Author In Focus: Sheila James |

Subjects: Music
Educated: Sheffield, London, Cambridge
Top Resource: Rag Desh: Set Work Analysis and Activities
Sheila James, 
Music resources author

Sheila grew up in Sheffield, South Yorkshire where she attended local state schools, dancing classes and sang in the Sheffield Girls Choir as one of the first set of members. She began her music profession as a freelance musician during her late teenage years. Sheila has lectured as an associate lecturer for Music, Literacy, and Numeracy, been a Community Outreach worker and Arts Coordinator for Adult Education in Sheffield, Yorkshire. She has also worked in the community as a private singing, piano, music theory, and steel pan teacher; a gospel choir director, church organist and as a local session singer who regularly toured the UK.

"I passionately believe that music education in our schools should be accessible to all"

In 1996 she did a Postgraduate Certificate in Education at Cambridge University further to graduating from London University's Goldsmiths College in 1991 with a Bachelor of Music honours degree. She completed her training in 1997 and has taught in mostly challenging schools as a Head of Music in London and Greater London. She has five teenage children.

"Over my 13 years of teaching music I have raised standards consistently in my schools and turned music departments around in a very short time. Ofsted has twice found music to be the strength of a school that I was the Head of Music in due to the rapid growth in the department and its raised profile in the school and the community. I have also done the occasional consultancy work for private education establishments and continued my professional development with seven years' experience as a music examiner and completed an MA in Music Education at the Institute of Education in October 2009."

"What I particularly like about ZigZag Education is that they are continually growing and moving with the trend."

"I passionately believe that music education in our schools should be accessible to all and that teachers should feel confident to teach it well during the climate of consistent government changes in education. I write for the teachers who are so overwhelmed that they have no time to research and produce materials for new exam specifications. I try to write these resources well for their sake."

Sheila is currently working on a series of Set Works Analyses for the 12 Edexcel GCSE Music set works (All Blues, And the Glory of the Lord, Chopin's Prelude No. 15, Mozart's Symphony No. 40 1st Movement, Rag Desh, Skye Waulking Song, Yiri by Koko, etc.). She tries to keep these resources realistic to the average music department and music candidate, exhaustive enough for the average overworked music teacher, and user friendly by making the information easy to reference.

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