Tony is a musician, academic and educator with over 20 years’ experience in the education sector. His role at ICMP is the strategic leadership and management of the institution’s academic provision, portfolio of programmes, teaching and learning development, and the faculty team.
His career history is unusual in that he’s had the privilege of working in all educational phases and sectors, from primary through to doctoral study, and he prides himself on a comprehensive understanding of music learning processes. Prior to joining ICMP Tony held senior posts at Nottingham Trent University, lectured at Birmingham Conservatoire, taught in schools and colleges and worked as a freelance composer and performer. His expertise as a designer of participatory music education projects has led him to work with a wide range of organisations including the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the BBC, the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, and the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra. Tony is also a longstanding advocate and mentor for Music For Youth.
Tony qualified with a BA(Hons) in Contemporary Music, First Class, from the University of Leeds, and subsequently obtained a PGCE Secondary Music with QTS, University of Leeds and a PhD in Musicology, Birmingham City University. He is a member of the Board of Directors for Contemporary Music For All (CoMA) and a co-opted Governor at Charnwood Academy, Staffordshire. He has worked with Nottingham Trent University as Head of Teacher Education, Head of Secondary and Continuing Education, Principal Lecturer for Research and CPD, Programme Leader PGCE Secondary, Senior Lecturer in Music Education; as a Lecturer in Music and Music Technology at the Birmingham Conservatoire; as Education Officer, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; as a Lecturer in Popular Music, Walsall College of Arts and Technology; and as Teacher of Music and Community Arts Co-ordinator, Campion School and Community College.
With 10 years’ experience in initial and continuing teacher education, the key strength Tony brings to ICMP is in the strategic improvement of learning, teaching and assessment practice. His expert areas are in music pedagogy, principles of teaching and learning, assessment design, teacher development, curriculum/programme design and validation, and the development of international partnerships and programmes. Tony is an experienced senior manager with a track record of instigating institutional change and developing cohesion in diverse and dynamic teams, and is regularly engaged as an external advisor, examiner, and scrutineer for numerous UK universities, and currently an external examiner for the Royal Northern College of Music.
His research specialism combines the world of experimental music and the avant-garde with music pedagogy, community music practice, and music education more generally. A major book, The Legacy of Cornelius Cardew (2013), is quickly becoming a seminal text on the composer, and other publications include The GCSE Composition Course (a set of 5 textbooks published by Peters Edition) and Valuing Music in Special Needs Settings (2016)
Alongside his academic career Tony manages to maintain a life as a musician and can still occasionally be found playing the piano around the pubs in his hometown of Lichfield. He was a founder member and toured internationally with the Pound Shop Boys (1998-2010), was Music Director of CoMA Birmingham (2003-5) and resident percussionist with CoMA East Midlands for 10 years. His music has been performed by the Cornelius Cardew Ensemble, Backbeat Percussion Ensemble, Stockholm’s Great Learning Orchestra and he has produced numerous albums of experimental electronica under the guise of Boring Phil. Outside of music, Tony is awaiting Rick Stein’s retirement from TV, to make room for his own series on seafood cuisine.