Kent Talks Music Conference 2017: Sessions and Leaders

Performance Anxiety with Charlotte Tomlinson

Charlotte Tomlinson will lead a session on tackling performance anxiety and how to help your students overcome their problems with nerves, tension and performance.

 Charlotte has been a Performance Coach for the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival (Yale Summer Music School, USA), and gives talks, master classes, and coaches at music conservatories and universities around the world, most recently in Singapore and Hong Kong. She holds piano master classes every year at the International Piano Academy, Konz, Germany and has recently given master classes and coaching at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, St Mary’s School, Edinburgh, Leeds University, Leeds College of Music and Edinburgh Napier University amongst others. In summer 2017, she will be working at the Verbier Festival and the Oxford International Piano Festival.

As a pianist/accompanist she has travelled extensively. She has been an accompanist for all the London music colleges, for BBC Young Musician of the Year and has broadcast for Dutch National Radio, RTHK and BBC Radio 3. She has worked as a vocal coach for the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. She taught piano at the Purcell School, UK for 11 years and founded and directed an international chamber music course, which was given a glowing endorsement from Sir Simon Rattle. Along with performance coaching, she currently teaches piano and chamber music to students from the University of Oxford.

Charlotte is increasingly being recognised as an expert in performance anxiety related to musicians. She interviewed 43 top international musicians on film about how they manage performance stress (2015); she was interviewed for BBC TV Proms Extra (2015), as an expert in performance anxiety and as a Performance Coach for an American documentary, Composed. She wrote her first book Music from the Inside Out in 2012, and is currently writing a book for school children about managing performance anxiety in music exams (Rhinegold UK).


Using Technology in your Lessons: Ben Sellers

Ben Sellers will lead a session on technology you can use in your 1-2-1 and Group lessons to inform your teaching and your student’s learning. No previous experience needed just a willingness to engage.

Ben Sellers is a multi-instrumentalist, trainer, and classroom teacher based in Yorkshire. His practice focuses on songwriting/composition and improvisation, often using technology, and often in SEN/D settings. Author of the textbook ‘Teaching Music with Garageband for iPad’, and leader of Transformance Music’s training programme, his approach and curricula are now used by teachers on five continents. Like his workshop leader heroes, he sees the music workshop as a space for personal and social transformation. In addition to his role as an Associate Musician with Drake Music, recent partners have included the BBC Symphony Orchestra, The Museum of London, WOMAD Festival and several UK Music Hubs. You can hear some of his compositions with Colin Samurai here.


Excellence in Vocal and Instrumental Teaching: Dr. Liz Stafford

Dr Liz Stafford will be leading 4 sessions throughout the day on:

Reflective Practice: Come to this session to find out how using reflection can help improve your teaching, your pupils learning, and even your own work life balance!

The Holistic Instrumental Tutor: Find out how you can support your schools and pupils by teaching “the whole musician”.

Expectations & Attainment in Instrumental lessons: How to manage pupil, parental and school expectations, and how to help your pupils achieve to their full potential.

Engaging & Motivating your students: Strategies to avoid behaviour problems and waning interest amongst your pupils.

Nationally-recognised music education expert Elizabeth Stafford has over 15 years’ experience as a Primary Music and Vocal Teacher in numerous school & music service settings. Previously North West Area Leader for the KS2 Music CPD Programme (the government’s national CPD programme for music teachers involved in the Wider Opportunities scheme), she has held mentoring roles with Trinity College London, The Open University and the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, and has achieved Mentor Certification from The Open University. An experienced examiner and assessor at GCSE, A Level, BTEC, ND & HND levels, Elizabeth has acted as training consultant to numerous Music Services and Music Education Hubs, and has developed interactive online training materials for SoundEd (The Open University and Trinity College London) and Music Tracks (Trinity College London). She has written articles for the National Association of Music Educators (NAME), the Music Masters and Mistresses Association, and Music Mark.


Dyslexia, Music and Exams: Joy Smith (British Dyslexia Association)

This session will discuss how learning to play an instrument or to sing presents particular challenges for people with dyslexia, and summarise the issues involved and suggest strategies for supporting students. Dyslexia affects 10% of the population and it can affect musical activity.

PG Dip SpLD/Dyslexia, Associate Member of the British Dyslexia, Association (AMBDA), Member of the BDA Music Committee, Certificate of Teaching / ABRSM, BSc Hons Biology, Graduate Certificate in Science and Mathematics Teaching.

As a music teacher with over 20 years’ experience (teaching privately and with the Wiltshire Music Service) Joy specialises in multi-sensory music teaching for all ages and abilities, including those with dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties.


World Music: Mike Simpson (Director of Inspire-Works)

Join us for a session of Balinese Monkey Chant (Gamelan music), South-African Gum Boot and PanIndoAfro Samba.

Musical Director, Mike Simpson, is the author of Rhinegold Education’s Teach & Play world-music series of teaching resources and Trinity College London’s Senior Examiner for Music Tracks.

Mike Simpson is the Musical Director of world music workshop company Inspire-works. After graduating from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in 1999 where he studied percussion, African drumming, conducting and composition, he spent an intensive year studying gamelan in Bali with Tjokcorda Raka Suastika of Ubud Royal family. He spent his first few years after graduating as a freelance percussionist performing and touring with several London-based orchestras and groups such as The Philharmons and Sir Cliff Richard. As a composer, he has had his works performed at the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall and Belfast’s Waterfront Hall. Mike is also published by Oxford University Press and Rhinegold Education with his ‘Teach and Play’ percussion series. Mike co-founded Inspire-works in 2002 with his wife Jacqui to deliver West African drumming, Brazilian samba, Balinese gamelan and Caribbean steel pans workshops to approximately 40,000 young people each academic year.


Musicianship skills through singing: Shelly Ambury (Sing Up’s Head of Learning)

Learn Sing Up’s approach to integrating singing into your instrumental lessons as a way into developing your pupils’ vocal confidence, musicianship and aural skills. Use these techniques to incorporate small amounts of high quality singing activity in your regular instrumental lessons to achieve maximum impact with your pupils. You’ll explore a range of techniques you can use with different age groups and abilities, covering skills and knowledge to support KS3 – KS5 and Grades 1 – 8. 

Shelly has vast experience of music and music education: including working for the BBC and Guildhall School of Music and Drama, singing professionally and leading choirs. Over a decade’s experience as a teacher and Head of Music in secondary education.


Alexander Technique for Musicians: Judith Kleinman

Learn the basics of Alexander Technique and use it to inform your own practice and teaching. The Alexander Technique has a long history of helping instrumentalists and singers to perform with less stress and likelihood of injury. Musicians do some of the most complex and demanding physical movements of any profession. In recent years, the term Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) has come into popular use, but musicians have always had to face the challenge of performing the same complex muscular actions over and over again. By helping musicians improve the quality of the physical movements involved in playing an instrument or singing, the Alexander Technique also helps improve the quality of the music itself. *PLEASE WEAR APPROPRIATE CLOTHES FOR FLOOR WORK IF INTENDING TO COME TO THIS SESSION.*

Judith Kleinman trained as a classical musician and teacher at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She has a busy professional career as a double bass player. She was a member of the orchestra of the English National Opera and City of London Sinfonia and now freelances in London on modern and period instruments. She qualified as an Alexander teacher 20 years ago, having trained with Patrick MacDonald and Shoshana Kamanitz. For the last 10 years, she has been one of the Alexander teachers at the Royal College of Music and also teaches at the Royal Academy of Music’s Junior Department. Judith is co-director of the London Centre for Alexander Technique, which trains new Alexander teachers. She also has a private practice and has collaborated with Systemic psychotherapists on research, combining Alexander work with therapy. She writes about the technique, particularly about teaching young people and has presented workshops to the general public and the Alexander world on her approach to the work. She has worked for the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT) on Council, coordinating the Arts and Education group. Judith is a qualified teacher of Tai-Chi and is interested in combining movement with Alexander work.