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Shortlist announced for the 2016 Music Teacher Awards for Excellence

19th November 2015

The shortlist for the Music Teacher Awards for Excellence has been released, with the winners to be announced at a ceremony on 25 February 2016. A record number of nominations were received this year.

Classic FM’s Margherita Taylor will host the ceremony, with music from the Locke Brass Consort and a Yamaha music scholar.

The awards will be judged by a panel including Paul Harris, lecturer in pedagogy at the Royal Academy of Music, Luise Horrocks, associate chief examiner at Trinity College London, Sarah Lambie, editor of Teaching Drama magazine, Caitlin Sherring, director of music at Woodcroft Primary School, winner of the 2015 Best School Music Department Award, Alex Stevens, editor of Music Teacher magazine, and Diane Widdison, national organiser (education & training) at the Musicians’ Union.

Alex Stevens, editor of MT, said: ‘We are delighted to announce a very strong selection of shortlists for this year’s awards. It is inspiring to see how much hard work goes into music education in the UK, and we are excited to be able to recognise some of the teachers, schools and initiatives achieving excellence – often in challenging circumstances.’


Best Musical Initiative, sponsored by the Royal Marines Band Service

  • Castle Rock Music Maestros (Castle Rock High School)
  • Chiltern Music Academy
  • Proud to Perform (Club Europe)
  • Connected Schools Partnership  (SoundCity Brighton & Hove)
  • UP! Orchestra (Surrey Music Hub)

Best Print Resource

  • Everybody Sing! (Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • Encore for Piano (ABRSM)
  • Improve Your Theory, Paul Harris (Faber Music)
  • Piano by Ear, Lucinda Mackworth-Young (Faber Music)
  • Traditional Fiddle, Jane Griffiths (OUP)
  • Vamoosh tutor books (Vamoosh Music)

Best Digital/Technological Resource

  • Charanga Music Professional
  • English Folk Dance and Song Society Resource Bank
  • MusicFirst (Music Sales Group)
  • Sinfini for Schools (Sinfini Music)
  • Music Express Online (A&C Black)

Best SEND Resource, sponsored by the Schools Printed Music Licence

  • Figurenotes (Drake Music Scotland)
  • Theremini (Moog)
  • Skoog (Skoogmusic)
  • SoundLab (Heart n Soul/Unthinkable Consulting/Goldsmiths/Public Domain Corporation)
  • AlphaSphere

Best Music Education Product

  • pTrumpet (Warwick Music Group)
  • Orange Music Board
  • Bambajam
  • Notion (PreSonus)
  • Cubase (Steinberg)

Best Musical Theatre Education Resource, sponsored by the Schools Printed Music Licence

  • Lion King education resources (Disney)
  • Stage-in-a-Box
  • Stagecoach Mini Stages
  • Billy Elliot education pack
  • Shows for Young Performers (Josef Weinberger)

Excellence in Primary/Early Years, sponsored by the ABRSM

  • Bold as (Deal Festival)
  • Rocksteady Music School
  • Soundpots
  • Little Notes
  • Cyrilla Rowsell, a Kodály practitioner who has taught extensively across the UK and the world

Best School Music Department, sponsored by the MMA

  • Downs Junior School
  • East London Arts & Music
  • The Windsor Upper Schools
  • Merchants’ Academy, Bristol
  • Old Park Primary School

Music Education Council Major Award, sponsored by the Music Education Council. Please note that the shortlist and winner is decided by a separate judging panel operated by the Music Education Council.

  • Bristol Plays Music
  • East Ayrshire Council
  • East Renfrewshire
  • Hertfordshire Music Education Hub
  • Portsmouth Music Hub
  • SoundCity: Brighton & Hove
  • Soundstorm Music Hub
  • Telford & Wrekin Music Education Hub

Best Classical Music Education Initiative, sponsored by Classic FM. The winner of this award will be decided by a public vote on

  • BBC Ten Pieces
  • OperaPLUS (Jackdaws Music Education Trust)
  • Music for Open Ears
  • Mossley Hollins School Brass Outreach Project
  • Seven Seeds (Tri-borough Music Hub)

Musicians’ Union Inspiration Award, sponsored by the Musicians’ Union

  • James Manwaring, director of music at Windsor Upper Schools
  • Marianna Hay, director of music at Highbury Grove School, Islington, and artistic director of the National Orchestra for All
  • Richard Downing, a music technology teacher at the Working Men’s College
  • Mike Whitlock, music teacher at Victoria Education Centre, a special school in Poole, Dorset
  • Richard Ashton, founder of WorldBeatsMusic and percussion leader for Oxfordshire County Council’s music service

The other categories to be presented on the night are:

  • Music Teacher Magazine Editor’s Award, sponsored by Higgledy Piggledy Jazz
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Black Cat Music and

Read more on the Music Teacher Magazine website