Services For Education has appointed Stuart Birnie as Head of The Music Service.
He takes over responsibility for the UK’s largest music service that delivers music education to 38,000 children across the city. In the past year, the service has launched a new music school, community choirs and extended its services for special needs. It is the music service in the country to offer a world music department to schools.
Stuart joined Birmingham Music Service in 1991 – prior it to becoming the charity Services for Education – as a brass teacher, then Advanced Skills teacher and following that – Assistant Head to the Music Service. He became Interim Head in 2018.
A musician himself – he plays the tuba as well as being Conductor of Music Society Brass Band at the University of Birmingham – Stuart graduated from the Birmingham School of Music in 1991. Since then he has worked as an instrumental brass teacher and instructor in addition to conducting around the globe.
The Music Service works across 384 of the city’s schools, teaching music to 38,000 children, an increase of nearly 5% on the previous year. It also provides 28,000 musical instruments free-of-charge – believed to be the largest free provision in the country. It is thought to be the only music service in the country to offer a world music department to schools, so the reach accurately reflects the diversity of the city’s school population
“This is one of the most exciting roles in music in Birmingham and it is a privilege to lead a dedicated team of teachers and staff dedicated to enabling more children to enjoy music,” said Stuart.
“We face challenges of course, but our focus of bringing music to the lives of more children and adults in Birmingham is a passion that we know delivers long-term benefits.”
Martyn Collin, CEO at Services For Education, said: “With Stuart at the helm of our highly acclaimed Music Service, we are confident that children and music students across the city will continue to have access to the very best resources and music tutors.
“Stuart is a passionate and dedicated musician and a great advocate for the enormous social, academic and cultural benefits arising from playing music together.”
The charity recently won a top award for its ‘Excellence in Training and Education’ at the 2019 Annual Greater Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Awards.