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Mentor & Academic Consultant, ESTA Education

Dr Laura Ritchie is Professor of Learning and Teaching at the University of Chichester. She is vibrant in her teaching, research, music-making, and in life. Laura’s musical background is as a classical cellist, originally training in Chicago, USA with Hans Jensen before coming to the UK to pursue her Masters in Performance and PhD (psychology of music) at the Royal College of Music. Laura has also studied with Steven Doane, Philip DeGroote, the Vermeer String Quartet, the Chilingirian String Quartet. As a musician Laura spans genres and has performed both as a classical recitalist and as a member of the pop band The Mummers on the BBC show Jools Holland and at Glastonbury.

As a teacher, Laura has taught all levels and ages of cellist from 3 to 90+. For the past 20 years she has organised an annual Cello Weekend course at the University of Chichester. Laura has devised curricula and several new undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes. Her undergraduate Instrumental and Vocal Teaching Degree at the University of Chichester (2004) was the first degree to focus on private (studio) teaching in the UK. She also wrote the MA in Performance and the MA in Teaching at Chichester. Laura jointly devised the ESTA PG Cert Teaching with Richard Crozier, and last year Laura authored ESTA’s new MA Practical Pedagogy, which launched in 2022.

Laura has given two TEDx talks in Los Angeles which feature her research and performance: Yes I Can: Use the positive power of self-efficacy (2021) and Music is as real as your heart (2022) Laura is also a Chartered Psychologist and her recent book Yes I Can: Learn to use the Power of Self-efficacy (2021) is practical, about self-beliefs and noticing possibilities in our everyday lives to create a real sense of ‘yes’. Laura’s enthusiasm is contagious and inspires people to realize their goals through positive achievement and reach beyond their dreams.

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