• Chis Caton-Greasley

CT ABRSM – Manchester Experience 2005 – 2006

I decided to do the CT ABRSM course in Manchester; it is something I had intended to do for a long time but never managed to commit the time due to family commitments. However now my family are a little older I decided it would be interesting and the letters were needed to teach at my children’s school.



I was very happy with my teaching ability as I had been teaching privately for 15 or so years quite happily with good exam results from my pupils and lots of recommendations etc …


I was rather apprehensive about going to the RNCM as it really was the first thing I had really done by myself since having my family.


The day arrived for the start of the course – I knew who my mentor was by name, but had forced myself not to Google any information so everything would be a surprise; however I already knew of Penny Sterling, the course leader, from the Junior Strings project at the RNCM.


I am not going to go into details and spoil it for you if you decide to do it. Suffice to say I enjoyed everything about the course. The assignments made me think outside ‘what I was doing?’ to ‘why was I doing it?’ and made me see that there were many ways to improve the holes in my teaching. These holes were ones I had managed to avoid and therefore ignore. So easy to do when you are working for yourself.


I was introduced to many things I would not have volunteered to be included in. I think this was easier as I did not really know anyone else on the course. Ironically the most interesting part of the full course sessions proved to be Kinder music – this I did not expect, and now I use it most.


2006 November update: Since completing the CT ABRSM I have since been to a Professional Development day including more Kinder music with Penny; & local teachers that I know at the RNCM and found it equally exhilarating and useful.


The mentor group work was the most enjoyable; Ragna, Kimberley, Caroline and Sally were great fun to learn with and our Mentor, Peter Noke. I was surprised at how much I learnt and how much my teaching has changed both whilst doing the course and as I have assimilated ideas since the course finished last summer.


I did the course as I required the qualification. I finished the course having learnt so much and can strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to teach; improve there own teaching ; expand their ideas and have a great time meeting teachers with different ideas and methods. I knew my lessons would change a little, I just did not expect that they would change so much. In addition, I realize that I enjoy teaching more than anything and intend to continue in this field.


I completed the course which I had thought was a good idea; now I know it is an excellent idea for anyone who takes teaching seriously. I hope the ABRSM will include a CT ABRSM II soon to continue with the excellent level of work they have started.

The presentation was in London in July – only the hottest day of 2006!! My husband came with me to the presentation as I was so pleased I had done it. We made our way down by train and navigated the underground. Neither of us had been to London for years so it was quite a maze and rather sweltering at the same time. We made it to the Royal Schools of Music in good time and got through a good litre or two of water while we waited.


The award ceremony was great and although the details are now fading into memories I know it was well worth the long journey. John and I found a lovely Italian restaurant near the Travel Lodge we stayed in which made a lovely end to the day.


Originally posted in 2013 on mdc.musiccorner.co.uk (my previous site)

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