Nigel M Taylor is a graduate of  Durham University, gained a Master’s degree from the University of Manchester and is a qualified teacher. He is an Honorary Life Member of Music Mark.

He began learning the piano at aged 5, and later studied double bass and percussion, becoming a member of Bolton Youth Orchestra, and playing with other youth and amateur orchestras.

Nigel’s career in music education began as a classroom teacher, at the Bolton secondary school where he had been a pupil. After two years, he was promoted to be head of music & drama at a large high school in Wigan.

Three years later, he was appointed as Head of Bolton Music Service. There he led a significant expansion of instrumental and vocal teaching services for schools and pupils, especially in the primary phase. He directed Bolton Music Centre, where he also conducted its youth orchestra and youth concert band, both of which won “outstanding performance” awards at the National Festival of Music for Youth in London. He led the youth concert band to further successes at the National Wind Band Festival, the European Wind Band Festival and the World Music Contest. and performed with them at the Schools’ Prom, He won the first ever Boosey & Hawkes “Outstanding Conductor” prize.

During his five-year tenure at Bolton Music Service, Nigel co-founded the International Youth Philharmonic Orchestra (a partnership between Bolton and its two twin towns – Paderborn, Germany and Le Mans, France – amongst the first such musical partnerships in Europe, and which lasted over 30 years). He was also founder-conductor of Bolton Symphony Orchestra, Harmonie ’84 Wind Orchestra, and Corus Brass Ensemble.

Nigel became Shropshire’s County Music Adviser aged 33; one of the youngest Local Education Authority (LEA) advisers ever appointed in England. For seven years he led professional development programmes for teachers in the county’s 300 primary and secondary schools, including the implementation of the National Curriculum in Music. He oversaw the significant growth of Shropshire Music Service, forged new partnerships with regional and national music organisations, and established its first ever HQ at Longmeadow in Shrewsbury.

Nigel then joined Staffordshire County Council, as its Inspector for Music & Performing Arts. He also became Head of Staffordshire Performing Arts (SPA), the county’s music (and arts) service. SPA went on to be twice judged as “Outstanding” in external reviews, and won the Diploma of Merit from the National Music Council.

Continuing as head of SPA, he was promoted to hold concurrent roles: firstly as Deputy Head of Staffordshire LEA’s advisory and inspection service, and then as Assistant Director of Education & Lifelong Learning, where he headed the County Council’s cultural development division, leading on cultural education policy, and overseeing the work of the Arts & Museums Services, the Archives Service, and SPA.

Whilst in Shropshire and Staffordshire, Nigel worked as an Ofsted accredited inspector. He served on more than eighty school inspections over a ten-year period, leading on music, Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural provision, and whole-school teaching and learning.

Nigel led a partnership between SPA, Stoke-on-Trent Music Service, the New Vic Theatre, Planet Sound and Beavers Arts to establish “Make Some Noise”  as one of the first Youth Music Action Zones in England (in essence, an early “music education hub”). He chaired its management board for seven years, and then oversaw its constitutional move into becoming an independent charity.

He went on to lead the formation of the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Music Education Hub; his wider work with senior colleagues in Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Shropshire and Telford laid the foundations for the subsequent development of the North West Midlands Music Education Hub – now The Music Partnership.

Nigel negotiated with the CBSO, Manchester Camerata Arts Council England and two music education hubs to create “In Harmony Telford & Stoke-on-Trent” where he chaired its first management group.

After serving as the West Midlands regional representative of the national Federation of Music Services (FMS), Nigel was elected as its Chair. He oversaw the merger between FMS and the National Association of Music Educators to form a new organisation: Music Mark.  He was elected as the first Chair of Music Mark and simultaneously joined the national executive of the UK’s Music Education Council.

Nigel has advised government on music education matters, sitting on Department for Education committees for the National Curriculum and for Music Education Hubs. He was an adviser to the Royal Northern College of Music for several years and a board member of Keele University’s postgraduate institute. He was a trustee of Manchester Camerata for seven years, and was Chair of trustees of “Sound It Out”, a Birmingham-based community music organisation. He has been a member of the Incorporated Society of Musicians and of the Music Education Council.

In 2013 Nigel stepped down from his full time role in Staffordshire, and became a freelance music education consultant, providing services to a number of regional and national organisations over seven years.

After living, working and raising a family in the West Midlands, Nigel returned to Bolton.  He became Chair of the board of Trust Music, (a Bolton-based music education charity), and was a trustee of the Bolton and Farnworth C of E Multi Academy Trust. Health issues forced him to resign from those positions and he is now fully retired.

Nigel enjoyed a reputation as an inspiring conductor. He commissioned and premiered a number of works by composers such as David Bedford, Edward Gregson, Joseph Horovitz, David Stanhope, Carl Vine, John Wood and Guy Woolfenden.

Nigel was also a regular adjudicator at local and national music festivals including panels of the National Festival of Music for Youth and the National Wind Band Festival.

A proud father of two grown-up sons, Nigel is an avid cook, wine aficionado and traveler.

You can connect with him on Twitter.