James Tuck

Mayflower High School, Essex

James Tuck

Mayflower High School, Essex

What do you do?

I am the Head of Music at Mayflower High School, Billericay

What is your background?

I got into music through singing.  My primary school teacher thought I had a good voice so suggested I should audition for the cathedral choir (St. Edmundsbury Cathedral) and this resulted in one of the best music educations I could have ever had.  As well as singing we had to learn an instrument – I studied piano and oboe – and the resulting tours, performances on TV and day to day life as a chorister ensured musical professionalism was instilled in me from a young age.  When my voice broke I got into rock music and music production so therefore decided to focus on Popular Music with Music Technology for undergraduate study.  I played in a band for a few years after leaving university and eventually decided to go into teaching.  Fourteen years later and I’m still really pleased I made that decision!  In my spare time (ha ha!) I like to write music, experiment with music software and improve my knowledge of production techniques.

What are you most looking forward to working with Musical Futures on this programme?

Musical Futures has been really important in the development of my own teaching practice and how I’ve implemented change in the music departments that I have been in charge of.  When I first encountered Musical Futures during my PGCE, I saw a vision of something that I thought was absolutely needed across schools.  I’m very passionate about the use of music technology and how it can energise people to want to make music, therefore I am most looking forward to working with Musical Futures, Ableton and my fellow Tech Champion colleagues who all feel the same way to create musical ideas & starting points and to challenge current thinking to continue the impact that Musical Futures will have in music classes around the world.

Five Words that sum up Musical Futures

Relevant, challenging, natural, musical, evolving

What music are you listening to at the moment?

My musical preference is still stuck in the 1990’s/2000’s so you’ll often find me listening to Grunge, Hip-Hop, Trip-Hop, Metal, Drum n Bass & Industrial.  My go to albums are ‘Liquid Swords’ by The GZA, ‘Enter The Wu Tang 36 Chambers’ by The Wu Tang Clan, ‘In Utero’ by Nirvana, ‘Siamese Dream’ by The Smashing Pumpkins, ‘Far Beyond Driven’ by Pantera and all the Deftones albums.