James Reevell combines a career as a teacher, author and examiner with freelance work as a composer, performer and consultant. As a teacher, he has over a decade of experience in delivering outstanding results in Music and Music Technology A Level courses.
James studied Music at the University of Durham, for his PGCE at the University of Cumbria in Lancaster and for a Masters in Education at Manchester Metropolitan University. Over the last 10 years, he has built up extensive experience in both delivering courses in sixth form colleges across the North of England, and working in partnership with other schools and colleges across the UK.
James is currently Head of Music Technology at Greenhead College in Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, which has a national reputation for academic excellence and has a large, thriving music department, delivering A Level Music and Music Technology along with BTEC Music Performance and a wide range of enrichment activities. The college has over 2600 students on roll, and has recently been awarded a Music Mark award in recognition of the work of the Music Department. The college’s ‘Carol for Yorkshire’ 2018 project was nominated for a Creative Learning Guild award and for the Huddersfield Examiner Community Awards as Community Project of the Year.
James provides services as a consultant and advisor for Music and Music Technology across the UK, working with colleagues in secondary schools and colleges to deliver CPD and to help with planning, resourcing, standardisation, teaching and learning and assessment. He has experience of working in a support role, working in collaboration with teachers, head of department and senior leaders to facilitate the effective delivery of GCSE and A Level Music and Music Technology, and students in achieving their musical potential.
In the past five years, James has worked extensively both remotely and on-site delivering course to teachers and top-up sessions to students in schools in both the the independent and state sectors and with colleagues in FE/sixth form colleges across the UK. Most recently, James led on delivering a weekly twilight ‘catch up’ GCSE Music course to Year 11 students in a school who had chosen to cease delivery of the course but where parents campaigned to enable their children to complete the course.
James is an Ofqual External Expert for Music and Music Technology, and was excited to contribute as a member of the judging panel for the Music Teacher Awards at the Rhinegold Music & Drama Education Expo in 2018/2019.
James has completed research on stretch and challenge in post-16 education, along with perceptions of music theory in A Level Music and Music Technology students with a view to improving transition from school to college, and forming the basis of his MA dissertation.
In the past, James has worked as a Head of Visual and Creative Arts faculty with line management responsibility for large team delivering A Level courses in Art, Dance, Drama, Music and Music Technology at Rochdale Sixth Form College. In doing so, he built up his experience in subject improvement, self assessment, data analysis and leadership of an arts department. The college was rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2013, and students’ progress in music technology was described as exceptional; the college has since topped the sixth form college performance tables for value added for most of the last decade.
As an author, James has contributed to study and revision guides for A Level Music, Music Technology and GCSE Music for Rhinegold Education and CGP Revision Guides. He delivers nationwide training to teachers with a particular focus on Music Technology and Popular Music, alongside his commitments as an examiner and moderator.
In his spare time James still performs as a pianist and saxophonist for musicals, functions and weddings across the North of England. He also is a director, performer and writes the arrangements for drum and brass group ‘Flat Cap Brass’, who perform at a variety of events including wedding and festivals. Recent gigs include Liverpool Sound City, the Tour de Yorkshire and Kendal Calling in Summer 2019 (opening the main stage as ‘Brassic Park’ and supporting Doves, Manic Street Preachers and KT Tunstall). The band can be seen regularly performing at weddings, festivals and corporate events across the UK and abroad, recently appearing at Haizetera festival in Bilbao.
James also enjoys composing music, having recently created a soundtrack and series of ‘composers’ impressions’ for pioneering project ‘A Dark Tour of the Universe’, which premiered at the British Science Festival in September 2019. He performs and produces music as ‘RVEL’ on online streaming platforms.