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Mentoring

Available free of charge and exclusively to Music Mark Members, our trained mentors will work with you to support your professional development. Through mentoring sessions you will be able to access their knowledge, insights and experience to help you achieve your goals.

Music Mark Members can benefit from our mentoring scheme, providing free of charge access to four one-hour sessions with one of our mentors. Offering a range of experience within music education at different levels, all our mentors have completed a training programme delivered by Relational Dynamics 1st and are looking forward to working with you. 

Is mentoring right for you? 

A mentor is someone who helps you to learn and develop, drawing from their own experience and knowledge. They will work with you, usually with a broad, future-focused approach, supporting you to identify what skills and learning are needed to reach your goals, and how you might achieve them. A mentor will provide advice and guidance, and explore challenges through discussion, sharing their insights and offering encouragement and inspiration. 

How does it work?

Once you’ve completed our Get Mentoring form, we will arrange an initial conversation between you and a matched mentor to explore what you’d like to get out of the sessions. If both parties wish to continue, you will agree mutually convenient times for you and your mentor to meet. Anything discussed in these sessions will be treated confidentially.  

Mentees will be required to sign up to our Mentee Agreement and are expected to read and follow our Mentee Guidance. 

Whilst we endeavour to match you to a preferred mentor, this is not always possible due to availability. 

In addition to mentoring, we can support you through peer groups and coaching. We also have a programme of training and events that members can access for free or at reduced rates.

If you have any queries or would like to discuss mentoring further, please get in touch with us. 

Get Mentoring

Meet Our Mentors

    Sarah Atter - Freelance Creative Education Consultant, Animateur, Project Manager/Producer, Flautist

    How can I help you?

    I am an award-winning Manchester-based musician with extensive experience of devising and delivering education and community projects, alongside student and teacher training, large-scale residencies and consultancy work. I work across a variety of fields including music in healthcare, music in the community, music in education, music in criminal justice and collaborative cross-art form projects.

    I work both as an independent practitioner and in partnership with organisations including Manchester International Festival, Manchester Camerata, Streetwise Opera, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Music in Prisons. I have also lectured at The University of Manchester, the RNCM, and design and deliver artist development training for CAN, TiPP and Chetham’s School of Music.

    As a flautist, I work across the country in orchestras and chamber ensembles. I also inspire the next generation by teaching flute players of all ages across Greater Manchester.

    Areas of Expertise

    Outreach and community work | Employability | Exploring current work situations and mapping possible next steps | Freelancing and self-employment | Problem solving

    WebsiteX 

    Sue Beckett - CEO at Portsmouth Music Hub

    I have worked in Music Education for over 30 years as a Music Adviser/Inspector, OfSTED Inspector, Head of Service, & Music Hub CEO. I enjoy challenging colleagues to attain their best in their personal/professional goals and to create the means of finding innovative and creative solutions.

    Areas of Expertise 

    Change management | Events management | Out of the box thinking | Career development | Communication skills

    Peter Bolton - Chief Executive at Kent Music

    How can I help you?

    I am an experienced chief executive having been in post at Kent Music since October 2008. Prior to that I ran my own consultancy practice, was chief executive & artistic director of Norfolk & Norwich Festival and ran the Turner Sims Concert Hall in Southampton. I have also held posts at Arts Council England and have sat on Arts Council England advisory committees.

    During my time at Kent Music there has been considerable change within the organisation and wider music education sector and I have developed skills in change management, people management and strategic planning. I have particular experience in charities both as a chief executive and trustee. I am currently Vice Chair of Music Mark and on the Board of the Ebbsfleet Garden City Trust, particularly supporting the trust’s engagement with the cultural sector. I trained as a musician and am active as a clarinet/bass clarinet player and tutor.

     Areas of Expertise

    Leadership | Strategic planning | Charities, artistic planning | Organisational review & development

    LinkedIn

    James Dickinson - Head of Hull Music Service

    How can I help you?

    I worked for Hertfordshire Music Service from 2003 to 2018 (Head from 2007). In 2018 I became Head of Hull Music Service, Lead Partner for Hull & North East Lincolnshire Music Hub. Elected as a Music Mark Trustee in 2016 and Chair from 2017 to 2023, I am a Trustee of Grimethorpe Colliery Band & Yorkshire Young Musicians.

    Areas of Expertise

    Leading a music service within a Local Authority | Multi Local Authority Hub leadership | Workforce Reform and remodeling | Partnership working

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    Amy Doyley - Freelance Community Musician, Mentor, Teacher

    How can I help you?

    A vocalist, musician, writer, and producer, I began my formal musical training at the BRIT School for Performing Arts & Technology in London. Following this, I studied Commercial Music (BA Hons) at the University Of Westminster; this degree was the first in the UK to offer the opportunity to learn, practice, and experiment with the artistic and business strategies in today’s music industry. I now work within various settings, offering educational, creative, confidence-building workshops plus support for projects with live elements.

    Previous positions include programme manager/director within music charities such as School Ground Sounds, Girls Rock London and running workshops/sessions with organisations such as Song Academy, Fairbeats, Keychange, and Spitalfields Music, supporting young people and adults in musical development across the UK.

    I regularly take part in the University of Westminster alumni mentoring scheme, where I have been able to support an array of students, through insight and guidance where needed.

    Areas of Expertise

    Diversity and inclusion | Vocational practice | Practical goal setting/feedback sessions

    Lindsay Evernden - Director at The Music Practice, Retired Head of Service

    How can I help you?

    I have had 30 years leadership experience in a high performing music department and latterly as a Head of Service within a Local Authority setting. I am currently leading a bespoke London based music education company, delivering to a diverse client base.

    I specialise in enabling you to become a confident and dynamic leader. I will support you to build on your strengths and develop skills for any challenges you feel you may have, enabling you to achieve your relevant goals. I will help you to establish objectives and plan a way forward.

    I am particularly interested in implementing change in difficult circumstances and facilitating good partnership working. I care deeply about how you can achieve fulfilment and satisfaction within your working career.

    Areas of Expertise

    Leading strategic partnerships across different Hub types | Implementing change in difficult circumstances | Developing confidence as a leader | Work/Life balance

    Website

    Beth Higham-Edwards - Musician and educator

    How can I help you?

    I am a percussionist and educator who works in theatre and classical music. I have appeared in numerous shows at Shakespeare’s Globe and The National Theatre, and am currently on tour with the musical Come From Away. I am well known as an educator. I teach percussion at Junior Trinity Laban, am a workshop facilitator, and am on the Board of Trustees with the National Children’s Orchestra.

    I founded and run an initiative called Gender and Large and Shiny Instruments which is about gender equality for instrumentalists.

    I hold a practitioner level qualification in coaching and I also mentor for UK Music Masters and Aldeburgh Young Musicians.

    My practical experience working across the sector, alongside my experience behind the scenes sitting on boards and running GALSI gives me multiple perspectives. I find these different angles helpful when coaching/mentoring.

    Areas of Expertise

    EDI (specifically gender equality) | A performer and teacher’s perspective

    Website

    Anita Holford - Freelance Communications Practitioner, Consultant and Fundraiser

    How can I help you?

    I’m a freelancer, helping music and arts organisations with an educational, wellbeing or social purpose to communicate their value and impact, explain their work, and sell their services. I work with leaders and teams to support, advise on and/or deliver communications and fundraising work.

    I also provide a service through the Arts Councils and other funders, to support neurodivergent individuals to apply for funding. I’m particularly interested in equitable access to the arts for those who face barriers.

    I’ve been informally mentoring artists, musicians and other creatives and project/admin staff in organisations for years. More recently, I achieved a mentoring and coaching qualification with The Professional Development Centre and The Institute of Leadership and Management via the National Union of Journalists, and undertook Music Mark’s mentoring CPD.

    I write an ‘advice and resources’ blog, host the Music for Education & Wellbeing podcast, and run the Music Education Works website.

    Areas of Expertise

    Communications & marketing | Impact & advocacy | Copywriting & editing | Fundraising and decision science | Evaluation

    Website | LinkedIn | X

    Gennie Joy - Musician & Music Education Consultant

    How can I help you?

    I am a musician and music education consultant based in London. I have worked in a range of fields across orchestras and chamber ensembles, music theatre and community music as both a performer and leader around the UK. I am a woodwind specialist and have performed in some of the world’s most prestigious concert venues.

    With over ten years of experience in music education, I have a wealth of skills, knowledge and experience in planning, delivery and evaluation of creative music projects. I have worked as a freelance music education consultant in partnership with organisations including The Amber Trust, Soundabout and in my role as Education & Community Engagement Trustee for Southbank Sinfonia. I am also the co-founder, writer, composer and actor-musician of Merryweather Theatre, a London-based arts collective which writes, develops and performs original folk musicals for children at schools, theatres and arts festivals around the UK.

    Areas of Expertise

    Project and people management | Developing partnerships | Creative education delivery | Curriculum development | Inclusive practice

    Website | LinkedIn | X | Instagram

    Helen Mason - Freelance Consultant

    How can I help you?

    I have been CEO of Newham Music Trust, Head of Redbridge Music Service and interim Head of North East Lincolnshire Hub. My consultancy work has included fundraising for and leading on the early stages of Music8, a consortium of 8 London hubs and working alongside Hub leads to develop their organisation.

    I have experience of the development of music education gained through being on several boards including the Federation of Music Services, the Music Education Council, and am currently Chair of Thurrock Music Hub. I am valued for my knowledge of the sector and empathy with leaders facing a wide range of challenges.

    I am proud to have been at the forefront of inclusion in the early days of Newham Music Trust and am keen to support Music Hubs to challenge and remove barriers to participation. Over the last three years I have balanced my work in music education with owning Corsewall Lighthouse Hotel in Southwest Scotland.

    Areas of Expertise

    Governance and leadership | Partnership and collaboration | Staffing structures and team development | Leadership of Multi-service Music Hubs

    Woman in blazer in front of grass background.

    Jennifer McKie - Head of Music Service

    How can I help you?

    Jennifer trained at the Royal College of Music and has held leadership roles in music education for 25 years. Initially, as the Music Lead for Hammersmith & Fulham, securing Advanced Skills Teachers status, and then as Head of Service for Lincolnshire Music Service which she’s led for the organisation for 16 years. In 2019, she was awarded a Clore Fellowship, recognising her exceptional leadership.

    As an accredited professional coach, she uses coaching communication and facilitation skills in her leadership and mentoring. Jennifer is acutely aware of the challenges, and opportunities, within music education and has the expertise to support others within the sector. She is an experienced Music Mark Mentor having supported numerous individuals over the years which has led to positive transformative practice, change and engagement for all.

    Jennifer is a Trustee for Music Mark UK and is currently supporting the Midlands Area Council for Arts Council England.

    Areas of Expertise

    Improving Communication and Influence | Developing Positive Relationships / Partnerships | Managing Change including Conflict Management

    Website

    Woman in blazer in front of grass background.

    John Stephens - Senior Manager at Surrey Arts

    How can I help you?

    I work in the education and youth sectors, currently senior manager at Surrey Arts and chair at Cultureboxsurrey.org.uk. Former roles include Head of Greenwich Music Service and primary deputy head Fossdene School SE London. Freelance: Voyage Youth London and others. RSA Evidence Champion 2018-20 PG Dip Social Science Research Methods (UCL 2016); MA Social Enterprise (Goldsmiths, Sept 2014).

    Skills include strategic development; measuring impact and quality; fund raising; equalities. diversity. and inclusion; social enterprise; safeguarding. Specialist expertise in educational arts and music provision, but enjoy working across disciplines.

    Other interests: Chair of Trustees charltontoylibrary.co.uk; making music and film photography (member @thegatedarkroom); #Linux; Live Charlton SE7 London.

    I have a mentor coaching approach, happy to help and support mentees to address a range of issues eg:

    • strategic and organisational development
    • personal career development
    • problems related to work relationships, personalities and staff management
    Areas of Expertise

    Strategic development | Measuring impact and quality | Fundraising | Equity, diversity and inclusion | Safeguarding

    LinkedIn | X | Instagram

    Rona Topaz - Freelance singer/vocal coach/choir leader

    How can I help you?

    I am a singer, choir leader, vocal coach and facilitator. I have worked in multidisciplinary contexts, including leading poetry, rap and songwriting sessions. I currently lead a dementia choir for Berkshire Music Trust. I have previously mentored for Diverse City Theatre.

    Areas of Expertise

    Singing | Coaching | Facilitating | Performing | Choir leading

    LinkedIn | X

    Sharon Walker - Area Relationship Manager at East Riding Schols' Music Service

    How can I help you?

    I have taught within two music services for 34 years and during the last 18 years I have undertaken several management roles. In addition to mentoring I have been a syllabus consultant and selector for the ABRSM.

    Mentoring and supporting teachers/managers along their journey is very important to me; nowadays these roles require many diverse skills and the challenge of managing these can, at times, be overwhelming – I try to help my mentees prioritise what to focus on and, more importantly, how to maintain a balance between work and home.

    Areas of Expertise 

    Managing successful relationships with external organisations | Managing relationships with work colleagues | Helping a mentee to understand and value themselves

    Stephen Wild - Former Hub Lead, Independent Consultant

    How can I help you?

    I have led two very different hubs in different circumstances, and am a trustee for a third. I have knowledge of both the benefits and constraints of working in and out of a Local Authority. As a consultant, I have supported other hubs and services through significant change, increasing business effectiveness, school engagement, reshaping governance, and other areas where hubs/services and the professionals within them wish to improve outcomes.

    I am passionate about outcomes for all children and young people, and know that quality music education is a vital part of their development. If a hub or service is to help young musicians be the best they can be, the hub/service must be led with expertise, commitment and drive. My varied experience and continuing engagement with the sector, without the ‘day job’ of a current senior leadership position, enables me to offer a broad overview and clarity of vision.

    Areas of Expertise

    Change management | Governance | Curriculum development | Team building | Developing a personal and corporate vision

    LinkedIn

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