Having been a full-time classroom teacher for thirty years, Margaret Jones now has a varied portfolio of roles in music. Education remains central to Margaret’s working life, and she has built up a thriving private teaching practice having retired from her role at Lutley Primary School (where she was previously a class teacher and music leader and provided small group instrumental and vocal tuition). She uses Kodaly inspired approaches both in workshops and in 1:1 teaching and considers the development of musicianship skills to be integral to learning any instrument. Her principle areas of expertise are flute, recorder, piano and voice, while she also has experience in teaching clarinet and violin.
Her passion for vocal leadership started when leading school groups and in 2012 she formed Lutley Community Voices and has been thrilled by the success of the choir, including appearances at Birmingham Town Hall and Symphony Hall, the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and Dudley Town Hall. Her own development as a music director has been supported by her involvement with the Association of British Choral Directors, with whom she has completed Initial and Intermediate extended courses under the tutelage of Julian Wilkins, Sue Hollingworth and Keith Orrell and taken part in masterclasses with Nicholas Cleobury, Patrick Russill and Will Prideaux. She has also attended summer school courses at Shrewsbury and Sherborne. In 2016 Margaret became Music Director of Gentlemen Songsters Male Voice Choir, with whom she has directed celebrity shows involving Lesley Garrett, Aled Jones, Laura Wright and Ruthie Henshall. Margaret has created two other vocal groups in her hometown of Halesowen: a singing for pleasure group, Shenstone Singers, and an upper voices ensemble, Shenstone Roses.
Although she now spends much of her time at the front, Margaret still enjoys being in the middle of a choir as an alto in Birmingham Festival Choral Society. She has performed in Germany, Slovenia, Estonia, Slovakia, Ireland, France and Romania in her 20 years with BFCS.
Margaret is a great believer in lifelong learning and most of her musical qualifications have been acquired since she completed her degree (in English) in the ‘80’s. These include a Grade 8 (with Distinction) and LTCL(Teachers) diploma on the flute and an MA(Mus) from the Open University. Most recently lockdown projects have resulted in a Merit at Grade 8 on the recorder and a qualification in Vocal health First Aid. She is currently working at extending her skills on the viola and is always keen to hear from adult learners who realise that it’s never too late to learn new and revive old skills!