Kate Buchanan

Head of Creative and Professional Practice

Email: [email protected]

My role includes:

  • Developing and managing vocational and experiential professional music training within the undergraduate and postgraduate curricula.
  • Co-ordinating the undergraduate Professional Skills/Work-Related Learning strands of the curriculum
  • Developing links with external professional musical and educational organisations in order to provide student placement opportunities and to foster collaboration with a broad range of music industry partners.  
  • Teaching on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes specifically in relation to music education, pedagogy, outreach and professional skills training.
  • Providing supervision and tutorial support to postgraduate students in support of education, outreach and pedagogy.


Kate is Head of Creative & Professional Practice at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester where she manages a wide-ranging programme of vocational and specialist training. Kate trained in music and musical performance at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Goldsmiths College, University of London. She taught for ten years (Music Services, adult education, local education authority) before becoming Education Officer for the London Philharmonic Orchestra in1987.  She was appointed Senior Lecturer at Trinity College of Music in 1995. A longstanding supporter and specialist practitioner of the Orff approach to music education, Kate was chair of the Orff Society UK 2000-2007 and is currently Editor of the Orff Times. Kate is a Governor for Live Music Now LMN) and chair of the Advisory Board of LMN North West.  Her consultancy work has included projects for Channel4 Learning, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Foundation for Youth Music. Kate is co-author with Stephen Chadwick of Music Connections: Practical Music for all Primary Teachers published by Cramer Music and has contributed to Primary Curriculum: Teaching the Foundation Subjects (ed. Spink, E. & Boys, R.) published by Continuum. She maintains links with classroom practice through teacher training, project work and mentoring in schools. She was elected Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2003.



Undergraduate Teaching


BMus teaching/ lecturing/ staff training:

  • Year1 & 2: Professional Skills 1 & Professional Skills 2
  • Year 3: Work-Related Learning: Placements
  • Yaer 4: Work-Related Learning: Independent/ Collaborative Projects
  • Curriculum development, (employability, impact),
  • Careers’ development

Management roles:

  • Programme & Management Group
  • Learning & Teaching Committee
  • RNCM Engage


  • Equality and Diversity Group 2010 – 2014
  • Course Leader: Music Education pathway leading to Qualified Teacher Status (in collaboration with Manchester Metropolitan University) 2008-12

Postgraduate Teaching


MMus/ PGDip teaching/ co-ordination:

Professional Placements

Dalcroze Eurhythmics



MMus/ PGDip

Professional Practice Portfolio

Course Leader: PGCert in Performing Arts Education 2007-12



    Authored Books

  • Kate Buchanan, Margaret Murray: When Words Sing (provisional title), (London: Schott, 2017).
  • Chapters in Books

  • Kate Buchanan, ‘Red Sky at Night, Shepherd’s Delight’, in Reflections on Orff-Schulwerk: Essays in Celebration of Margaret Murray, ed. by Sarah Hennessy, (London: Schott, 2013)
  • Kate Buchanan, ‘Music: Teaching the Curriculum’, in Primary Curriculum: Teaching the Foundation Subjects, ed. by Rosemary Boys and Elaine Spink, (London: Continuum, 2008)
  • Kate Buchanan, ‘Music: Beyond the Curriculum’, in Primary Curriculum: Teaching the Foundation Subjects, ed. by Rosemary Boys and Elaine Spink, (London: Continuum, 2008)
  • Talks, Workshops and Masterclasses

  • Higher Education Academy ,  Enhancing Employability, London February
  • Carl Orff Institute ,  Fifty Years Orff Society UK, Salzburg July
  • The Rest is Noise ,  Orff’s Schulwerk, London March

Professional Activity


Live Music Now, Governor

Live Music Now, North West Advisory Board, Chair

Greater Manchester Music Hub, RNCM representative

Orff Society UK: Editor, Orff Times


2013 – 2014   National Curriculum Expert Panel (Department for Education)

2012            Royal Academy of Music: LRAM re-validation panel member

2012 – 2013   MMU/ RNCM/ TDA training programme

2005 –          Opera House Music Projects, Trustee, Chair: 2011 – 2016

2004 – 2010   Horniman Museum, Trustee

1995-           Orff Society UK, Chair: 2000-2007