We are absolutely delighted that our musician Nick Hayes has been recognised with an Inspirational Educator Award 2022 in Music by the Worshipful Company of Educators. The judges noted they were “very impressed with the variety of innovative teaching methods he uses to enable prisoners and ex-offenders to access the thrill of music-making, and with his success in achieving remarkable musical and educational outcomes, within the unconventional and restricted regimes of the prison environment.”
Nick is primarily a clarinetist and gained his degree from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 1985. As there was little training available for those wishing to work in community-based settings at that time, Nick learned his craft working in situ with groups who didn’t have regular access to music, supporting them to write the music they wished to write. He was the first member of the Irene Taylor Trust’s creative team and for over 26 years has inspired everyone he works with, whatever their background and wherever they reside, to achieve the absolute best they can with the tools they have to hand.
Nick has the extraordinary ability to connect with people who love music but don’t feel they have the skills to participate. He supports reticent musicians to find their inner ‘rock star’, exciting them about the music they can create. Believing that everyone has a song inside them, Nick has supported thousands of people to write and play music, creating precious memories and offering an experience which has on many occasions been life-changing.
As our team of talented musicians has gradually grown over the years, Nick has been instrumental in nurturing the skills of the newer musicians joining the team, sharing his invaluable experience and learning.
Nick laid the groundwork for ITT’s partnership with the Chicago Symphony and Civic Orchestras. Beginning in 2013, he trained and co-led members of the orchestras through a range of community projects and following a Lullaby Project pilot with teenage parents in Chicago, brought the project back to London. Since 2017, in partnership with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Nick has taken lyrics and musical ideas written by vulnerable parents and created the most extraordinary pieces of music through the Lullaby Project, a memory the parents and children will carry through their lives.
He guided musician colleagues and a group of 30 women prisoners to create a series of songs for their children, Beyond the Secret Door, which won a British Composer Award in 2003. In 2020 as part of our 25th Birthday celebrations he reworked 5 of these songs for individuals, other groups and choirs to use in their repertoire in our Children’s Songbook and arranged one of the lullabies written by a prisoner dad for the BBC Singers as part of the Proms at Home series in 2020. Nick was interviewed about his role in orchestrating songs for the Lullaby Project by BBC Radio 4 in early 2022 (listen here).
Huge congratulations to Nick for having his amazing contribution to so many people’s development celebrated with this well-deserved accolade.