Category Archives: Welcome

Welcome to another super group of MMU students!


Welcome to all the new MMU students beginning courses with us this year! I hope you have a brilliant time with us and that you find the PGCE course you have chosen a stimulating and rewarding experience.

For those of you beginning the PGCE in Music and PGCE in Music with Specialist Instrumental Teaching courses, an especially warm welcome. Teaching music to young people is one of the most amazing of jobs. There is a huge amount of enjoyment that you will gain from learning how to do this well, and the young people that you teach will benefit hugely too.

In a nutshell, the course will help you to ‘teach music musically‘. This isn’t our phrase, but it does sum up the aspiration of the course as a whole. Will Evans, and I, together with all our other Associate Lecturers and colleagues, will do our upmost to help you through what will be one of the most challenging years of your lives so far!

Welcome again, and have a great year!

Welcome to our new students!


A very warm welcome to the 41 new students that are starting their PGCE courses in Music with us at MMU today. I hope you have a fantastic year working from our brand new Birley campus and with our broad network of partnership schools.

I would like to think that undertaking a PGCE  with M level credit is the ‘gold star’ route into teaching. Sure, there are a plethora of other routes that  you could have chosen, but you are now part of the largest PGCE music education course in the country in a Faculty of Education with outstanding facilities. You will be supported by a dedicated team of tutors here and whilst out in school; we are all committed to your success this year, as you move into your NQT year and beyond.

The benefits of working within this large community of fellow students, university and school-based colleagues are immeasurable in my view. The daily interactions that you will partake in will support and sustain you throughout the year. You will be seriously challenged on many levels this year, but you will, along the way, makes friends that will last you a lifetime.

Thanks for choosing to come to MMU and devote yourself to studying for a PGCE. The commitment you have shown to your own professional development and to the cause of seeking to continue a quality music educational experience for our young people is noteworthy. Despite a continuing series of crack-pot educational policies in music and other areas of education, we are delighted that you have chosen to learn about the truly uplifting and facilitative power of music education in our children’s lives and how this can be nurtured and developed through skilful teaching.

Good luck to you all and if there is anything I can do to support you this year please don’t hesitate to ask. You know where my office is:


A very happy new year to all my readers!

BIRLEY academic building.jpg

Happy new year! I hope that 2014 is a fantastic one for you all! It is an exciting time for us at MMU as we move to our  new faculty building in September. Birley Fields is shaping up to be a fantastic project. As you can see from the above image, it is a stunning building and I know that the quality of teaching and learning that will take place within it will be equally stunning!

As a first post for 2014, I am very happy to promote the Making and Thinking Music Together conference to be held at the University of Cambridge not he 15th March 2014. This has been organised by my good friend John Finney. You can find out further details here but do support this event if you can. John has centred the event around some provocative questions, including:

  • How do we learn to think about music?
  • When and why is it good to talk about music – talk about how and why we are making it, talk about it as a social practice, talk about it philosophically, talk about what we need to talk about?

Have a great year everyone!