Five ABYSO string players have completed the first phase of an intensive 10 week-long teacher training programme with music educator Hazel Ross.  The course, organised and sponsored by the Global Leaders Program, a strategic partner of the ABYSO, covered a wide range of theoretical and practical approaches to effectively teaching string instruments and mentoring string players. Delivered entirely on-line because of the constraints on travel related to the coronavirus, the primary aim was to identify key objectives of the ABYSO and explore how to deliver them sustainably and effectively, through creative, pupil centred teaching.

Raul Vergara, Co-Founder of the Global Leaders Program shared: “It is an honour for us to join ABYSO in the development and cultivation of symphonic music in Antigua and Barbuda. We believe there is great future for the two organizations by collaborating together in what promises to be a catalyst for musical advancement in the region”.

The trainees were violinists Alfranique Joseph and Joelle Michael, violist Mario Hill, cellist Donja Gordon and double bass player Danielle Benjamin. The course covered the following areas:

  • Reflection on our role as music teachers
  • What does inspirational teaching mean?
  • Creative teaching and developing core skills
  • Developing creative solutions and teaching techniques in 1:1 and group classes.
  • Reach, Retention and Reputation: A rounded approach to teaching
  • Posture and Alexander Technique
  • Developing technique
  • Motivation and progression.

Speaking of the trainees, Hazel Ross noted: “The enthusiasm and receptiveness of the trainees has made this 10-week course a privilege to run. They have openly embraced new skills and a new way of thinking and their genuine commitment to the children of ABYSO is inspiring. I believe the future of string teaching is very exciting”.

Alfranique Joseph described the impact of the course on her as follows: “Being part of this Masterclass has been eye opening to not only music education but the art of music education itself. It’s not just about teaching perfect technique. It’s about giving students the push to become creative, confident and versatile musicians and human beings who are not afraid to try”.

Joelle Michael noted, “for me personally, it’s given me a chance to reflect on my teaching over the years. And while I’ve been doing pretty okay, Hazel has really challenged me to step up my game as an educator. Definitely super appreciative and grateful for the experience”.

Mario Hill said “Hazel Ross’ course encourages the teacher to seriously rethink his approach to teaching. It stimulates innovative thinking, advocates the use of proven methods resulting in a holistic teaching experience and a mutually beneficial experience between teacher and student where the musical advancement of the child is paramount”.

Danielle Benjamin said that to her “this course meant confidence that with a structure I can creatively and efficiently transfer knowledge and help in the music learning process”.

About Hazel Ross

Hazel studied at the Royal Northern College of Music. Following her undergraduate studies, she then went on to achieve a Distinction in performance at postgraduate level.  She has since built a diverse career as a performer and educator which takes her all over the world. As well as performing across Europe, Canada, South America Australia and America, she is an examiner for the ABRSM, working in China and Malyasia as well as the UK. She also plays with many of the UK’s professional orchestras, The Royal Shakespeare Company and as a session musician. Hazel has created several independent projects, aimed to break down barriers in classical music and she is now touring internationally with her own show ‘Tango Tzigane’ and manages the renowned duo ‘Elektra’ which she founded 12 years ago. Hazel is passionate about music education and teacher development. In addition to consulting on education projects globally, she is dedicated to her own pupils and ran the junior department of the international music course ‘LMFL’ for many years. She is also regularly invited to give string master classes and run workshops across the UK and will receive international accreditation as a business and leadership coach later this year.

About The Global Leaders Program

The Global Leaders Program empowers arts changemakers to grow organizations that impact communities through an innovative nine-month Executive Graduate Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship, Cultural Agency, Community Development, Business Management & Teaching Artistry. Led in partnership with nine top universities and think tanks; a world-class Faculty that includes Nobel Laureates, Grammy Winners and TED presenters; and a network of institutional Fieldwork hosts spanning 40+ countries, the Program is offered annually to a diverse Executive Cohort of 50 accomplished music professionals from around the globe.