Shirt arrived and I agree that it’s a quality item. Bravo and thank you.
The [Kathleen] dress is perfect. Saved further trailing through retail stores with no success. Your website catered for my specific needs. Thank you. Vanessa
I have been spreading the news about how wonderful your store/site is. Thank you! Thank you! Wendy
I cannot rate your website highly enough for both quality and customer service. I am absolutely delighted with the purchase of my bespoke ‘Clara’ skirt which fits to perfection. I would have no qualms in recommending you to family, friends and colleagues. A truly first rate service. You should all be very proud of the service which you offer. Mary Hayton
The [Edward] shirt is excellent, really ideal. It is very comfortable and smart. Gwyn Parry-Jones
The [Vivien Maxi] skirt fits perfectly and is BEAUTIFUL. Thank you again. I have passed along your information to the orchestra….as I know it is often difficult to find the proper, professional attire for performances. Charla
The [Vivien Maxi] skirt has arrived and it is beautiful! Thank you Elisabete
Thank you so much for your help earlier today – and for the [Rebecca] dress. It is absolutely beautiful and my daughter loves it. Apparently it is too nice to just use for concerts, so it is going to become a “party dress” as well! I’m delighted to find something that fits so well and looks appropriate for concerts. Thank you once again. Sarah
Thank you so much for delivering the wonderful black skirt and sashes for Phoebe. She is absolutely thrilled and they are a perfect fit. I’m sure all her friends will want to know where we found such a wonderful skirt and we will point them towards your company! We look forward to making future orders! Penelope
I’ve received the Vivien Maxi Child skirt . To be honest with you I was really surprised at the wonderful quality of the material. It’s such a lovely skirt that I’ve recommended you to my daughter’s cello teacher who, in turn, will recommend to other parents . I can’t thank you enough. Tia
The dresses were a great success and the girls and parents were really happy with them. They made the performance look much more professional and cohesive. Lucy Elphinstone, Headmistress Francis Holland School, Sloane Square
It worked really well at its first outing at our recent concert and had many nice compliments. Rebecca Cavill, St Mary’s School, Calne
Your clothes are worth every penny, and are quite frankly the only clothes I’ve ever found that I’ve felt remotely comfortable in to perform. Pianist, Wales
I had a reception gig yesterday and wore the [Clara] skirt and it was just beautiful. Hannah Flowers, Professional Harpist, Forest Lake, Minnesota
The dress arrived earlier today and it’s lovely! So elegant and very comfortable! Flautist, Shropshire
I am wearing the (Imogen) top! It is lovely! Everything worked so well, the website, ordering and the prompt delivery. Sharon, Newbury

Keep growing: why CPD is import

When I was fifteen I learnt how to write a song. I did it mostly by listening. I already had a music education as a drummer so rhythm had been instilled in me on top of whatever was there naturally.
But suddenly something happened at the age of fifteen and I desired to get out from behind the kit. It was a natural instinct.

By examining the music of the day and that of my mentors, I quickly put together songs that were personal and competent.
I’ve continued for the last 32 years with great success. Those key skills that I learnt at fifteen still continue. But my writing has developed, matured and I now use many different ways to write. I teach songwriting – at Leeds College of Music and at schools around the UK – and I now teach many different ways to write.

But these skills wouldn’t have matured and grown without placing myself in different contexts with many different types of writers. Intentionally placing yourself outside of your comfort zone will reap massive rewards and that is where well-chosen CPD comes in. When we stop learning, we start to die. Continual development brings with it wisdom.

I place myself in different contexts as often as I can. I try and write with different songwriters of different abilities and I always find there is something to learn in each environment. For me, writing with young people is just as rewarding as writing with seasoned ‘professionals’.

I also look for high-quality networking events such as those provided by BASCA. Sometimes the knowledge we can accumulate from simple conversations can be as valuable as those from a lecture or workshop. The chosen speaker is not always the wisest person in the room!

So, finding great CPD (and networking) is vital for us – particularly as music teachers.

Next week the MMA – National Association of Music Teachers have their national conference at Eton College. There are over 26 sessions covering all angles of music teaching for both primary and secondary and the reviews of the conference are always glowing. The quality and depth of the sessions is always impressive. I’ve spoken at the MMA Conference twice and it remains one of the essential resources for music teachers in the UK. I would very much recommend you to look at it, to enhance your knowledge and experience of teaching, to discover new methods and rediscover the tried and trusted methods that still produce effective results.

But in addition why not look to coordinate a CPD session your own? The MMA are always looking for regional ways to reach teachers with CPD that they value. If there is a subject that you need wisdom on, or you have a venue/school that would make a good base, please get in touch with the MMA to inspire those around you.

Keith Ayling
on twitter @keithayling