Graeme Smith - Head of Service

Graeme studied the viola at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the National Centre for Orchestral Studies, gained a degree in mathematics at Cambridge University and trained as a teacher at the University of London Institute of Education.  After spells as a freelance viola player and mathematics teacher he embarked on a career in music education, first at St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh then with the East Sussex Music Service before moving to Croydon where he has been head of service since 2000.

He is particularly interested in approaches to music teaching which combine the best of curriculum and instrumental practice.  He was part of the Federation of Music Services / National Association of Music Educators working party which developed the instrumental / vocal curriculum, A Common Approach, and took part in the Creativity across the Curriculum project at the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.  Croydon was one of the original six pilots for whole class instrumental teaching chosen by the DfES for evaluation by Ofsted and at the subsequent DfES sponsored Music for Life event at the Barbican he led the group which opened the concert.

He researched the effects of music education on general academic standards at the University of London Institute of Education, showing that involvement in music produced an average of half a grade difference across all GCSE subjects.  He also undertook a study trip to Finland to explore the relationship between their large investment in music education, their approach to the curriculum and their consistent position as a top performing country for educational attainment. He was a member of the Music Manifesto Partnership and Advocacy Group (chaired by Darren Henley) and was treasurer of the Federation of Music Service from 2008 until the founding of Music Mark, the UK Association for Music Education.  He was Chair of Music Mark from 2014 - 2016.