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Jimmy Rotheram Feversham Primary

PODCAST [9] Jimmy Rotheram, primary school music teacher, on advocating for music education

In this episode, I’m talking with Jimmy Rotheram of Feversham Primary in Bradford. Jimmy is the teacher who was thrust into the spotlight to tell the story of how music contributed to transforming his school. He’s a great example of how one person with a mission and a story can get noticed and listened to – and can make a massive difference through music education advocacy.

Feversham Primary, is in Bradford Moor one of the most financially deprived areas of the UK. In just a few years it went from being in special measures to having an ‘outstanding’ Ofsted rating, and becoming one of  the best primary schools in the country for pupil progress. And much of it was down to giving music a central role in the school.

Spots on the BBC’s One Show and a feature in the Guardian followed, along with lots of other radio, newspaper and online coverage, and a nomination for the Global Teacher prize.

Jimmy’s since given evidence to a House of Lords inquiry on music education, run training for heads and teachers and given talks to music educators all over the UK

You can listen now below, or on Spotify (search for the name) and iTunes or read the transcript linked further down this page.

We talk about:

  • Feversham Primary’s whole-school model for music education
  • training for teachers and where to find it – including pedagogies such as Kodaly and Dalcroze
  • the myth that some young people aren’t musical or won’t be able to engage in music
  • Feversham Primary’s work with dyslexic children and their research with Katie Overy
  • the story behind the school and Jimmy’s rise to national and international fame
  • capitalising on media coverage for music education advocacy
  • and we finish with three pieces of advice for others who want to advocate for music education and campaign for change

Links for this episode

[VIDEO] Jimmy Rotheram on The One Show

Guardian article: How to improve the school results: not maths, but music, loads of it

[VIDEO] Jimmy Rotheram presentation at Royal Philharmonic Society.

[VIDEOS] Jimmy Rotheram / Feversham Primary Music YouTube channel

Susan Hallam – The Power of Music

The British Kodály Academy

Dalcroze UK

Voices Foundation

Musical Futures

Dr Katie Overy

Awards for Young Musicians

Feversham Primary website


Music for Education & Wellbeing podcast [9] TRANSCRIPT – Jimmy Rotheram

About the music for education & wellbeing podcast

Listen in each month to get ideas, inspiration and practical advice from people involved in music education, community music, music therapy and more. Learn how you can break down barriers to music, through communications, advocacy and inclusive practice.

The music for the podcast was created by Otis Hynds, a young person working with Noise Solution.  


As a thank you, you’ll also get six tip sheets, templates and checklists for: communications planning, getting more traffic to your website, copywriting, blogging and annual reports. You’ll also hear each time a podcast episode is published, and receive an occasional digest of my blogs, plus tips, advice and signposting to useful information and resources.

Need some help with a particular aspect of your communications, or your communications strategy? Contact me.

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