Interview with Mr Swift 

Sara Nieto Abad and Lucy Daly

 Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

I’m Mr Swift. I am director of music here at Marymount. Previously, I have been director of music in a couple of schools; a senior school and a prep school. In both of those previous school, I was also a sport teacher at the same time. Specialising in football and cricket. Sometimes a bit of hockey – I was actually head of hockey for a joke. I love  teaching music because it has always been my passion and essentially is something that I feel like I am good at. 

What made you pursue teaching? 

I was working professionally as a musician and getting job opportunities , but I saw that I wanted to give back to the world of music as much as I take from it. One of the ways that you can do that and still sustain the performing lifestyle is by teaching. Then, I sort of got sucked into it and now I am really passionate about teaching. I love seeing the next generation be successful. 

What are your extracurricular interests and passions outside of teaching? 

 I love sports. I really enjoy an array of sports, I have played football for Reigate and I have played cricket for a couple of old private school teams. I love skiing and snowboarding; I take four or five trips a year to go snowboarding and surfing – I grew up by the sea – I also love a bit of reading. 

What made you want to come and teach here at Marymount? 

The opportunity to teach really enthusiastic girls that are enthusiastic about music specifically. It is unusual that you find group of students as such. I was excited to come and show off musicians that could really fulfil dreams of their own. I also love international schools in terms of connections around the world. I love all kinds of music, but I lack knowledge on certain types of music. I want to learn from my students too! 

In your opinion, what have been the best and worst aspects of online learning so far? 

The best aspect is that sometimes – and I have never done this myself – you could have a lie-in before school starts if you had a free on a certain day. I really loved not having to drive down the A3. The worst aspects are – there is no worst aspects. I would have said a lot of things if I was in a different school but [the students in Marymount] have made it very simple and easy.   

If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be? 

This is a job interview! Creative, enthusiastic, and life-loving. 

What is your favourite music genre/musician? 

My favourite music genre is jazz-inspired hip-hop, and my favourite musician would be a mix-up between an Australian band called Hiatus Kaiyote – who are like hip-hop, neo soul, – and an American band called Robert Glasper Experiment, which is [a combination] of hip-hop and jazz mixed together perfectly. 

Do you have a favourite book/movie/TV show? If so, what are they? 

My favourite book is Glory by Nabokov. My favourite movie would be Looper and TV show would be Curb Your Enthusiasm. 

Do you have any hidden talents? 

I played county cricket from sixteen to nineteen. 

If you could have any superpower, which superpower would you have? 

The ability to be invisible. 

If you could live in any era, which era would you choose? 

I would choose the 1960s because of the music. 

What piece of advice would you give a young musician? 

Show-off your skills no matter how much you feel confident or lack confidence in them because there will be somebody out there that will love to hear what you play or sing or do.