A music teacher from Dalkeith has been honoured by Classic FM, the UK’s most popular classical music station.
Grace Jack, of St David’s RC High School, was awarded the Secondary School Music Teacher Award.
Two of her students received the award on her behalf from Classic FM presenter Myleene Klass on stage at London’s Barbican. The awards showcase the very best in music education by shining a spotlight on the winning music teachers, as well as the next generation of performers and teachers.
They recognise and reward those teachers who have made a real difference to the musical lives of young people, and celebrate their work in five categories.
In its 25th birthday year, Classic FM joined together with Casio - one of the world’s most renowned producers of premium and digital hybrid pianos - and ABRSM - one of the world’s leading exam boards - to undertake the nation’s biggest ever celebration of outstanding music education.
Grace was chosen from hundreds of applicants across the country, after being nominated. A panel of expert industry judges, including ABRSM’s chief examiner John Holmes, then selected her as the winner of the Secondary School category.
For the past four years, Grace has been working at St David’s RC High School. She is the Head of Expressive Arts, teaching ages from S1 to S6, covering a wide range of musical styles from classical to modern day.
Since being at St David’s, she has formed many bands to engage pupils in different genres, including rhythm and blues, jazz and a ceilidh band, plus she helped to create a ukulele group.
She has also worked hard to introduce several new productions to the music department and the school. Her biggest achievement was organising and directing the school’s musical – Seussical – the first at the school in more than a decade and in the past year, she has been integral to the annual St David’s Christmas Concert.
Grace Jack said: “I am delighted with this award. Music education plays such a crucial role in the development of young people and I get such joy from seeing the progress made by our pupils musically, emotionally, academically and socially.
“Seeing lives changed by the power of music has always been such a motivation for me and I feel very fortunate to have the job that I have and to be working with such incredible young people.”
The judges commented: “Grace’s role goes far beyond day-to-day classroom teaching. She gives much of her own time to ensure the personal development of each of her pupils is the most productive it can be, achieving impressive results.
“Her leadership has seen a resurgence of music at the school. Her positivity and inspirational outlook is infectious, and her pupils have confidence to approach her as a mentor in areas outside of music too.”