Studying for a teaching diploma can be a lonely, overwhelming and uncertain experience to battle through on your own.
When I first explored working towards a teaching diploma, I had no real idea where to begin. I was clueless as to how I should prepare and unsure what was expected of me. The syllabus goes so far, but working towards a teaching diploma is a living, breathing thing.
I didn’t know where to turn for help. My own teachers didn’t feel they knew enough about the teaching diplomas to support me, and I couldn’t find any specialist teachers locally. I really wanted to gain a recognised teaching qualification, but I felt alone and isolated, with no one to share the journey with.
I didn’t know if this was something I was capable of, and as much as I knew it was the right step for me, I lacked the confidence. I felt vulnerable, insecure and at risk of failure.
I was also busy teaching myself, and I wasn’t really sure how I might fit my diploma preparations in to an already busy schedule. I wanted the experience to offer me more than just a piece of paper at the end of the process: I wanted to grow both as a teacher, and an individual, but I simply felt overwhelmed by the journey ahead.
Eventually, I silenced the inner critic and took to the road. I figured out how best to approach the syllabus and I took time to work out what was expected of me in the exam. Despite the uncertainty, I subsequently gained two teaching diplomas, but I wish I hadn’t had to go it alone.
Following my experience, I was resolute that I didn’t want other teachers to have to struggle in the same way I had. Now I help people like you, who want more from their diploma than just a certificate, to study for a diploma in a way that fits with your learning and teaching style.
The mentoring packages I offer now are exactly what I wished I’d had then. Something which:
- Was flexible enough to fit alongside a busy teaching schedule and other commitments;
- Would fill me with confidence and a sense of reassurance;
- Offers a structure and framework around which to prepare;
- Motivated me and made me accountable.
Above all, I wish I’d had someone who’d have met me where I was at on my journey and who was prepared to embrace all that I had to offer as a teacher.
“It’s been great to have someone to bounce ideas and frustrations off, and just to give me the confidence that I’m on the right lines.”
– Anna, DipLCM(TD)
Over nearly 20 years, I have taught some 15,000 hours of one-to-one instrumental and vocal lessons. I have taught over 230 individual students ranging in age from five to 75+. I have taught a whole range of students from beginners to diploma-level, both amateurs and professionals. I am an active researcher in the field of music education, with a number of specialist education and teaching qualifications. In 2018, I was hugely honoured to be nominated and shortlisted for the Musicians’ Union Inspiration Award at the Music Teacher Awards. But, I had to start somewhere. The uncertainly and overwhelm you might be experiencing now: I’ve been there too.
As a mentor, I will meet you where you’re at on your journey of development as a teacher, whether you’re just starting out, or you have years of experience behind you. I am committed to working collaboratively with you to harness the unique skills and knowledge that you bring to the table, in as authentic a way as possible.
I offer a simple and flexible way to help you prepare for your teaching diploma, which centres around a sense of creativity and imagination. I create an holistic environment which nurtures your commitment to further developing your teaching skills. However you, and your students, engage with music, I want you to grow and experience all that it has to offer.
“David’s superb advice and support has been invaluable throughout my diploma experience. He has extensive knowledge of the subject area and the exam criteria, and works hard to help you prepare for each of the exam components. His feedback is timely, encouraging, and very useful, not just for the exam itself but for my teaching practice more widely. I really felt that David went the extra mile to help me succeed.”
– Barbara, DipABRSM
As a mentor, I’m committed to your development as an individual too. Through tailoring what we do to your individual needs, goals and aspirations, I create an experience which is about far more than just gaining a certificate at the end of the process. I believe that music transforms lives, offers a voice where words fail, and has a positive impact on health and well-being. Just as I’ve been inspired by all that music education has to offer, so I, as a mentor, want to inspire you, so that in turn, you may inspire your own students.
One of these mentoring packages is for you, if:
- You’re just starting out on your teaching journey, and you want to develop your teaching practice from the outset. You want to work alongside an experienced teacher who will encourage, motivate and guide you through the process;
- You’ve been teaching for some years and have decided that now is the time to gain a qualification which will enhance both your teaching and your professional status. You want to work with someone who will reassure you, boost your confidence, and support you in a non-judgemental way;
- You’ve made a start preparing for your teaching diploma, but you need someone to support you and cheer you over the finish line;
- You want to get more out of the diploma than just a certificate. You want to grow as an individual as much as you want to grow as a teacher.
What do you get?
- A unique opportunity to work one-to-one with an experienced teacher and music education specialist;
- A mentor who will meet you where you’re at on your study journey, whether that’s at the beginning, in the middle, or approaching the final exam;
- Someone who won’t expect you to start at the beginning of the syllabus and work through to the end on your own: I’ll be working with you at every stage of the process;
- Someone to offer encouragement, support, guidance, reassurance, structure and accountability;
- Someone to cheer you on at every stage on the journey;
- Commitment to your development as a teacher and an individual in a way which will both nurture and enhance your teaching practice.
The packages include:
- An introductory 30-minute Skype or FaceTime call so we can get to know each other (for the 12- and 26-week packages);
- Weekly check-in via email, and email support throughout;
- Exclusive and lifelong access to our closed Facebook group to meet and share the experience with other members of the teaching community;
- Exclusively-designed workbooks, guidance sheets, prompts and worksheets which will support you at every stage of the journey;
- Personalised feedback on written work, audio recordings and videos.
“David was extremely helpful in my preparations for the DipABRSM in Piano Teaching. His feedback on my written submission was invaluable and encouraging, as was his help and advice for my Quick Study. Knowledgeable and with a keen understanding of the requirements, David knows exactly how to help and bring out the best in you!”
– Rebecca, DipABRSM
or 3 x payments of £145
or 6 x payments of £120
Whatever stage you’re at on your journey, I’d love to hear from you.
To find out more about the mentoring I offer, or to sign up, click on the button below to contact me:
Frequently Asked Questions
Which diplomas do you mentor for?
I currently mentor for the DipABRSM, ATCL, DipLCM(TD) and ALCM(TD) diplomas.
Why should I make this financial investment?
I understand this is a big step to take. We can often feel guilty about spending money on our own development, but I truly believe that by investing in yourself, you invest in others. The mentoring I offer is about your development as both an individual and as a teacher, and through the work we do together, this will enhance your teaching for many years to come.
Is this right for me?
If you’re committed to developing your teaching and you’ve been considering working towards a diploma, mentoring offers exactly the kind of support framework for you. If you’ve been looking at the syllabus and wondering where to start, this is definitely for you.
Why is the 4-week package proportionally more expensive?
Usually, teachers interested in the 4-week package want to work on a lot of material in a short space of time, and the price therefore reflects the intensity of mentoring required.
Do you mentor teachers of all instruments?
I certainly do. In the past, I have mentored flute, clarinet, recorder, piano, singing, violin and cello teachers.
Can I start anytime?
Yes, subject to availability. You might like to think about how the mentoring package you choose works alongside when you’re aiming to enter for and sit the diploma.
What can we cover in each package?
Everything we do is very much tailored to your requirements. Much depends on the amount of time you have to devote to preparing for the diploma. Some teachers prefer to work on just one element (e.g. written submission, quick study etc.), whilst others prefer to cover more. I am always happy to discuss with you what we may be able to cover within the time available.