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Classic FM honours the UK’s top music teachers

2 years ago

The Classic FM Music Teacher of the Year Awards 2017 with Casio and ABRSM, hosted by Myleene Klass

Classic FM, the UK’s most popular classical music station, has honoured five music teachers who have made a real difference to the musical lives of students across the UK in this year’s Classic FM Music Teacher of the Year Awards with Casio and ABRSM.

The Awards recognise and reward Britain’s most inspiring teachers and celebrate their work in five categories: Primary, Secondary, Peripatetic, Special Education Needs and Lifetime Achievement. Hosted by Classic FM presenter Myleene Klass, the Awards took place at London’s Barbican as part of ABRSM’s prestigious Shine event, which showcased the very best in music education by shining a spotlight on the winning music teachers, as well as the next generation of performers and teachers. The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented by former music teacher and twice Mercury-nominated singer Laura Mvula.

In its 25th birthday year, Classic FM has joined together with Casio - one of the world’s most renowned producers of premium and digital hybrid pianos - and ABRSM - one of the world’s leading exam boards - to undertake the nation’s biggest ever celebration of outstanding music education.

The winners of Classic FM’s Music Teacher of the Year Awards 2017 are:

  • Primary Music Teacher of the Year: Robert Parton from Goose Green Primary School in Southwark, London
  • Secondary Music Teacher of the Year: Grace Jack from St David’s RC High School in Dalkeith, Midlothian
  • Peripatetic Music Teacher of the Year: Una Birtchnell from Lewisham, London
  • Special Education Needs Music Teacher of the Year: Felicity Kirk from the Valley School in Stevenage, Hertfordshire
  • Lifetime Achievement: Linda Filby-Borrett from Ryde on the Isle of Wight

The teachers were chosen from hundreds of applicants across the country and were nominated by schools, students and parents. A panel of expert industry judges, including John Holmes, ABRSM’s chief examiner, and Alex Stevens, editor of Music Teacher magazine, then selected the winner from each award category.

The chosen teachers each receive a Celviano Grand Hybrid by Casio for themselves, their schools or music services. The Celviano Grand Hybrid by Casio is a hybrid digital piano that combines key elements of a grand piano, such as the Natural Grand Hammer Action and full-length precision wooden keys. The Awards form part of Casio's ‘Action in Music’ initiative, which aims to recognise outstanding music education, raise awareness of its importance within the school syllabus nationwide and inspire a new generation of music teachers who take action in the classroom.

Classic FM presenter Myleene Klass said: “Music teachers are absolute heroes – I know first-hand the dedication, hard work and inspiration they impart, as well as the tools I myself was given by them. As part of Classic FM’s 25th birthday celebrations, I was honoured to team up with Casio and ABRSM to salute the UK’s most inspirational music teachers with our awards.”

Jack Terroni, Marketing Executive at Casio Music said: “We are proud to be supporting the awards. It’s an honour to present some of the highest accolades available to such worthy winners who have made a real difference. We are thrilled to be part of such an inspirational day which recognises the importance of music education across the UK. Music can and should be part of everyone’s lives.”

Michael Elliott, Chief Executive of ABRSM said: “Last Friday, we celebrated the best of music education at our Shine event and we were delighted to honour and recognise the tremendous work of five exceptional music teachers. The winners are inspirational role models for the next generation of performers, leaders and ambassadors.”


About Classic FM:

Classic FM is the UK’s biggest single commercial radio station and the most popular classical music brand, reaching 5.4 million listeners every week. Classic FM’s programmes are hosted by a mix of classical music experts and household names including John Suchet, Alexander Armstrong, Myleene Klass, Bill Turnbull, Alan Titchmarsh, Aled Jones, Margherita Taylor, Alex James, Nicholas Owen and Charlotte Green. Since its launch in 1992, Classic FM has aimed to make classical music accessible and relevant to everyone and in doing so, introduce an entirely new audience to the genre. is the UK’s biggest classical music website with 4.5 million monthly unique users. Classic FM is owned by Global. It is available across the UK on 100-102 FM, on DAB digital radio and TV, at and on the Classic FM app. Source: RAJAR / Ipsos-MORI / RSMB, period ending April 2nd 2017.

About ABRSM:

ABRSM is the UK’s largest music education body, one of its largest music publishers and the world’s leading provider of music exams, offering assessments to more than 630,000 candidates in 93 countries every year. ABRSM’s mission is to inspire achievement in music. In partnership with the Royal Schools of Music, we support high-quality music-making and learning around the world. We offer pathways and resources for learners and teachers that help build musical skills, provide goals and encourage progress.

About Celviano Grand Hybrid by Casio

The Celviano Grand Hybrid by Casio is a hybrid digital piano created in association with C. Bechstein that combines the elegance of a classic grand with the latest in piano technology to produce a refined sound with accurate touch. The piano combines core elements of a grand piano, such as the Natural Grand Hammer Action mechanism that follows the same path as a grand piano, and full-length precision wooden keys. This piano is the perfect combination for new learners as well as experienced pianists. From a teaching perspective, it minimises the loss of quality between the instrument the student learns on at home compared to the instrument used during their lessons or at performances/exams.

Media enquiries:

Classic FM: John Chittenden - [email protected]

Casio: Emma Sweet and Kevin Callus - [email protected] and [email protected]

ABRSM: Tríona Doherty – [email protected]

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