Award is music to ears of Dalkeith teacher

St David's High School pupils Aidan O'Brien and Brooke Combe collect, on behalf of Grace Jack, the Secondary School Music Teacher Award at the Classic FM Music Teacher of the Year Awards 2017 from Myleene Klass. Photo: Matt Crossick
St David's High School pupils Aidan O'Brien and Brooke Combe collect, on behalf of Grace Jack, the Secondary School Music Teacher Award at the Classic FM Music Teacher of the Year Awards 2017 from Myleene Klass. Photo: Matt Crossick

A Dalkeith music teacher has been honoured at the Classic FM Music Teacher of the Year Awards 2017.

Grace Jack of St David’s High School, received the Secondary School Music Teacher Award. Two of her students accepted the award on her behalf from Classic FM presenter Myleene Klass at London’s Barbican.

The ceremony was part of ABRSM’s Shine event, which showcased the best in music education by shining a spotlight on the winning music teachers, as well as the next generation of performers and teachers.

Grace was chosen from hundreds of applicants across the country, after being nominated by one of her students.

For the past four years, Grace has been working at St David’s High. As Head of Expressive Arts she teaches S1 to S6, covering a wide range of musical styles from classical to modern day. She has formed many bands to engage pupils in different genres and has also worked hard to introduce several new productions to the music department and the school. Her biggest achievement was organising and directing the school’s musical – Seussical – the first at the school in more than a decade.

Grace, who receives a Celviano Grand Hybrid digital piano by Casio, said: “Music education plays such a crucial role in the development of young people and I get such joy from seeing the progress made by our pupils musically, emotionally, academically and socially. Seeing lives changed by the power of music has always been such a motivation for me and I feel very fortunate to have the job that I have and to be working with such incredible young people.”

The judges said: “Grace’s role goes far beyond day-to-day classroom teaching. She gives much of her own time to ensure the personal development of each of her pupils is the most productive it can be, achieving impressive results. Her leadership has seen a resurgence of music at the school, with the establishment of numerous ensembles under her leadership across a variety of styles and the first musical to be held at the school in over ten years, which she produced, directed and organised all the technical work. Her positivity and inspirational outlook is infectious, and her pupils have confidence to approach her as a mentor in areas outside of music too.”