Teacher Hub

Meet the Teacher - Hayley Fry, Eastbourne College, UK

Written by William Thompson27/06/24

Following 5 years teaching in the UK, Hayley Fry worked internationally in The Middle East and South East Asia and she is currently Assistant Director of Music at Eastbourne College teaching Year 9, GCSE and A Level Music and A Level Music Technology.

Hayley has been at the school for 18 months and works alongside the Head of Academic Music and Director of Music and a large part of her role is to manage the team of 21 Visiting Music Teachers, introducing a new appraisal and support process for the instrumental teachers at the school. She also organises a multitude of performances and events, including a concert series with opportunities for the school community and members of the public to perform alongside each other in the fantastic performance spaces at the school.

Eastbourne College is a co-ed boarding school and staff live in, so there are plenty of out-of-hours activities happening in music, as well as during the school day.

The school is very well equipped for music, with a purpose-built arts building with 3 floors allocated to music.

The ground floor comprises purpose-built studio spaces with a drum studio, 9 practice rooms and recording studios with a designated vocal booth, one large, one small recording studio and a recording booth. The space is equipped in a way to allow A Level Music Technology students to experiment with sound. For example they really enjoy playing and experimenting with Ribbon microphones and exploring the characteristics of different microphones.

All of this work is supported by an experienced technician who also records some of the school events including the ‘Live Lounge’ concerts. This is a great resource which helps students to get their own work out there via Apple Music and the School Spotify account.

There is also a Mac suite which runs Logic and Sibelius, with the recent introduction of plug-ins to support work at A Level.

Upstairs is the staff lounge as well as a purpose built auditorium used as a concert and theatre space. This contains a partition wall to alter the space for recitals as well as allow for larger scale performances. There is a Steinway grand piano available which is a wonderful opportunity for students playing at the very top level. perhaps aspiring to go to music conservatoires, to perform in a professional level space.

On the top floor are 2 teaching spaces where GCSE and A Level students explore set works and there are Apple Macs available for composing at GCSE and A Level. There are also additional practice spaces on the top floor. The school has also brought in Musical Futures which allows for practical music making in these spaces.

Despite having many and wonderful learning spaces available, staff are considering how to use the spaces to support the growing interest in A Level Music Technology from year 9, rather than limiting this just to A Level. They would also like to bring in recording opportunities using an analogue system so that students can be more hands on in using equipment than is possible with digital approaches.

There are also plans for using Wak-a-tubes to get senior staff involved in a performance in the run up to Christmas. These can also be used at GCSE to work out chords and extended chords in set works and are a great resource for any music classroom. Hayley also enjoys using Ukuleles in her teaching.

The one thing Hayley most appreciates in her current role is having a designated performance space which is specifically made for music. Having an acoustically treated space means that group and ensembles sound great from the very first note, which is really motivating for the students taking part in these performances.