Isle of Wight singing teacher wins Classic FM’s Music Teacher of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award

Singing teacher, Linda Filby-Borrett, from Ryde on the Isle of Wight has been awarded Classic FM’s Music Teacher of the Year 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award.

The award was presented by Casio ambassador, former music teacher and Ivor Novello-winning singer-songwriter, Laura Mvula, as part of Casio’s #ActioninMusic initiative, which aims to recognise outstanding music education, raise awareness of its importance within the school syllabus nationwide and inspire a new generation of music teachers who take action in the classroom. As part of the initiative, Casio has been working with schools across the UK – including the BRIT School, the Liverpool Institute For Performing Arts (LIPA) and East London Arts and Music (ELAM) – to celebrate the achievements of music teachers nationwide.

Presented in collaboration with Casio and ABRSM, the Classic FM Music Teacher of the Year awards took place at at London’s Barbican as part of ABRSM’s Shine, a free one-day event showcasing the latest developments in music education.

Chosen by a panel of industry judges, including ABRSM’s Chief Examiner, John Holmes, and the Editor of Music Teacher magazine, Alex Stevens, winners were as follows:

  • Primary Music Teacher of the Year: Robert Parton from Goose Green Primary School in Southwark, London
  • Secondary Music Teacher of the Year: Grace Jack from St David’s RC High School in Dalkeith, Midlothian
  • Peripatetic Music Teacher of the Year: Una Birtchnell from Lewisham, London
  • Special Education Needs Music Teacher of the Year: Felicity Kirk from the Valley School in Stevenage, Hertfordshire
  • Lifetime Achievement: Linda Filby-Borrett from Ryde on the Isle of Wight

All winners received a Casio Celviano Grand Hybrid GP-500, a hybrid digital piano which combines key elements of an acoustic grand piano.

Linda Filby-Borrett provides private singing lessons on the Isle of Wight and the mainland. In particular, she supports practical performance for GCSE, GCE AS and A level music exams and for musical competitions and festivals. She teaches the monks at Quarr Abbey, who are highly regarded for their albums of Gregorian chant and plainsong, as well as people with possible early stages of dementia. She also runs the Voices of the Isle of Wight choir.

Linda Filby-Borrett said:

‘I have been teaching singing over 40 years and consider I have had a blessed life doing what I love. This award is the icing on the cake.’

Laura Mvula said:

‘Learning to play the piano with my music teacher from the age of eight played a huge part in developing my musical style and gave me the confidence to become the artist I am today. I learnt first-hand the positive impact of having access to music so I’m honoured to be a part of this collaboration.’

The judges said:

‘The impact that Linda has had on the musical life of the Isle of Wight is clearly evident. Through her life-long dedication to music teaching, she has transformed the lives of pupils ranging from six to 90 years old with many pursuing musical careers at some of the UK’s finest music schools and conservatoires. Her reputation on the island is evident as an energetic, compassionate teacher, who puts the needs of her pupils first whilst always maintaining the highest standards. She is responsible for a resurgence in music across all ages, even saving the county musical festival that was once in danger of ceasing due to small number of entries.’

Jack Terroni, Marketing Executive at Casio Music, said:

‘We are proud to be supporting this category in addition to the rest of the awards. It’s an honour to present one of the highest accolades available to such a worthy winner who has made a real difference. We are thrilled to be part of such an inspirational day which recognises the importance of music education across the UK.  Music can and should be part of everyone’s lives.’


Header photo: Linda Filby-Borrett (l) with Laura Mvula

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