Daniel's Story- professional musician to Director of Music

Daniel's Story- professional musician to Director of Music 

Daniel spent 10 years working as a professional French horn player, with a huge variety of people, from Pavarotti to Rod Stewart and many of the country’s top orchestras. He had positions in major West End shows, and frequently toured with the likes of Michael Ball, Dame Shirley Bassey and Elaine Paige.

Following his time in London Daniel took up positions in Cyprus, as principal horn in the Cyprus State Orchestra and Abu Dhabi as Head of Instrumental Studies at the British School Al Khubairat.

After two years and shortly after the birth of his son, Daniel moved to Oman to take up a teaching position for the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra, the Sultan’s private orchestra, where he stayed for ten years.

When a job became available at the British School Muscat Daniel saw the possibility of new challenges and a chance to explore new directions and whilst he had a wealth a knowledge related to music, he lacked a formal teaching qualification.

"Teaching music comes as a natural extension from my life as a performing musician, and I think the key is to find a balance between the two so that both can benefit from each other".

"There were a number of reasons that motivated me to teach, specifically- the British School Muscat is a well-run non-profit school and not only is music supported at the school but very well resourced. Having such resources gave me the chance to develop an innovative instrumental programme from scratch- music has become integral within the school at all age groups. Teaching here, I have found the students’ behaviour exemplary and they’re always eager to learn. Of course, job security and a good salary package are certainly key factors too!".

Daniel goes on to say that "Oman is a wonderful place to bring up a child, with a quiet, family orientated way of life, and endless natural beauty".

Daniel took Tes Institute’s Straight to Teaching programme to help him progress towards Qualified Teacher Status (QTS) and starting at the school as an unqualified Music and Instrumental teacher, Daniel is now the Director of Music for the whole school of over 1,300 children. He explains that progression and professional development can be difficult within international schools and so a programme like Straight to Teaching can be vital for staff like him:

"For international teachers a promotion can often mean having to move countries if there are limited local opportunities, so Straight to Teaching provided a vital opportunity for me to upskill. Being able to do the programme whilst working was the reason I choose Straight to Teaching but during the programme I realised how useful it was to be able to apply newly found knowledge immediately. My teaching has improved without a doubt!".

QTS is the standard required for many British schools across the world, following an English curriculum and he says that:

"It’s increasingly important for the credibility of the teacher and the school to hold an official qualification like QTS, I personally didn’t consider other teaching qualifications. My Instrumental teaching qualifications from the Royal College of Music would be accepted at most schools across the world, but without QTS it would difficult to get a job as a class teacher- it’s an internationally recognised qualification for life!".