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Linda Filby-Borrett wins Classic FM's Music Teacher of the Year award

Laura  Barnes
Linda Filby-Borrett wins Classic FM's Music Teacher of the Year award

A music teacher from Ryde on the Isle of Wight has been awarded the Classic FM Music Teacher of the Year Awards 2017 with Casio and ABRSM.

Linda Filby-Borrett was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Casio ambassador, former music teacher and Ivor Novello winning singer-songwriter Laura Mvula on stage at London’s Barbican - which formed part of Casio's ‘Action in Music’ initiative - a campaign to commend the work of music teachers nationwide.

She will receive a Celviano Grand Hybrid GP-500 by Casio, designed in collaboration with C. Bechstein - a hybrid digital piano that combines key elements of an acoustic grand piano, such as the Natural Grand Hammer Action and full-length precision wooden keys.

The awards recognise and reward those teachers who have made a real difference to the musical lives of young people, and celebrate their work in five categories, including Lifetime Achievement. In its 25th birthday year, Classic FM has joined together with piano maker Casio, and leading exam board ABRSM to undertake the nation’s biggest ever celebration of outstanding music education.
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Filby-Borrett was chosen from hundreds of applicants across the country, after being nominated by one of her adult students. A panel of expert industry judges, including ABRSM’s chief examiner John Holmes and the editor of Music Teacher Magazine Alex Stevens, then selected her as the winner of the Lifetime Achievement category.

With students ranging from six to 90 years old, Filby-Borrett provides private singing lessons, as well as for musical competitions and festivals, both on the island and on the mainland. In particular, she teaches and supports practical performance for GCSE, GCE AS and A level music exams that pupils take through schools but need a specialist singing teacher to achieve higher grades and more practice.

She also teaches the monks at Quarr Abbey (Benedictine Monastery) who are highly regarded for their albums of Gregorian Chant and Plainsong.

Among her many achievements, she regularly enters pupils and learners into the county musical festival that was, at one time, in danger of ceasing due to small entries. She has changed that with more than 100 entered in classes. She also teaches those with possible early stages of dementia and she also teaches a man who is totally blind who has been able to join her choir and share an experience of being with other people that he would otherwise not experience.

Fronted by Laura Mvula, Casio’s ‘Action in Music’ initiative aims to recognise outstanding music education, raise awareness of its importance within the school syllabus nationwide and inspire a new generation of music teachers who take action in the classroom. As part of their initiative, Casio has been working with schools across the UK to celebrate the achievements of music teachers nationwide and encourage students to nominate their favourite music teacher for the awards.

“Learning to play the piano with my music teacher from the age of eight played a huge part in developing my musical style and gave me the confidence to become the artist I am today,” said Mvula.

“I learnt first hand the positive impact of having access to music, so I’m honoured to be a part of this collaboration.”

Jack Terroni, Marketing Executive at Casio Music, said: “We are proud to be supporting this category in addition to the rest of the awards. It’s an honour to present one of the highest accolades available to such a worthy winner who has made a real difference. We are thrilled to be part of such an inspirational day, which recognises the importance of music education across the UK.  Music can and should be part of everyone’s lives.”

Filby-Borrett commented: “I have been teaching singing over 40 years and consider I have had a blessed life doing what I love. This award is the icing on the cake.”

Find out more about Casio’s ‘Action in Music’ initiative at

Tags: abrsm , casio , classic fm , Music Teacher of the Year

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