Audrey Milheres, the Director of Music at Music’all talks about the charity, the teachers and the future of the unique, not-for-profit music school.

Audrey Milheres, the Director of Music at Music’all talks about the charity, the teachers and the future of the unique, not-for-profit music school.

Audrey, what’s your role at the company?

I am the Director of Music at Music’all. I’m responsible for the day-to-day management of the school, its pupils, teachers and the curriculum.

How long have you been there?

I’ve been at the school since 2009 - its second year of existence. I started as a flute teacher, then became the school Administrator, and since 2015, I’ve been the Director of Music.

When did the school launch? 

The school was initially set up in 2008 as an after-school club. Following a review by the board in 2011, we moved to Lady Margaret School in Parsons Green as a Saturday school and achieved charitable status.

The school went from 40 pupils to the current level of 200 pupils. 

How many people work there?

Today we have over 30 professionals teaching at the school. We offer lessons in a variety of classical and jazz instruments, from viola to flute, trombone to drums. In addition, all our pupils take part in musicianship and ensemble classes. We have three orchestras, three jazz groups, guitar & chamber groups and choirs, including our audition choir, Prêt-a-Chanter which has been invited to take part in the Sangerstevne Festival in Cadogan square, in May.

Have you always been based in South West London? Why there?

Fulham is a fantastically dynamic place to run a music school. With lots of families living locally, there’s great demand for quality music provision. We have pupils from most of the local private and state schools in the area.

What's unique about the business?

There’s no-one quite like us! We offer a holistic approach to music tuition, similar to that offered by the junior departments of music colleges, but we take children from the first steps of their musical journey (aged 4) right up to and beyond Grade 8.

We are non-selective, and our goal is to enable every child to access music education with all its benefits, and develop to their maximum potential.

What are your USP's?

One of our unique selling points is the Taster Program. This runs during the first term and is open to all beginners. Every week, pupils try a different instrument in a lesson and at the end of term parents, pupils and teachers meet to discuss which instrument the child would like to learn.

Ownership of the decision from the pupil makes a tremendous difference to their motivation, and every year we have pupils choosing instruments they had perhaps never even heard of a few months earlier.

What are your future plans for the business?

We’ve developed a very powerful curriculum working with two pedagogical approaches, that of Kodaly and Dalcroze. We see the benefit of these approaches for pupils who have attended our foundation classes (age 4 – 7) as they integrate and internalise the fundamentals of music. As a result, they literally fly when they begin the more formal theory and practical musicianship on their instruments.

We’re excited to announce that we are expanding this. First Musical Steps classes will be available on Wednesday afternoons from September, as well as Saturdays. We’re also going to launch a class for 3-year-olds with parents on a Wednesday.

At the other end of the academic curriculum we’re always exploring ways to entice teenagers. Once Grade V theory is achieved (a necessary requirement to reach the higher grades in instruments) we offer Advanced Musicianship classes and we will be offering Composition classes using the computer program Garage Band, from September. Both classes complement GCSE & A level music.

Have you got any special events coming up/anything you'd like to promote to the local community?

We have a very active community program, each year we perform at the hospital, old people’s home & nurseries. The focus is the end-of-year concert that involves all pupils. We’re also delighted to be performing at The Fair on The Green again this year.

0759 069 1265