News and Opportunities

Here's the latest from Plymouth Music Zone...


18th March 2015

PMZ's Training Coordinator/Music Leader has been honoured in London with the highly prestigious “Inspiration Award” at the Music Teachers Awards for Excellence 2015.  The awards celebrate outstanding achievements in the UK’s music education sector and were first launched in 2013.  The inaugural Musician’s Union Inspiration Award was presented to Anna Batson at a glittering ceremony attended by around 250 guests from across the industry.

Anna has been involved with Plymouth Music Zone for almost a decade delivering accessible music-making sessions in all areas of the community. The music charity believes passionately in the power of music and cutting edge technology to empower and transform the lives of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people in and around the city.  

Anna Batson says she is thrilled that her passion for community music is being recognised further afield:  “It’s incredibly rewarding using music to help those who need it most and I’m honoured to be part of an amazing team who share that dedication at Plymouth Music Zone.  I witness the power of music changing lives every day with people who totally inspire me so it feels really humbling to be the winner of an Inspiration Award myself!  I’ve spent a lifetime committed to music and actually made the decision to change from formal music education to community music so I could make deeper connections with a wider range of different people, generating ideas that can work with them all.  I love the fact it’s like a ripple effect having a far greater impact than you would ever have known.  That’s what’s so wonderful about music, it really does make a difference.”

A panel of judges made up of eminent figures from the music education industry highlighted Anna’s multi-instrumentalism and commitment to helping vulnerable groups with her exceptionally high level of skill, sensitivity and knowledge.  As the Training Coordinator at Plymouth Music Zone Anna is responsible for developing the Music Leader workforce to be able to engage people in places across the community ranging from residential care homes to mental health units to domestic refuges.

Plymouth Music Zone's Executive Director, Debbie Geraghty, says the award win could also have wider implications for the organisation: "Inspirational Music Leaders like Anna Batson are the lifeblood of Plymouth Music Zone. As a charity, we're passionate about using music to change lives, especially the lives of those who may be lonely or isolated. Music Leaders need to be tremendously highly skilled. In this kind of tough climate it's certainly not always easy to secure funding to develop the workforce, but for us it's absolutely vital to ensure the highest possible quality and impact of what we do.  It's so wonderful to see the depth and importance of this work recognised on a national stage. It means Plymouth Music Zone and people like Anna can share our expertise more widely, hopefully attract further investment and then, of course, make a difference to many more lives."

More information about Anna Batson’s work can be found in several films on the charity’s youtube channel at

For full Media Release click here

For Plymouth Herald article click here

For Music Education Expo 2015 and Music Teachers Awards for Excellence click here

For video of the Awards ceremony: 


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