Meet our ITP Facilitators (Part 1)


Earlier this spring, we relaunched our acclaimed Identifying Musical Talent and Potential (ITP) training, offering free training to Music Education Hubs in England. Funded by Arts Council England through their Hub Support Programme, this new phase will see AYM reach over 1000 teachers, exploring the skills they need to spot the next generation of musical talent. With the first training sessions starting next month it’s time to introduce our new Associate Facilitators – ten creative and curious musicians with a wealth of experience as performers, educators and community practitioners. They’ll be working with our Programme Producer Naomi Wellings and Lead Facilitators Hugh Nankivell and Neil Phillips to run ITP sessions with Hubs from June onwards. You can book your free session today here.


Meet the team


Sue Baker

Music has always played a major part in Sue’s life and Music has always played a major part in Sue’s life. Since graduating from Trinity College of Music and Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Sue has had the privilege to work as a professional violinist and a music educator. She has been actively involved in music services and hubs across the country for many years and thrives on meeting the challenges music education constantly faces. Sue led the Music and Performing Arts Service in North East Lincolnshire for 10 years and now enjoys freelancing as a music consultant and teacher in a variety of schools and settings, especially focusing on SEND music intervention programmes. She is very much looking forward to her new role as one of the AYM’s Associate Facilitators. 


Natasha Gawlinski 

Natasha has been working in music education for over 20 years. Originally trained in teaching Key Stage 2 and 3 music she then went on to work in both secondary and primary schools teaching and coordinating music across whole schools. She has also worked for many years teaching woodwind and is currently one of the lead saxophone teachers working for Create Music in Brighton and Hove whilst studying part time for a Masters in the Teaching Musician at Trinity Laban. Natasha also plays saxophone in local big bands and a saxophone quartet.

“I feel really excited to be part of the team of facilitators due to be delivering the IMTP training. It is an amazing opportunity to promote AYM’s philosophy and incredible training programme across the country and hopefully enable so many more children to access musical opportunities within their areas.”


Beth Gifford

Beth is a passionate educator, performer and multi-instrumentalist specialising in group music teaching and English folk dance music. She studied Viola at Birmingham Conservatoire and was a member of the first cohort on Music Master’s and BCU’s PGCEi in group instrumental teaching.

Currently working for Camden Music Service and the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS), Beth believes strongly that music should be accessible to all and endeavours to support young musicians in their journey wherever possible e.g. she’s run CPD sessions for EFDSS and Music Mark on folk music for beginner instrumentalists. Participating in AYM’s Identifying Musical Talent and Potential training changed Beth’s perspective as a teacher, giving her the confidence to encourage musical experimentation from her students and help them access more opportunities. Beth is delighted to now be facilitating this fantastic training and to continue her own learning and growth as an educator with AYM.


Jenny Hibberd

Curious wordsmith, musician and workshop leader, Jenny Hibberd is passionate about supporting people, particularly through the rhythm of music, language and storytelling. She has been delivering community workshops for six years, engaging myriad groups, ages and needs, in music, lyric writing, poetry, theatre and arts and crafts. Jenny was winner of the ‘Creative Voice Award’ 2020 from Mighty Creatives as “an outstanding creative ambassador making an impact in championing and promoting creativity in the region.”  She’s currently training to be a Music Therapist and is honoured to have been chosen as one of ten ITP facilitators working with Awards for Young Musicians. She anticipates inspiring music educators to illuminate innovative and subtle ways of identifying musical potential in their students. She is excited to be part of this important, inclusive initiative to enrich and encourage future generations of musical talent.


Jon Kille

Jon has been a music educator for 40 years, beginning his career as a teacher in primary/middle schools and subsequently as head of a music service overseas. He has worked as musician-in-residence in schools all over the world from Italy to the Falkland Islands to Brunei with the common aim of making music accessible to all.  Specialising in creating and delivering whole class instrumental programmes and workshops, Jon thrives on demonstrating the musical energy that can be created by groups of children and students of all ages who are well taught by well-taught teachers.  Becoming one of the Facilitators for the AYM ITMP programme will enable Jon to continue to share his passion for making access to music education fairer for all and he is looking forward to working closely with the energetic AYM team.  


Awards for Young Musician’s acclaimed Identifying Musical Talent and Potential (ITP) training is now available to Music Education Hubs through Arts Council England’s Hub Support Programme.

This in-person or online training is delivered by AYM’s Facilitators, using creative musical activities to help teachers identify potential in young people in a wide range of formal and informal educational contexts. AYM’s 8 Facets of Musical Potential are explored using specially created film resources. These films also show how some commonly used group musical activities can challenge teachers’ perspectives of what they are actually learning about the young people participating. 

ITP training is suitable for peripatetic music staff, classroom teachers and music specialists. It tackles one of the biggest obstacles to talented young people’s musical progress: many teachers have limited experience of how to identify musical potential in the first place. Primary school class teachers generally have very little musical training, so their limited confidence can be a stumbling block; this inevitably affects their ability to identify young people’s musical potential in their classes. Alongside this, instrumental teachers working as part of the wider Music Education Hub partnerships can focus too much on instrumental proficiency, which can get in the way of them spotting early potential in a child who has never had the opportunity to play an instrument.   

Check back next week to meet the rest of the facilitators.

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