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5 questions for Classic FM's Music Teacher of the Year

Laura  Barnes
5 questions for Classic FM's Music Teacher of the Year

Last month, Linda Filby-Borrett was presented with the Lifetime Achievement award at Classic FM’s Music Teacher of the Year Awards 2017 with Casio and ABRSM.

Isle of Wight’s Filby-Borrett was chosen from hundreds of applicants across the country after being nominated by one of her adult students.

With students ranging from six to 90 years old, Filby-Borrett provides private singing lessons, as well as for musical competitions and festivals. She also teaches the monks at Quarr Abbey (Benedictine Monastery) who are highly regarded for their albums of Gregorian Chant and Plainsong.

Amongst her many achievements, she regularly enters pupils and learners into the county musical festival that was, at one time, in danger of ceasing due to small entries. She has changed that with more than 100 entered in classes. She also teaches those with possible early stages of dementia and she also teaches a man who is totally blind who has been able to join her choir and share an experience of being with other people that he would otherwise not experience.
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MI Pro caught up with Filby-Borrett to hear about some of her favourite moments from her long career and what advice she would give to aspiring music teachers:

Congratulations on your award win. What does this kind of recognition mean to you?

I have been teaching for 40 years and this award is the icing on the cake of a totally blessed life.

Did you always want to teach?

I am passionate about singing and love sharing this buzz, which we can all achieve if guided in the right direction. I’ve been qualified now for 44 years and have been teaching for 40 of them.

What are some of your favourite moments from your teaching career?

There are so many highlights. Teaching the Benedictine Monks at Quarr for the last 20 years has been incredible, but also meeting and teaching Sarah Brightman, who was holiday on the island.

It seems creative subjects are somewhat under threat at the moment. We’ve heard of one school that has completely scrapped music lessons. How important do you think it is that music lessons remain an important part of UK children's’ education?

Although music is an academic subject I do feel it is not given enough respect generally in schools. I feel very strongly that this creative subject is very much needed in this time of constant testing and pressure children seem to be under.

What would you say to any young person thinking about becoming a music teacher?

My advice to young teachers is to please, please get appropriate qualifications. Singing in particular can be so damaging if taught badly. We can't go to a shop and buy another instrument.

Tags: abrsm , casio , classic fm , Interviews , Music Teacher of the Year , Linda Filby-Borrett , music teacher

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