Mentor (PGC) – strings
Helen has been a Mentor for ESTA’s PGCert in String Teaching since its inception in 2017. She was Lead Teacher for Strings for West Sussex Music until 2019, when she embarked on her PhD research into string pedagogy at the University of Portsmouth.
Helen has a wealth of experience of teaching the violin and viola in individual, small- and large-group settings, including Whole-Class Ensemble Tuition (WCET). A qualified primary school teacher, she has also worked as a Music Coordinator, delivering classroom Music across Key Stages 1 and 2. Helen’s current research draws on each of these experiences but focuses in particular on pupils’ progression beyond whole-class instrumental learning, the current lack of qualitative data in this area, and related problems around policy enactment and Continuing Professional Development (CPD). Helen intends for her findings to equip music hubs (and equivalent organisations) to better support their teachers, thereby enhancing both the quality of teaching and opportunities for children.
Helen addresses similar aims in her own practice: in 2015 she established String Start, a group violin-with-musicianship programme for children aged 4–7, alongside which she developed and delivered a series of CPD programmes for instrumental teachers. Helen graduated from King’s College London with undergraduate (Music) and postgraduate (Historical Musicology) degrees, gained her PGCE qualification at the University of Chichester, and also attained her LRAM at London’s Royal Academy of Music