Nina Pakenham

Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

Qualifications: GRSM PGCE

Teaches Violin, Viola, Piano, Recorder, Singing

Locale Bury St Edmunds, Stowmarket, Newmarket

I am an experienced and flexible instrumental teacher. I have taught in a wide variety of settings using a range of resources and approaches. I enjoy attempting to best match and meet the needs and stages of the pupils. I take opportunities to create the best progressive and enjoyable outcomes, sometimes working closely with parents and sometimes encouraging more independence. I enjoy collaborating and celebrating with colleagues.

Stringbabies and Nina

Having trained initially with the British Suzuki Institute I have always been keen to support well established reading alongside technical and aural development. Successful note recognition is embedded in Stringbabies from the start. Improvisation is a key element in rounded music making and Stringbabies offers the opportunity through original composition to explore unique creative sound pictures.

My thoughts on teaching music

As already explained successful and enjoyable progression is important to me. Sometimes can be supported by preparing for exams but sharing and celebrating performance is also key and I try to create opportunities for this.

Musical experience

I grew up encouraged by a musical environment, singing in the church choir and learning piano and violin from the age of 7. I progressed through a County Music Exhibition in Hampshire to follow their specialist 6th form course to studying at RCM. as a 1st study violinist and 2nd study pianist. Whilst there I also sang regularly with the Bach Choir. Always wanting to teach I developed my professional experience by taking a PGCE course at Homerton College Cambridge. I played in orchestras and sang in choirs whilst there.

After qualifying I moved to Sussex where I taught for 5 years in a residential prep school as a music assistant whilst taking the BSI Course. In 1985 I was married and we moved to Suffolk to join the Ipswich Suzuki Group. I worked with the Suffolk County Music Service until 2012 during the time of the launching of Wider Opportunities teaching. I examined regularly for the their exams.

Since then I have taught in a wide range of schools and privately, successfully entering pupils for Trinity and ABRSM exams. By way of contrast since 2013 I have worked in schools as a general supply teacher and 2016 -2020 as a music lead in a Primary school; planning and delivering class music throughout the age range. I launched the use of Music Express and BBC Ten Primary pieces 1,2 and 3 to support Curriculum Music. I also set up a programme delivering instrumental lessons.

I have now decided at this stage to return to private teaching, continuing as a peripatetic at a local Prep School. I explored Stringbabies first in 2011 and launched my first cohort in 2012 – 2013, several of who have continued long term and am now in a position to recruit again. Since the pandemic I have been teaching online lessons and exploring online exam boards.