Principal of Borehamwood-based music school wins national award

Borehamwood Times: Jane Cutler with children at Saffron Green Primary School Jane Cutler with children at Saffron Green Primary School

A teacher who brings the gift of music to thousands of young children has been recognised for her efforts.

Jane Cutler, 52, was awarded the Editor’s Choice Award at the Music Teacher Awards for Excellence at a ceremony at the Barbican earlier this month.

Her charity the DaCapo Music Foundation, which has its head offices at Saffron Green Primary School in Nicholl Way in Borehamwood, aims to make learning a musical instrument accessible for all.

Founded more than 20 years ago, it offers music lessons to thousands of children through its music centre at Wessex Gardens School in Hendon. It also runs summer schools and goes into schools and nurseries throughout north London.

Mrs Cutler said she was “surprised and delighted” to receive the accolade.

She added: “I was nominated for the lifetime achievement award, which I wouldn’t have got as I was competing against people in their eighties.

“But the editor of the Music Teacher magazine was so impressed by what we do that he decided to choose me for his award.”

The music school aims to combine a structured syllabus with an accessible, humorous and creative approach, to allow students to become skilled musicians with pleasure and without pleasure.

It was invited to set up its head offices at Saffron Green school by headteacher Linda Storey who was very impressed by its ethos.

Mrs Cutler said: “That part of Borehamwood is not a middle-class area. Musical instruments and lessons are prohibitively expensive for people there. We aim to make the gift of music accessible for all.”

Editor of Music Teacher magazine Thomas Lydon said: “The DaCapo Music Foundation aims to ‘find many ways to get quality music-making to children’.

"Over the past 22 years, this aim has been gloriously realised, enriching the lives of thousands of students through its music centres, summer schools and its work in schools and nurseries.

“From a formative period teaching alongside Sheila Nelson at the famous Tower Hamlets Strings project, where she came into contact with Kodály and Dalcroze methods, she went on to develop her own syllabuses, creating, in DaCapo, an outstanding education channel for students of all ages.”

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