New Sidmouth College music teacher 'excited' for musical future

PUBLISHED: 07:03 08 November 2019 | UPDATED: 07:17 08 November 2019

Richard Morgan, new music teacher at Sidmouth College. Ref shs 45 19TI 3491. Picture: Terry Ife

Richard Morgan, new music teacher at Sidmouth College. Ref shs 45 19TI 3491. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Inspiring creativity to continue Sidmouth's strong musical presence is the aim of the college's new music teacher.

Richard Morgan, new music teacher at Sidmouth College. Ref shs 45 19TI 3439. Picture: Terry IfeRichard Morgan, new music teacher at Sidmouth College. Ref shs 45 19TI 3439. Picture: Terry Ife

Richard Morgan started at Sidmouth College in September and hopes to 'make a difference' to students with a new curriculum as well as develop students' passion for the subject.

The Herald reported in March that the school would be dropping music GCSE due to financial constraints, but it will now offer the RSL vocational qualification, which is 'equivalent' to a GCSE.

Mr Morgan said the course offers students the chance to focus on a musical area and develop skills professionals use.

He said: "In short, the GCSE enables you to talk about music with a bit of performance and composition thrown in, whereas the RSL course equips you with practical and vocational skills to take music making beyond the classroom - the GCSE in most cases doesn't do that.

Richard Morgan, new music teacher at Sidmouth College. Ref shs 45 19TI 3491. Picture: Terry IfeRichard Morgan, new music teacher at Sidmouth College. Ref shs 45 19TI 3491. Picture: Terry Ife

"You learn by doing. It's practical and it's hard work. They way I see it, every student is musical.

"Lesson one is to convince people they are musical because they are.

"It's fun. It's very easy for people to say music is this special gift that some people have, it's not, it's a learnt skill that anyone can acquire. People pick it up at different speeds for sure."

The father-of-two is a former director of music from Norwich, previously teaching in Lowestoft and North London.

He moved to Sidmouth with his wife Kathryn and sons Zachary, eight, and Josiah, six, and says he has been warmly welcomed into the school and community.

Outside of the classroom, Mr Morgan has recently joined award winning Cornish folk band The Rowan Tree.

Mr Morgan said: "There is a lot of music that happens in Sidmouth already and that 
is a privilege as a music teacher to come along and celebrate 
that.

"I want the music department to be the default place where people want to send their kids.

"I want Sidmouth to be seen playing music with every 
age group doing it and I want people to wonder, 'how on earth 
is there so much music going on?' I want to be part of that.

"The community have been warm and welcoming, neighbours, church, and school everywhere in the street people are haven lovely."

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