. So I wanted to be able to have the music service be a bit more accessible, and for people to be able to be part of it from all different backgrounds, and to be not just do grades but have different ways of making music that suited them. 

AH: Oh, that’s brilliant. It’s amazing that you’ve come up through the music service and ended up in the music service and you’re starting to help to make change in the music service. That’s brilliant.

IA: Thanks, yeah.

RL: So yeah I’m Ross, and I have been learning guitar since I was 12. And I’ve kind of done my stuff through the music service as well because I had lessons, peripatetically, during school time. So I’ve come up through that, er, did my A-levels and then I went to university in Brighton, studied at BIMM, and from there I came back and I was planning on moving back to Brighton but I started volunteering, teaching drums and guitar at a school in Stevenage. And from there I saw one of my old music teachers which used to be teaching me A-level when she came to the school and then she moved on to become the head of the music service in Stevenage which is Christina. And she saw, and kind of worked through that and ended up getting an interview and kind of coming through that, and yeah, being in the place where I am now. So I started working in SEND, working with a company called Funky Pie, and then getting loads of different work. And being a one-on-one guitar teacher, working in groups, and doing ukulele, guitar, drums, bit of everything really. So I’ve got the background of playing lots of different instruments, and now I’m here teaching lots of different students across the Hertfordshire lots of different instruments which is fantastic. And how I got into the nurture group stuff I was kind of put forward for it, and it’s been really, really good to put everything that we’ve done, all that I’ve learned already kind of into practice. And come from it in a little bit of a less formal way, of kind of the graded system and look at how we can teach music as something to be fun and something to be experienced rather than being x, y and z that you need to do this which I think is fantastic. 

AH: Oh, that sounds amazing. And you mentioned nurture groups, a lot of listeners might not know what that is. Do you want to say really briefly what a nurture group is in the context of Hertfordshire Music Service?

RL: Yeah, so a nurture group is based within different schools around Hertfordshire – mainly I work within Stevenage – and it’s identifying different students that may not have the best of mainstream backgrounds during school time. So they may have problems with anxiety, fears, some may have autism and loads of different students around the areas that we teach, and they all kind of congregate into one lesson and we use our music to make them included and to learn something. Kind of reflect on things and become part of a group and hopefully iron-out some of the things that they may have troubles with in their life. 

AH: So it’s basically what people might know as small group music mentoring isn’t it? That you’re working with young people partly to help them sort of re-engage with education and also to improve their wellbeing?

RL: Yeah, definitely. 

AH: How they feel about being in school, it’s an amazing project. And Victoria, I wanted to come to you. Thanks Ross.

VP: Yeah, so I started playing the violin when I was about four, five. The Suzuki method and again kind of went through the music service, played a couple of instruments, kind of was there, lived at the music centre. Went to University, went to the same university as Ross but at a different time, and then when I graduated I was really lucky to be signed by Giles Petersen and released an album with Brownswood [label] and then kind of toured a lot, did lots of fun stuff and writing. When I got married we decided to move back home and I kinda really wanted to re-engage with the music service. Because I really feel like where my musical journey started and I kinda wanted to be like some of those teachers that gave me that kind of encouragement and that confidence to become a professional musician. 

AH: Oh, amazing. What a great group of music tutors. Thank you. So can you tell me how reflective practice fits into your work, and into the training mix for you? And also, what it actually is?

RL: Yeah, so, reflective practice. We started about, I think, about two years ago now, from us kind of getting into a room with other teachers that work with the nurture groups that I just talked about. It kinda started off where we didn’t necessarily know everyone one who was in the group but we’ve got to a point now where we’ve all kind of created really, really good bonds and what the reflective practice is is that we come with ideas that we might have or problems that we might have within lessons that have arisen, and talk them through and think of ways we might be able to improve certain things within our lessons which is a really, really beneficial thing for I think all of us, because it helps gather this kind of mentality that we’re all in the same boat and that we’re all working together for this, but also help us come up with different ideas that we can envision and put into our practices in loads of different schools around Hertfordshire. 

IA: Yeah, and it helps us talk about training we’ve had separate to critical reflection of reflective practice as well, and then we can discuss that training. Like we had some training by Darren Abrahams who talks about trauma and the nervous system and how music can help regulate it. And it taught us all a lot, and we’ve all applied it in different ways to our lessons. But then we can also discuss that, and what worked well, and how we adapted it. So, yeah, not even just discussing our own reflection and what issues we’ve had but also the training we’ve had as well.

AH: Interesting. So it’s not just about sort of working out technical things to do with your music lessons or your music groups, it’s more to do with the people side of it, the people work? Is that right? You’re sort of very aware of how you’re responding in the room with young people and how they’re responding to you. For example, behaviour, you can talk through how you dealt with it, how the young person responded and how you can perhaps improve in the future. Would that be a good summary?

VP: Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s really about creating this kind of environment of like person-centre teaching and a person-centred approach. So, it’s really about the student and the individual, and figuring out the best way to, we’ve all got such different ways of learning, and different ways that we kind of respond and react to things, and I think it’s definitely about being really person-centred like you were saying. 

AH: And so how do you actually learn the skill of reflective practice? I’m just sort of thinking some tutors might think, ‘Well I actually already do that. I’m thinking all the time about how to improve my lessons’, but it’s a very definite skill and sort of structured process isn’t it I understand?

IA: Yeah, and I guess there’s some more personal on your own process and then one that we have within inclusion teachers in Herts music service. So we have critical reflection meetings and they’re every, well, half-a-term, so we have once half-a-term, and we have like the same kind of group of people, I think there’s like six to eight of us, and so sometimes I’ll record just little voice notes at the end of my lessons, just asking questions like, ‘What went well, what didn’t go so well, what stood out from that lesson’. And then you can kind of take that to your critical reflection meeting as well, to discuss, to raise any issues you’ve had. And then it’s kind of really positive because you have people there, music tutors, who have had maybe similar experiences or have had the same issue and have known how to overcome them, and you can discuss that, and kind of give advice to each other in a non-judgemental way. 

AH: So there’s this kind of formalised process that you have which is these critical reflection groups, and then there’s the reflection that you get into the habit of doing every week. Can you tell me a little about getting into the practice of doing it every week. Do you actually sort of formally set aside some time before and after each session with a young person or group of young people, or are you just thinking during the time that you’re teaching? Because I’ve heard somebody talk about reflecting before, reflecting during, reflecting after practice?

IA: Yeah, I think I definitely reflect throughout, but I make a conscious effort to reflect at the beginning just to kind of set out what I want to achieve in that lesson with some obviously flexibility because of the kind of young people we’re working with. But then also during, you’re kind of being conscious of what’s going on and maybe what isn’t working so well, which young people are struggling or doing really well. And then afterwards, I think, because especially if you’re busy, you’re going off to the next lesson, it’s important just to have that little bit of time in between, or even at the end of the day when you can just reflect and either record it, or write notes down so that you have it there, rather than just having to rely on your memory a week later.

RL: Yeah, I think it’s really important as well that we kind of get the idea that, you don’t always need to necessarily pin it down to, ‘Oh I’m only going to reflect at this time’. I’m gonna reflect at every single kind of occasion when something comes around. So if something is thrown up in a lesson, I think it’s really good to reflect on it then, and maybe even change it at that point when you see something isn’t necessarily working, but you might see an outcome of something else. But I think, like, what we’ve all talked about before, in our critical reflection sessions is that even having the idea of a reflection session it brings it into your teaching more. Whether to think that, ‘Oh this is going really, really well’, ‘This is going really bad’, ‘What can we do to improve this?’, and I think there’s a constant thing that you think of. And yeah we’ve talked about the time like at the end of a session as well, which I think is really important, and I normally do mine at the end of a day when I write stuff down, but again when you’re actually in the thick of it, then sometimes it’s really good to really reflect on it while you’re doing something.

AH: So do you have specific questions that you use for that personal reflection? Do you have, I don’t know, one or two or three prompts to guide your reflection?

VP: The most important question is always, ‘Why?’. As we said, we kind of celebrate the things that went well, we also think that some things didn’t go quite so well. But it’s always asking why those things happened. So why did that child behave in that way?, or why did that particular activity go really well? And you really start to dissect all of the different elements of what you’re doing. But I think the questions are kind of based, you always have a general set of questions like, ‘How did the children respond to X?’, or ‘Why didn’t this go quite as well as I thought it would?’. But I think all of the questions do kind of change depending on what the session kind of was about, and what the activities were. And what difficulties you came up against, or what good things you kind of engaged with.

IA: Or even which activities had the most positive impact, or if you had a particular couple of students struggling with if you did a different activity and how the young people responded to that. And then you can take that to the critical reflection meeting and discuss that or someone might give you an idea in a meeting about an activity that works for them.

AH: So if somebody was listening as a music tutor who doesn’t currently use reflective practice in a sort of formal way and thinks that, ‘Actually I’d like to start doing that’, what would be some good starting questions for them to ask themselves after each session?

VP: I guess the best way is just a general, ‘How did the session go?’. So I think kind of reading the room and just getting a feel for were the children happy? Were they engaged? Were they bored? Were they particularly challenging in behaviour? I think just getting a real kind of brief overview and asking yourself how you think that went? Which I guess we do just as tutors and as teachers anyway. You kind of constantly critically reflecting even if you don’t realise that you’re necessarily doing it. And then I guess a little bit more in-depth, so moving on to each activity that you’ve done and questioning why it worked?, or why it didn’t work? Just you know, I think they’re the really good questions to start with. Would you add anything else?

RL: Yeah, I’d totally agree with you on that to be honest with you. I think that when starting to think about this kind of critical reflection you look at all of the points in your life regardless of what you do when you reflect on things and try to bring that into your practice. Because if you learn stuff that is good and will work, the next day that you might go to teach somewhere else it might not work. Why might it not work? And why might it take something else?

IA: Yeah and it helps challenge your own preconceptions or ideas about which music works best, or which activities work best. And taking a more personal approach to it, of that young person you’re working with or that group of young people, and actually just going with the flow a little bit, and how they’re responding, and not just doing what you think is going to be the best before you’ve even met them. 

AH: Absolutely. I think that’s one of the most powerful things isn’t it? And I was going to go on and ask you how it benefits you as a tutor, how it benefits the young people, and the organisation you work for? So perhaps you could just talk a little bit about that, about how it sort of benefits you as a tutor, and one of those massive things is the growth you probably experienced in maybe challenging your own assumptions and biases? I think that probably happens more in the group, is that right?

RL: Yeah, I’d say so. Like especially with working with other tutors in line with it and is really, really important, and it’s helped my practice like crazy. I think it’s something that we’ve talked about quite a lot with our sessions is that sometimes we’ll be in a boat and we’ll feel like it’s sinking, and that we’re by ourselves. But when we actually come to a session, and there’s other people that are having relatively similar problems. It’s really, really good to be able to talk them out because we work really heavily in a one-on-one environment, where we’re just the sole teacher, and then when we come to the critical reflection meetings we can talk about these problems that we’re having. Like it is that whole thing of, ‘Ah OK, it’s almost like a whole weight off our mind, that this isn’t just happening to me.’ But, how do we then improve this? And then other people will offer their ideas, and then ask us the question of ‘Why?’, and how we might go around this. Which I think has definitely helped me out personally as a tutor. 

VP: I think it really challenges traditional teaching theories. So we all kind of have these ideas, especially when I was growing up, that this is what you do and this is how you learn, and you do this exam and then you do this exam and everything else. And I think now, whether or not we want to accept it or not, we all have unconscious bias and I think it’s really important for us to dismantle some of that and to really challenge ourselves in what we assume that students will like, that we assume what they’re capable of. I mean there’s so many different things that we don’t even realise that we’re thinking, and I think that’s where critical reflection really helps you grow as a tutor. It’s that continuous learning isn’t it really.

IA: Yeah. And also the fact that we’re meeting all different tutors with different experiences and backgrounds, so again that’s challenging your biases, and you can talk about things and just learn from people with different music backgrounds as well. People who’ve done lots of grades, or had 20 years experience of teaching, or some who’ve released records and stuff. So yeah, it’s good to challenge that as well and what we value as music tutors.

AH: In your group sessions, can you give me a couple of examples of the sort of problems you might bring, so that people can really understand what those group sessions might be like.

RL: Yeah, for example, I was having problems with a few challenging students and I was finding it quite difficult to be able to rule out some of the bad behaviour I guess, the behaviour management side of it. When there were other people that were in the class as well who were being absolutely fine. And sometimes it would take the dynamics to a place where I didn’t necessarily want it. So I came and proposed this question to the group about how I could get around this, and one thing that came out was, an idea and a set of rules. But not me making a set of rules and being very authoritative, but putting it into the students hands, ‘What do we feel like a good classroom environment follows, and what kind of aspect should we all follow to make this group the best thing that it can be?’, and posing the question to the students to get them to make the answers. And when they made the answers and stuff it was really, really good because it took the authority away from me and gave the power to them, and the students themselves started implementing it. When someone was stepping out of line slightly, it was bringing other students to be kind of well we can’t do that because that’s not part of what we should be doing. We should set these rules out and we should follow them because we are the ones who took hold of it, I guess, yeah. 

AH: Yeah, definitely. Any other examples?

VP: I think that the thing that I really struggled with initially, were students who weren’t very confident, and would be quite withdrawn, and wouldn’t want to try and would kind of speak quite negatively about themselves. And then we were really lucky to have some training from Darren Abrahams about meeting students at their level. And I think before reflective practice and before that training I would often go in really high energy and really, I’ve said it before, almost a bit like a children’s TV presenter. Just try to make it really, really fun and really engaging and that was what I thought the young people wanted. And then kind of reflecting back and doing that training and meeting people at their level, so you know if someone is feeling a bit more shy or a bit more withdrawn then actually, you know bringing everything down a little bit and being a bit calmer and then building the energy up. And that was something that I had to kind of reflect on and then found and brought to the group and we all talked about it and then found that going back to those lessons I was able to engage with those students a lot more, giving them more time to come into themselves rather than it being really full-on straight away. 

AH: So reflective practice also kind of sharpens your antennae, I’m not sure if that’s the correct metaphor, but makes you just very much more attuned to what’s happening moment to moment in the room with the participants.

RL: Yeah, I think it’s really important as well because it helps you understand about  how to read a room even more. I think we’re all as musicians, I think we’re all pretty good at that anyway, but I think it’s really, really important that you kind of take it into a, like what you said, we’re sharpening our antennae and being aware of these things to be able to sort out situations and get the best out of the students at the end of the day. I think that’s the most important thing, and they should be at the centre of everything that we do.

AH: So it sounds like reflective practice definitely links really firmly into youth voice?

IA: Yeah, definitely. You want your lessons to be child-led, and youth voice is at the centre of that. So, instead of just having that opinion on your own or going to the school and doing that, it’s like it kind of reinforces the importance of it and the meaning behind it because you all believe it.

AH: It sounds as though for you as tutors, personally, it builds your skills and builds your confidence, and helps your sessions be far more successful, so that you feel better about them. And also I’m guessing when you’re working with young people in particularly challenging circumstances, obviously you’re not music therapists, and you don’t suggest that you are, but it’s actually quite important sometimes, I guess, for your own wellbeing to be able to talk to other people?

IA: Yeah, definitely. Because, yeah a lot of the time you might have a lesson that’s quite difficult and you don’t have anyone to talk to straight away about it. So just to have that support network, even if you like have your own WhatsApp group as well, it can be really, really helpful.

RL: Yeah, I agree with that. It’s just nice to even share your achievements sometimes because you wanna feel like some kind of self-worth, or I guess, that feeling that we’re all in this together. There are people making good things going on, there are bad things that are happening too, but we can work on that. We can get ideas on how we can improve our practice, but yeah, it’s just really important to just to have that space where we can all share all the positive things that we’re doing. I think it’s great.

AH: That’s a really good point actually because we have been focussing on the sort of negatives but obviously you’re sharing good practice as well aren’t you, and things that have worked?

IA: Yeah. One time I was doing some percussion with some young people and they were quite young, maybe six years-old, but then two of the boys wanted to start dancing around, because we had a massive hall space. So instead of saying, ‘No, sit down’, and then maybe they would start misbehaving or disengage, I said, ‘OK, yeah, you can move as long as you’re still making music’. And so then I talked about that with the group and everyone was kind of thinking, ‘Oh that sounds really nice’, and yeah, including movement in it is especially a good thing if it can be managed well. 

AH: Yeah, again I suppose it helps you to be able to understand what young people are wanting to do in any moment, but also using that negotiating skill is really important working with young people.

IA: Yeah.

AH: And so there’s really loads of benefits to you as tutors to doing sort of reflective practice both individually and as a group in critical reflective sessions. And it sounds as if we’re beginning to talk about the benefits for young people that you work with. So, what else would you say are the benefits to the young people that you work with?

VP: I think that, like, as I said earlier, I think just that real person-centred approach rather than this like one box fits all method of teaching. We’re really kind of focussed on the child and that means that they actually get the most out of their session. And I think it definitely also builds confidence and allows them to also create really positive relationships with us which hopefully then they can transfer you know to other adults in kind of positions of power, teachers or whoever else, or their parents, or even just other social interactions with other children. I think it’s just, hopefully really changes just the way that we interact with young people and how they kind of view us and how we do them. I think that’s really positive.

RL: I think it’s really important to, that we’re kind of showing these young learners and stuff that we are helping them try to find their own voice. I think that that’s the most important thing to take from it. With everything that’s related to my guitar playing it’s taking all of the bits that I found really interesting, that I liked through my life, not that anyone’s told me that I need to take, and I’ve used that and immersed it into my playing to find my own sound and to find my own voice. This is just, because it’s so student-led, that it’s helping them find the things that they like about music and how we can use that to help them start creating. Creation on an instrument or with your voice or with your hands and with your movement, I think it’s the most important thing to show expression is to get something out which I think is something that we really try to go for in our sessions.

VP: And can I just add that I also work at the other end of the spectrum. I work with older people with dementia, doing kind of activities based around the principles of music therapy, and there are so many older people that I meet that say, ‘I don’t want to sing’, or ‘I don’t want to engage’ initially because they say, ‘I was always rubbish at school. My teacher always said I wasn’t very good at singing’, blah blah blah. And I just think it would be really nice if we could create a generation of people who actually don’t get to 80 and say, ‘I can’t sing because I was told I was rubbish when I was eight’. That’s kind of also where I see it linking in.

AH: Ah, that’s interesting. So that all links back to the whole idea of community music practice and also about, you know the division that’s grown in our society between us as people who are innately musical, and with this idea that only special people can do music.

IA: Yeah.

VP: The process, rather than the final outcome you know. We should just enjoy music and enjoy doing it without it having to be, you know, like I said, not everyone’s going to be a grade eight violinist, and that’s absolutely fine, but we can still get enjoyment out of being musicians.

AH: So how do you think it benefits the organisations that you work for and the sector that you work in to have tutors who are reflective practitioners?

RL: I think it really like boosted the morale between like my peers that I work with, it’s one of the most fantastic things. And like I’ve mentioned a few times, because it’s just that working with just yourself and the student, it’s so nice to be able to come and build these relationships. Because sometimes like if you were working in a standard office environment that would be one of the core things that you have at work. Whereas working at one school, then another school, and then another school, it gets really hard sometimes when even not necessarily the thoughts that if it was a great lesson, or a bad lesson, it’s just that you want to be surrounded by people that you work with. And like musicians are wanting to play with people and wanting to be in the same room together. Doing it in a music service, I can sit here and have a chat with all of the people that I work with now, and we can talk about how our weekend was, rather than just how work was. So it brings morale up like crazy, I think it’s really, really important for that. 

IA: Yeah, and it creates a sense of belonging and you feel more connected to your workplace as well. It has more meaning to it and you feel like you have a support network that you might not have had if you hadn’t had those sessions. 

VP: I also think of the needs of the music service. So you know, at the end of the day it’s an organisation and it’s a business that needs people to engage with it, and to want to come and do lessons. And I think the more that they show that they have a variety of teachers who are able to support your delivery in a variety of different types of music, you know hopefully the more people are going to want to come and engage with the music service.

AH: That’s a really good point. And it sounds like it actually isn’t that costly for a music service or a music organisation to put this into place?

IA: Yeah, yeah.

VP: I mean, yeah, it’s just the meetings isn’t it. And then you know we do lots of informal reflective practice in the staff room when you’re having a coffee, and all that kind of thing. But tying it in as part of our CPD, which was something we were discussing earlier, yeah, you know, it’s something that we can do and tie-in with other types of training that then doesn’t cost a lot to facilitate.

AH: Because basically you have, what is it termed, your twice-termly critical reflective sessions, and those are what, a couple of hours? 

IA: Yeah. Two hours I think and they’re twice a term. And I think having the same group of people, or at least like roughly the same group of people is quite important so that you build up that relationship with the tutors and that trust.

AH: So finally, could you share three practical pieces of advice for managers and tutors who are interested in making reflective practice part of their CPD and workforce development.

IA: Yeah. I’d say one of them being, making sure that you yourself as a music service manager understands the importance of reflective practice and the meaning behind it, and how it’s going to impact the young people and the tutors, and benefit an organisation as well. And to make sure that all your tutors involved in that are going to be on the same page and you all have that view about it, because otherwise, yeah, you probably won’t get the same out of it that you’re hoping to.

RL: Yeah, I’d say one thing is the absolute value of the staff that you work with as well. I think that organisations, they do completely acknowledge it, but getting everyone in a room together to be able to share their ideas I think is probably the most beneficial thing that any single manager or company adviser could absolutely do. When you can talk about ideas openly and not have any judgement behind it, but then also, form friendships and stuff and really value what you can have as a whole entity of an organisation. 

VP: I think consistency as well. So making sure that the meetings, you know, that you don’t kind of start up and then it kind drifts off after six months or a year or whatever. So being consistent with yourself and making sure that you reflect after each session. So like Ije was saying, recording on your phone or in your own notepad is really useful. But then also having that slight formality with this is when we’re going to have the meeting just to kind of keep the momentum going. 

IA: Yeah, and just to add something as well, is to make sure that each person is getting an equal amount of time to report back. Because at the beginning we had a bit of maybe some people talking more and then you run out of time and then you know that leaves some tutors maybe not feeling like they got enough out of it. So yeah definitely making sure you get that equal amount of time. 

AH: I think like everybody, you’ve been doing these on Zoom as well, and you weren’t sure at the beginning that they’d work as well, but apparently they’ve worked really well on Zoom?

IA: Yeah. 

RL: Yeah, no, I’d say so. Especially like I’d said to these guys as well, because even during lockdown, and we weren’t working physically, we were kind of online and whatnot, and it was really good to still be able to have those familiar faces that you’ve come to see and have a little bit of a laugh and then get serious and talk about more practice. And I think yeah that was really, really important as well. Because again, I think it’s that whole isolation of just like completely feeling, not necessarily completely alone, if you’re looking at other people, but again it comes into your job where you’re just isolated and completely by yourself. And it’s nice to have all the other people around you that you can still talk to about the good things that you’re doing and help know what we can do to improve. 

AH: It sounds like lockdown has given you, the music service, the realisation that this can be done online. And so for other music services, because I know a lot of music organisations struggle simply with getting tutors in the room because of all the different various sessions they’re booked in to, and getting the time and date that’s suitable for a lot of people and they’re travelling all over the place to different schools, it’s quite a challenge. But it sounds like now you’ve found that it is possible to do it on Zoom so that might be a solution for some organisation if they were interested in starting something similar.

Well that’s been brilliant, it’s been so lovely talking to you all, and thank you for coming on. And best of luck with all that you’re doing, it’s a fascinating programme. We haven’t really talked much about nurture groups but there’s lots of information on the website, and I’m sure there will be more information in the coming weeks and months. So thank you all.

IA, RL & VP: Thanks for having us. Thank you so much.

AH: You’re really welcome. And if you want to read more about Changing Tracks and also reflective practice I’ll share the link to the website and links to other sources of information in the blog that accompanies this episode. Thanks for listening.

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