George Wilcox – BEd (Hons) Primary (Music) graduate

“Studying at Plymouth provided me with an incredible plethora of international opportunities – that no other course in the country could give – and, reflecting upon these experiences, it has given me a rich insight into the value of education.”

Tell us about your career path since graduation.

I have just completed an MPhil in Education at the University of Cambridge, which focused on art, creativity, education, and culture. My thesis research explored the phenomenological experiences of young advanced musicians’ practice and analysed their motivational behaviour.

How has your degree helped/influenced your career path?

It gave me a sound grounding in education and the belief that I can challenge myself within the education field. I would like to teach, but also have a hand in educational research further down the line.

What is the most difficult thing which you have faced in your career?

Teaching music to children for whom English was an additional language and who had just got off a really long flight!

What is the best, most exciting or fun thing that you have done in your career?

Teaching in Santiago, Chile. It was a big culture shock and you had to be really on your toes to keep up; however, it ended up as a really exciting and valuable experience.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get in to the same line of work?

The unpredictable everyday nature of teaching and education is something that makes it so special; and because of this, I think you need to be brave, stay calm, listen to all the advice you are given, and remember that every day is a fresh start.

How did studying at Plymouth help you?

Studying at Plymouth provided me with an incredible plethora of international opportunities – that no other course in the country could give – and, reflecting upon these experiences, it has given me a rich insight into the value of education. Additionally, without these great learning experiences I do not believe I would have been able to continue my studies at the University of Cambridge.

What lessons/skills did you gain from your course?

To be critical and reflective. Additionally, I am not the most organised of people, so keeping a tidy file was a big deal for me!

Did you undertake a placement during your degree and if so, how did this benefit you?

Yes, the placement opportunities were great and I was very fortunate to have had fantastic role models in the classroom every time.

What is your favourite memory of studying at Plymouth?

I would have to say the orientation week in preparation for teaching in Finland: great memories with a fantastic group of staff and students.

Do you stay in touch with other Plymouth University alumni or lecturers?

Mainly a couple of close friends, but I feel confident that if I ever need any advice from old lecturers I will receive a friendly and positive response.

Would you recommend undertaking a course with Plymouth University, and why?

Yes I would (and I have!). Firstly, it is a great city for students; secondly, my course and the Students’ Union gave me the opportunity to make the experience what I wanted it to be – whether that was teaching internationally or being on society committees; and thirdly, the University has a great, close community environment, which makes you feel confident and supported.

Inspired by this story?

For more information about studying BEd Primary (Music), please visit our BEd (Hons) Primary (Music) course page. For more information about our range of courses within the Plymouth Institute of Education, please visit the school page.


Want to find similar alumni?

If you would like to find out what other alumni from the Faculty of Arts and Humanities are currently doing, please visit the education and teaching interest area.