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B. Colin Ranken France



"My daughter Siobhan has been studying the piano for over 10 years now and recently began expressing an interest in the classical guitar.

Good music teachers that can deal with all aspects of teaching music are hard to come by. Building self esteem necessary for playing an instrument, learning correct playing techniques, nurturing a genuine love for music, and encouraging students to stay focussed through the slog of coming to grips with an instrument and the practice required are part of the challenges faced by music teachers. All these attributes and more are a vital part of any music teacher’s job and one I can say with absolute surety Colin Ranken has.

His passion and enthusiasm and love for his instrument shines through and students cannot help becoming enthusiastic with him. He is creative and excited about learning from others and aspires to never stop learning himself, which is a wonderful trait, especially in an educator. A teacher that is still a scholar will impart those same values to his student. When I see them playing together and learning together I see an engaged teacher and a smiling interested and excited student who can’t wait to discover more! That is what carries the student through the hours of practicing for the next lesson. They don’t only want to do well for their teacher, but they want to do well for themselves and they want to learn.

Colin came highly recommended by everyone I spoke to and after seeing what I have during their lessons I am not in the least surprised. Siobhan has been with him now for almost a year and she is enjoying every aspect of her lessons with him and thriving under his tutelage.

When I first sat down to write this letter, I thought of many things I could say, but then thought, why don’t I ask Siobhan what she thinks and to tell me a few things about Colin?
Here is what Siobhan had to say; “he’s lovely, he’s really funny, his classes are always fun and I relax when I play the guitar with him, I like how he teaches me, I learn a lot and I am excited about my lessons and most of all I like him.”

Siobhan is learning to love and appreciate her guitar through a very dedicated and committed teacher.

Siobhan also has some learning challenges which have resulted in her struggling to grasp the theoretical side of music. She needs repetitive explanations and sometimes a different teaching style so she can commit the necessary facts to her long term memory. Colin has helped her with her theory immensely and the results are evident. Colin, with patience, support and insight, has assisted her through her school GCSE and Trinity College music theory exams and in so helped her cope with her learning difficulties by helping her realise most importantly of all, she can!

Her understanding of music theory has increased and improved dramatically since he has begun tutoring her and it has made a huge difference to her self esteem.

As parents, we have been extremely happy with her progress in music theory and guitar. Most of all we are thrilled that Siobhan looks forward to her weekly lessons. Colin always has a smile on his face, shows so much enthusiasm for his craft and just really enjoys his students, teaching them and his music.

I would highly recommend Colin to anyone who is looking for a dedicated and inspirational Guitar and music teacher.

Eileen van der Merwe 21/11/2011

"My wife and I would like to make you aware of just how pleased and impressed we are with the dedication and professionalism shown by Mr Ranken. He has worked long and hard to help our son progress, both at school and at home and, in the early weeks of this term gave up a lot of his valuable after school time to answer our endless questions and reassure us that everything would be OK.
As one of the families that live in the centre of the village we have witnessed the many extra hours Mr Ranken dedicates to his work. The most amazing part of our experience with Mr Ranken is the help and encouragement he gives our son isn’t unique. He offers the same enthusiasm and dedication to everyone of his pupils.
We believe that one of the greatest compliments one person can pay another is to call them ‘teacher’ Mr Ranken certainly earns this."

From a parents letter to school, local education officer and Ann Widdecome MP, UK

"Mr Ranken is a flexible and resourceful teacher who has proved to be a great asset to the school. He has a good sense of humour and a warm personality. Mr Ranken has proved to be a good all round classroom practitioner with particular strengths in music and ICT, running demonstration sessions for the latter. He has also established a thriving guitar ensemble.
Mr Ranken is a dedicated and caring teacher and an excellent role model…."

Pluckley C.E. Primary School

"His personality, attitude, skills and caring nature have provided a wonderful teaching environment for his pupils…"

Steven Migden
Regional Director
Kent Music School

"His position as music co-ordinator included teaching music from Year 1 up to and including Year 6 on a weekly basis. This ensured continuity and progression within music. In our Ofsted inspection last year we were noted as having exceeded the national standard for end of Key Stage 2 in this subject. Mr Ranken is a qualified classical guitarist and as such was able to bring his expertise to the classroom.
Mr Ranken is an excellent practitioner and I recommend him to you unreservedly."

Chilham St Mary’s C.E. Primary School

"The children were clearly enjoying the singing activities and it was lovely to see all the boys particularly taking an interest in the lesson. It was a delight to watch a music specialist at work in the primary classroom."

Lyndsay Roberts
Pluckley C.E. Primary

"The dedication and commitment shown by Colin during his time with us at Cornwallis impressed Mr Harvey, the Head of Music, and myself. He demonstrated an excellent knowledge and understanding of the concepts and skills needed to teach. His high levels of expertise in Music were evident and he is an excellent guitarist."

Cornwallis School

"The mentor commented on Mr Ranken’s enthusiasm for teaching and commitment to ensuring that each child reached their full potential…"

Dean of Education
Canterbury Christ Church University

"Their enjoyment was obvious and I feel that Mr Ranken’s manner with the children, the good pace of the lesson and the enthusiasm with which the children brought to the lesson combined to make this a valuable learning experience for the whole class."

Deputy Headteacher

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