Ffion Cook

Subject Lead for Music

Music is a subject which you find yourself drawn into from a young age. As a child I was constantly singing, and growing up in Wales this was actively encouraged. Whilst at school , I learnt to play the piano, clarinet and took singing lessons. I also took part in school ensembles, as well as regional and national choirs. This was an excellent background to begin to pursue a musical career. I have also gone on to learn to play the flute, tenor saxophone and harp.

I graduated from Bangor University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Music degree (2.1 hons) specialising in vocal performance, studying under Sandra Dugdale of the Royal Northern College of Music. My PGCE was also awarded from Bangor. I was fortunate during this period to partake in some unique opportunities. Amongst others, I was selected to sing for HRH Prince Charles during a commemorative visit to the university. I was also fortunate in gaining work at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod as a music assistant for four consecutive years. My role was extremely varied; I worked alongside some of the top musicians and adjudicators from across the world, such as Ralph Allwood, producing scripts for the presenters, liasing with television and radio stations and also assisting the organisation of televised celebrity concerts. I loved the buzz of the adrenaline fueled environment. Following this I took up a teaching post via the WAM foundation in Gurgaon near Delhi in India teaching Western music. This experience can only be described as a breath-taking culture shock and a sharing of music, the likes of which I don’t think I will capture ever again.

Upon my return to Britain, I began teaching in an all boys independent Grammar School. Initially I held the role of music teacher and was later promoted to Head of Music. It was a great challenge to bring more singing into a school where instrumental ensembles were very firmly established. With the support of the students, their families and staff, we put on great productions such as Footloose, Oliver and We Will Rock You, alongside large orchestral and choral concerts performing some of the all time greatest music, for example, Mozart’s Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana and Will Todd’s Mass in Blue. Music is an international language and we proved this by delivering concerts to audiences on foreign music tours.

My interests are many and varied. In my previous school I was also undertook the role of Debating Co-ordinator. Debating and public speaking are invaluable tools throughout life. My teams won regional and national competitions and have gone on to represent Britain at International events, something that I hope to replicate at King’s. Leading a team of sixth form trekking across Namibia for a month was also an unforgettable experience.

I am excited to help shape music at King’s. It is something that I am deeply passionate about and I know the students of the Academy are too. The study of music and participation in ensembles go hand in hand. Supporting someone by reminding them to practise their instrument, attend a rehearsal and supporting them at concert performances are paramount to a student’s progression, confidence and self-belief. King’s Leadership Academy is an exciting place to be, where creativity and musicianship are celebrated. I look forward to performing music with you all.