How music can transform a school

06 Sep 2019

As we introduce a major new series of talks and events in which great artists and unsung musical heroes tell their story, inspirational teacher Jimmy Rotheram talks about how he and his colleagues transformed a struggling Yorkshire primary school by putting music at the heart of every student’s day.

Back in 2010, Feversham Primary Academy in Bradford was placed in the special measures category and on a rapid downward spiral. It then boldly sought to embed music, drama and art in every part of the school day, with up to six hours of music a week for every child. In just six years, this took it from a state of crisis to being in the top 1% of schools nationally for pupil progress not just in the arts but in reading, writing and maths – an astonishing turnaround. As concerns grow about music’s shrinking place on the national curriculum, Feversham teacher Jimmy Rotheram shares his remarkable story and the benefits that schools everywhere could reap by embracing music.

If you’d like to enjoy more films like this as well as our recent interview with the inspirational Kadie and Stuart Kanneh-Mason in the months to come, you can find out more about how to become an RPS Member and all it offers. In the coming months, our events include such artists as Sir Thomas Allen and conductor John Wilson, Dame Sarah Connolly and harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, Sir John Tomlinson and soprano Nadine Benjamin, in conversation with each other; Nicola Benedetti CBE giving a major speech on music education in Britain; and a host of performers – including baritone Roderick Williams OBE and pianist Joanna MacGregor CBE, and tenor Nicky Spence and pianist Iain Burnside – inviting you into the rehearsal room to reveal how music finds its way from the score to the stage.


George Benjamin, composer, conductor, teacher, programmer: awarded RPS Honorary Membership in 2011.


Their Mozart and Beethoven Sinfonias blazed like a comet in our musical atmosphere - Spectator review - Philharmonic Society Concert 1837