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We are thrilled to announce that Liz Childs, Beechwood’s much-loved flute and piano teacher, has been named by The Royal Academy of Music in its list of Honours for 2022.

Each year, the Academy confers honorary awards to recognise those who have contributed significantly to the music profession or the Academy itself.  Recipients this year have the extra-special honour of being named in the Academy’s bicentenary year.

Liz has taught at Beechwood for nearly 27 years, having initially been invited to help prepare just one pupil for a Music Scholarship in 1995. She has not looked back, and since then, has inspired a love of music in hundreds of children who have had the good fortune to have been taught by her, and there are currently more than 20 Beechwood flautists under her wing.  With her obvious love and boundless enthusiasm for teaching which is immediately evident to anyone who ventures into the Music Department to see her at work, it is no wonder that the flute remains a popular choice for Beechwood pupils.  

Top Form flautist and music scholar Louis S says: “Mrs Childs has shown me kindness, belief and encouragement ever since I took up the flute six years ago. Music has become a source of so much happiness for me and I will move on to my next school in September as a music scholar thanks to her inspirational teaching and confidence in me. Thank you!”

Such is Liz’s modesty, initially when she received notification of this honour, she believed the email to be a “scam” and contacted The Royal Academy of Music to warn them.  They quickly put her right, and told her that she had really been nominated for, and awarded the honour!  We are not sure she will totally believe it is true until she receives the award in person at a ceremony in September….

Alongside her Beechwood commitments, Liz regularly adjudicates in music festivals in both the UK and abroad as part of the British and International Federation of Festivals. She also plays in chamber music ensembles and sings in a choir. Liz also runs an Adult Flute Ensemble called Bedfordshire Woodwind Academy Flute Ensemble ( BWAFE), which has run for over 13 years.  The ensemble  has recently been awarded a project through Making Music,  a collaboration with a living composer who writes a piece especially for the Ensemble following workshops etc and which will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in January/February 2023. The premiere of the piece will hopefully be in November/December this year and Liz hopes to combine this with an educational event involving Beechwood Flautists.  You can read more about Making Music here.

When not teaching or playing music, Liz spends time with her family (all three of her children are Beechwood alumni, and all are talented musicians; two attended Chethams School of Music after Beechwood, and the third was a chorister at St Paul’s).  Beechwood musicians who move onto Bedford School are likely to come across her son Dominic, who is the School’s Head of Woodwind and Brass.

Beechwood Director of Music, Jane Lodge, said  “I was overjoyed when Liz told me about her Honorary award. Liz is such an amazing and dedicated member of the Department, always giving such energy and passion in everything she does and being so caring and inspiring to all her pupils. One of her biggest strengths is her humility and belief that she can always improve, consistently putting forward creative initiatives in order to better her own teaching and the Department as a whole. Liz is so totally deserving of this wonderful award and we are all so very proud of her”

The identity of the person who nominated Liz for this prestigious award remains a mystery, but everyone at Beechwood could not agree more that Liz is a most worthy winner, and we are unbelievably proud to have an Associate of The Royal Academy of Music on our staff.

You can read more about the Honours here