How long have you been working with Musical Futures?
I’ve been teaching using a Musical Futures approach for 10 years.
What do you do?
I am the Head of Music at Safa Community School in Dubai (2019). A private British International School.
What is your background?
I have been a musician from the age of 9. Starting on the guitar/piano (as you do!) but finally specialising in drums and percussion from age 12. I have the usual classical training but during my college days started to show a keen interest in Jazz so I ended up at Leeds College of Music doing a BA Hons in Jazz Studies. Also, during this time in Leeds I became obsessed with music production/electronic music and DJing and also started imitating some of these styles in a live band setting, especially from a drumming point of view.
I have been teaching since 2008 and have worked in 3 of the most culturally rich/diverse cities in the UK. London, Leeds and Liverpool. All 3 of these schools were challenging from a socio-economic perspective. However, with my experience, knowledge and practical music-making ethos I was able to transform the music departments into a thriving/successful creative hub for young people.
Fortunately, I have been lucky enough to be recognised for doing the job I love. In 2017 I was awarded ‘Most Inspirational Teacher’ at the Archdiocese Awards in the North West of England and in 2018 I was awarded a Silver award for ‘Most Inspirational Teacher’ at the National Pearson Awards in London. This was a truly magical moment and I am ever grateful for being able to do what I do.
Five Words that sum up Musical Futures
Inclusive, Doing, Creative, Current (Tech), Exciting
What music are you listening to at the moment?
My next gig in Dubai is DJing on a Yacht so I am currently planning my set for that which involves artists like Crazy P, Bonobo, Maribou State, Cinematic Orchestra, Bicep and the whole Ninja Tune sound.
In terms of live performance I am loving two US jazz youngsters called JD Beck (17) and Domi (20). Just drums and keys only . These guys are taking it to the next level. Outerly astonishing! Go and check them out!