MA in Psychology and Physiology, Oriel College, Oxford
Francis Gladstone – Music Teacher
Francis attended Michael House Steiner School in Derbyshire and Michael Hall Steiner School. Before going to University he spent a year teaching Music at a secondary school in Kampala, Uganda, teaching all aspects of music, including indigenous music (he still has and can play a collection of Bagandan instruments). This experience gave him a life-long love of teaching. After University Francis spent 20 years working in the civil service and third sector in various managerial positions before returning to teaching in 1992.
He spent four years at the South Devon Steiner School as a Music Teacher and Class Teacher. Music was at the centre of his practice, both as a Class Teacher and as Music subject teacher. He managed to keep all the boys singing into and right through puberty (something he sees as perhaps the biggest single challenge in middle school music teaching) and laid the foundations for the strong musical tradition at the school.
Francis taught music at Michael Hall Steiner School before moving to Brighton Steiner School to teach and help set up the upper school, followed by teaching maths and science in Canterbury Steiner School. He was a teacher and Education Manager at Bristol Steiner School, and for the last six years has worked in the upper school at Wynstones Steiner School teaching biology, psychology, philosophy and maths. His desire to get back in to Music teaching led him to Cardiff Steiner School.
Francis grew up in a family of professional musicians and has played and sung in a variety of ensembles and enjoys improvisation and musical composition. He says:
“I come from a family of musicians and alongside schooling I received an intensive instrumental training from around six years onwards – for instance, I could read music before I could read words. I learned cello and piano, played in many youth orchestras and indeed adult ensembles as a young teenager. I won a place in the National Youth orchestra at the age of 13 and learned the cello with William Pleeth, the leading teacher of his generation.
So as a child I was practising music for several hours a day, every day. At the age of 16 I rebelled against this and went for a more academic route but music remains the core of my makeup. I have continued to develop and explore improvisation and formal composition, some of which has been quite intense: in particular an engagement with asymmetric rhythm which involved months and months of retraining of my ‘western’ rhythmical sense to accommodate a wider rhythmic universe”
Francis has Qualified Teacher Status (QTS), a masters in Psychology and Physiology from Oxford University, and A-levels in Maths, English Literature and Music.
Francis knows how to get all children to enjoy music lessons. But music pedagogy is about more than having fun, important as that is, it is also about developing musical literacy, performing skills and also improvisation and composition. Francis is passionate about developing children’s instrumental skills, and a strong music culture in Cardiff Steiner School.
Cardiff Steiner School
Hawthorn Road West
Cardiff CF14 2FL