10th October, 2011

Stow College Student Helps Pupils and Teachers to Hit the Right Note

Stow College student recognised at the recent Volunteering Awards

Stow College student, Martin Paton has been recognised at the recent Volunteering Awards for his effort that has been instrumental in helping pupils and their teachers to tune-up their music technology skills.

Martin, 24, from Balloch, received the award for his work, volunteering as a Teaching Assistant at Eastwood High School in East Renfrewshire. Working with twelve pupils from S3 and S4 one day per week, he demonstrated techniques and skills helping to enable them to record their own music.

The National Volunteering Awards, run by Scotland’s Colleges recognise students that go above and beyond the requirements of their College course. The ceremony included prominent guest speaker, Dr Alasdair Allan MSP, Minister for Learning and Skills, and a motivational talk from Dunfermline Athletic’s Director of Football and former manager, Jim Leishman MBE. Martin received one of the six awards presented at the inspiring event.

As music technology is a relatively recent introduction into the curriculum, some teachers without a background in music technology may need some assistance teaching this aspect of the course. When the high school approached Stow College for someone to assist them in this area, Martin quickly volunteered to help them out. At Eastwood High, Martin works with both pupils and teachers, helping to keep them up to date with the latest music technology by giving them a sample of some of skills he learnt whilst studying HND Sound Production at the College.

Martin said: “A placement came up through the College so I applied to get some practical experience teaching the pupils at the school. I’d never really taught before so it was quite nerve-racking at first – but once I overcame my initial nerves I began to really enjoy helping the pupils learn.

“The experience was really rewarding. As well as letting me build new skills and helping to increase my employability; the experience was really useful for the pupils and teachers at the school. I never expected to receive an award – it’s really nice to get recognition for all the effort I put in. I’m definitely looking to continue working with the school, and I’m considering going into teaching or lecturing in the future”.

David Hughes, Head of the Music and Creative Industries Department at Stow College, said Martin provided a great example of how work-based volunteering can contribute to college course work, adding: “Volunteering has helped Martin to expand his knowledge of sound production and he has had to learn new aspects of technology to be able to teach the class”.

Volunteering has opened up a number of doors for Martin, who has recently moved to London and has began work as a freelance sound and audio technician - but volunteering is definitely something that he will continue to be involved in. He added: “It does pay off when you put in the time. I would definitely recommend volunteering to any other student at college.”

Images: Music student Martin Paton receiving his award from Dr Alasdair Allan.

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