Skip to main content

Trinity Laban professor named Inspirational Educator 2022

Mon 7 March 2022

Joe Townsend receives Educators’ Trust Award in Music Education

Trinity Laban’s Head of BA Music Performance and Industry and Head of CoLab, Joe Townsend, has been recognised by The Worshipful Company of Educators for his outstanding innovation and excellence in educational practice.

Joe leads the Conservatoire’s ground-breaking artist development work that prepares students with the vital skills needed to both succeed in and shape the musical landscape.

Presented annually, the Inspirational Educator Award celebrates the impact of individual teachers in specific areas of focus. This year’s theme was Music Education.

On receiving the award, Joe comments –

“I’m deeply honoured and humbled to receive this award. Leading CoLab at Trinity Laban has shown me that sharing our individual stories together through making music and dance helps us understand how we learn, find new ways of expression, and, ultimately, bring light into challenging times.”

Director of Music Havilland Willshire, who nominated Joe, comments –

“Joe is one of the great innovators. Not only does he have the vision to draw disparate ideas together but also the ability to forge the relationships that are necessary to put these ideas into practice.

“This is truly inspirational work, and we are delighted that Trinity Laban has provided the environment through which Joe has been able to foster his ambitions for music education and that his work has been recognised by an Inspirational Educator Award from The Worshipful Company of Educators Trust.”

Initially a self-taught musician in the punk era, Joe later trained in Jazz on the violin at the Guildhall in the 1980s and then at Community Music with John Stevens, using improvisation as a tool for social change.

As well as being a cultural commentator, Joe regularly speaks at conferences on collaboration, pedagogy, audience development and social entrepreneurship. He consults on early career survival for emerging artists with Serious Productions, Help Musicians UK and English Folk Expo and running courses for the V&A Innovative Leadership Programme.

Founded in 2001, The Worshipful Company of Educators champions and supports the transformative power of education. It presents a programme of annual awards and bursaries for individual educators through its Educators’ Trust.

The prize will be presented at an Awards Dinner later this year.

Find out more about our world-leading teaching staff.