Sarah Crooks

Head of RNCM Young Strings

PG Cert, MMus

Email: [email protected]

  • Line Manager for the Young Strings teaching team
  • Oversees the progress of all Young Strings pupils
  • Designs and plans the Young Strings curriculum
  • Mentors new staff and student teachers on placement with Young Strings
  • Delivers workshops on teaching to undergraduate and postgraduate RNCM students
  • Directs the annual RNCM Strings Summer School 
  • Organises regular staff training events

Sarah is a widely experienced teacher of the violin and general musicianship. At the RNCM she is Head of Young Strings, a programme designed to give pupils a thorough grounding in musicianship as well as instrumental skills. Sarah leads a team of teachers which strives to integrate the pupils’ musicianship training into their instrumental lessons. The approaches of Dalcroze and Kodàly are central to the programme’s pedagogy. A holistic, creative approach to music education underpins Sarah’s teaching in all settings. 

Alongside her work with children, Sarah works with RNCM’s Education team to help undergraduate and postgraduate students to develop their pedagogical skills and understanding. Currently, Sarah works with the PGCE students, leads the Pedagogy strand of a Professional Placement module and the instrumental strand of a Practical Pedagogy module. Sarah also provides teaching placements for students, helping them to develop their teaching, research and reflection skills.

Outside of the RNCM, Sarah is Head of Strings for ESTA Education’s PG Certificate programme. She leads CPD workshops for teachers, working with organisations including ESTA, ABRSM and Music Masters. With RNCM, Sarah project-managed and developed content for ABRSM’s Music in the Classroom online course for primary teachers. 

Current and Future Research

  • Sarah is interested in researching ways in which musicianship training can be integrated into instrumental teaching.
  • She has a particuar interest in Dalcroze Eurhythmics as a method for training musicians. Her MMus dissertation focussed on Karin Greenhead’s Dynamic Rehearsal Technique. Sarah is currently completing the work required to become a fully certified Dalcroze teacher.

Undergraduate Teaching

  • UG3 Professional Placement, Pedagogy strand leader, 2022-23
  • UG2 Music in Context, lecturer 2021-23
  • UG2 Artist Developent, lecturer 2021-23

Postgraduate Teaching

  • PG Practical Pedagogy, Instrumental strand leader and mentor, 2020-23
  • PGCE string mentor and workshop leader, 2022-23

Professional Activity

Sarah has worked as a freelance violinist with many orchestras including Manchester Camerata and as a session musician, recording and performing with artists across a wide range of genres.