Jonathan Newell
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Jonathan Newell

Jonathan has experienced a wide-ranging musical and teaching life both in the UK and in Norway, Cairo and Vienna. An organist, choir trainer and educationalist, Jonathan has also been heavily involved in music theatre productions throughout most of his career. He was musical director for the northern youth music theatre companies Dionysis and DCYC for ten years. 


Jonathan regularly leads teacher-training workshops for the IB around the world in IBDP Music, Extended Essays and Enquiry Based Learning. He has also trained teachers from all subject disciplines as new workshop leaders for the IBDP in Sydney, Australia, Geneva, Switzerland and the UK. He has taken part in two curriculum reviews for Diploma Music and also for the IB's Middle Years Programme (MYP), and is a regular member of the Grade Award team.


Jonathan is currently Chief Examiner for Music for the IB Diploma Programme. Additionally he is an IBDP schools exams inspector, a member of the IB’s Schools Authorisation Visit team, and is a mentor and developer for online workshops for the IB ( He also is a regional field representative (academic) for IB Africa, Europe and Middle East, and a professional development evaluator (generic) for DP, MYP and PYP workshops worldwide.


For seven years Jonathan worked at Trinity College of Music, London, UK, one of Europe’s leading music conservatoires, as programme leader for Foundation and Graduate Study Programmes, and Continuing Professional Development. He also lectured there in Historical Studies, Instrumental and Vocal Teaching Studies and Performance Skills. He was also on the panel of music examiners for Trinity Guildhall international examinations for 14 years and one of the three national mentor trainers for the government sponsored Music KS2 CPD Programme, run jointly by Trinity Guildhall and The Open University.

Jonathan lives in Oxford, England, and his work increasingly focuses on educational consultancy in addition to his other work. He directs ArtsInsight, an educational consultancy for the performing arts in education (www, He also delivers workshops for IBICUS (, INTHINKING (, IBSCA ( and St Clare’s International College ( and Cambridge University International Examinations ( as well as international INSET/consultancy visits to schools on a range of issues – not just music.



Practical music making is not neglected – Jonathan freelances as an organist, accompanist, conductor, voice coach and adjudicator, he is an experienced choral practitioner and is the Organ tutor at Magdalen College School, Oxford, England (


Jonathan is a graduate of the University of Durham, England, where he was Organ Scholar of University College, and holds diplomas in organ playing and choir training from the Royal College of Organists, London and Trinity College, London. He also holds a Master's degree in Choral Education from the University of Surrey, England.


Jonathan is an Honorary Fellow of the Cambridge Society of Musicians, awarded for distinguished services to music and music education in the UK, and an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.




Inspiring, focussed, out of the box thinking, very personalized workshop, despite - or perhaps because of - the diversity of the workshop participants.
Lauren McCoy, American International School of Johannesburg, South Africa


Beyond incredible. Terrific instruction paired with passionate & extremely talented classmates... The workshop leader was creative, organized, passionate, & genuinely interested in his subject, the IB program, and his workshop students. Thank you for an amazing life-experience!
Andrew Rossi, Long Beach High School, United States of America


(Barcelona, 2011)


Jonny was amazing – really inspiring with fabulous resources and advice. Open, patient, friendly, intelligent, passionate, inspiring, professional, knowledgeable. Honest, real (no pretending), down to earth, welcoming, clear, supportive, an educator – a musician!

Very inspiring/useful, beneficial ideas, advice/insights – laid back and effective.


(Oxford, 2010)


Very helpful indeed... Excellent clarity, pace and engagement... Very enjoyable balance of material.
Robert Crowley, St. Helen's School, Northwood, UK

The workshop leader was friendly, imparted knowledge easily, very supportive.
Elizabeth Dow, Aiglon College, Switzerland

(Berlin, Germany, 2010)

Thanks very much for your thought-provoking workshop. I was almost buzzing with ideas when I returned to our school in Rio!

Thank you very much for your classes, they have been really worth it!

(Global learning workshops, University of Cambridge International Examinations Annual Conference, Cambridge, UK, September 2010).

Jonathan was well-prepared, his instructions were clear, he used different work methods to keep the students engaged and provided us with answers to all our questions. I would highly recommend a workshop like Jonathan gave us to all new IBDP teachers and their students!

Cheryl Oosterman-Neuhuijs, Music Coordinator

(The International School of the Hague, the Netherlands, January 2010)


(Berlin, Germany, 2010)


Jonny engaged our secondary staff (numbering over 60) in two full days of professional development which were exceptionally well received.  His delivery engaged the staff on a range of topics, including teaching and learning strategies, learning technologies and inquiry based learning.  All the staff commented extremely positively on his outstanding knowledge and passion of topics he delivered

I would highly recommend Jonathan to any IB school as his philosophy is linked to that of the IB and he engages well with all members of the community.

Philip Rogers, Director of Learning & IB Coordinator Designate


(New Cairo British International School, Egypt, 2010)


Jonny has high professional qualities, excellent communication skills, thorough knowledge of the subject, charm and charisma.


Jonny was very approachable; well-informed; funny; innovative; listens to others; fully promotes (embraces) IB philosophy


(Paris, France, 2010)


Thank you so much for last weekend.  It was great training but also it got me fired up about teaching generally - it's been a while since INSET has had that effect! 


You are superb at what you do, and the workshop you ran was first rate. Truly you are a master teacher.


(University of Warwick, 2009)


Many thanks for a wonderful three days


Jonny (workshop leader) was great and clearly central to Music within the IB – very understanding!


(Worth, UK, 2009)


The Workshop Leader Training workshop in Winchester in September was the best workshop I have attended so far in the 12 years that I have taught IB. 


A very big thank you for your excellent organisation and charismatic delivery; you set a very high standard for us to aspire to.


Jonny was an organised, informative and highly inspirational workshop leader


(University of Winchester, UK, 2009)


Thank you for leading a very good and motivating workshop. I really enjoyed the workshop will definitely be....a life long learner.... from now on with plenty of reflective moments!


I just want to say that you are a wonderful guy and a brilliant workshop leader!


Thoroughly professional, funny, engaging, clear, confident, knowledgeable!


He was one of the best leaders I have ever seen.


(Geneva, Switzerland, 2009)


The presenter was excellent, thoughtful, awe-inspiring! He guided us through the course in a way that allowed us to work well together and share information... Thank you. I am looking forward to going back to teach!


Excellent information - covered all the topics needed for a new IBDP teacher. Jonathan is supportive and knowledgeable. He presents the information in a practical and engaging manner!

(Berlin, Germany, 2009)

Music group - Berlin, Germany

Berlin 2009

Jonny’s high level of expertise, knowledge and passion for music education and the IBDP teaching and learning philosophy, coupled with his warm nature and wonderful humour has resulted in a highly informative, satisfying and enjoyable workshop. Thanks a million!


An excellent workshop – inspirational and well-organised. Thank you!


The course was sensational - Jonathan was first class pedigree!

(Brisbane, Australia, July 2009)


The Jonny was inspiring, empathetic, and an enabler who gae us space to think and reflect, and also flexible enough to accommodate a mixed group without being side-tracked into a cul-de-sac


Jonny was a great presenter, with an excellent rapport with the participants, and highly experienced


Jonny was dynamic, knowledgeable, organised and communicative.

(Generic Extended Essay workshop, Birmingham, UK, 2009)


The teachers’ feedback on the seminars emphasises Jonathan’s pedagogical competence as well as the clear message in the expositions. The teachers also appreciated the way Jonathan invited them to take active part in the seminars. He was able to take in account the various experience of the groups.


I would recommend any IB school or Association of IB schools to make use of the competence of Jonathan Newell.

Emmanuelle H. Bjerkem IBDP Coordinator/Head of International Projects
(Generic Extended Essay Seminars, Lillestrom, Norway, 2009)



The INSET sessions [on Music, TOK and the Extended Essay] were extremely interesting and useful - staff welcomed the opportunity to update their knowledge and skills. The resources you have provided us with are invaluable and the whole experience will undoubtedly support us in moving the core elements of the IB forward in our school. Thanks for a great day and for sharing your wide ranging knowledge!

Sarah Mollen, Director of Teaching and Learning

(St. George's British International School, Rome, 2009)

Jonathan is an excellent workshop leader. He knows how to think and manages to steer us and our way of thinking down the right paths.

Thank you! I have enjoyed the workshop and found it very useful and thought-provoking. Jonathan was excellent: he managed sessions with good humour and clarity, and encouraged all to contribute and discuss and think.                                                                      (Madrid, Spain, 2009)


Music group - Madrid, Spain

Madrid 2009


Jonny introduced a complex and demanding subject [the Extended Essay] to our students in a supportive and accessible way.  I have no doubt that many who left the two hour session with him have a considerably clearer idea of what is expected of them by the IB, the school, and, most importantly, themselves.  It was a highly productive session, and the feedback I have received from students and staff alike has been, without exception, very positive.

Dr David James, IBDP Coordinator

(Wellington College, Berkshire, UK, 2008)


The training provided by Jonny was of the highest quality and tailored precisely to our needs at fairly short notice.  In two days Jonny delivered training to twenty four members of our IBDP teaching team.  The music teachers enjoyed a session that helped them to put the Course Guide into context, particularly the assessment criteria.  The current and future teachers of TOK benefited from a thought provoking session, which helped greatly in bringing the team together.  Eighteen members of the IBDP team gained an overview of all aspects of the Extended Essay, which served as an excellent exercise in team building and confidence enhancement.


The training was delivered in a professional manner with good humour and a sense of the particular nature of Bridgwater College.  Communication in advance of the training was very efficient and all materials were provided well in advance by e-mail.  Overall it was a very rewarding two days of staff development and was undoubtedly excellent value for money.

Martyn Aldridge, IBDP Coordinator

(Bridgwater College, UK, 2008)


Dear Jonny,

Thank you so much for leading our recent INSET session. The team thoroughly enjoyed your extremely stimulating approach to starting rehearsals and class lessons. I and others have already applied some of your techniques to Lower College lessons and to choir rehearsals with great success. My colleagues have asked me to express how much they enjoyed the session and how refreshed they felt by the experience. We hope you will be able to return in the future to lead further training.

Dominic Hawley, Director of Music (Cheltenham Ladies’ College, UK 2008)

Jonny is an excellent teacher and was just amazing                                                                    
The workshop leader was very well prepared and structured. Thank you!

The workshop leader had profound knowledge paired with humour - a perfect combination!

All the sessions were useful. Jonny was fun, methodical and confident. We had a meaningful exploration of topics and were then fluently moved on without being hurried. Most tolerant and open-minded!

 (Berlin, 2008)

An outstanding communicator; an outstanding teacher.


A remarkable and very consistent delivery. Inspirational.


Excellent and engaging. Extremely informative, with an approach that 'fired up the group' and motivated our enthusiasm for the IB. Without doubt, the best course I have been on in nearly 14 years of teaching.

(Athens, 2008)


This was the best professional development session I have attended. Give him a bonus!


Jonathan presented and varieted a true multi-level learning experience. He was open to our expertise and knowledge and encouraged us to share


This workshop was absolutely fantastic and inspiring!


…a professional, motivational and passionate teacher

(Singapore, 2008)


Jonathan was collaborative, constructive, open, and distributed tasks throughout the group.


I really appreciated Jonny’s humour and straightforward and honest nature. He was very well organised, resourceful and helpful.

(Workshop Leader training, Geneva, Switzerland, 2008)



 [Jonathan was] extremely professional, well informed and inclusive. The best IBO training I have received!


...a very good communicator. Thank you for a wonderful time!

(Workshop Leader training, Geneva, Switzerland, 2007)



Jonny made it real, made me feel like I can do it, made me feel like a professional


Jonny was an excellent manager of a disparate group. He has a passion for his subject and respect for different viewpoints and cultural differences


I feel completely inspired from this. The presenter is great – fantastic, modest, funny, clever etc. I was so impressed and satisfied by all that was done!


Jonny was a brilliant presenter. He was completely compelling and inspiring!


Jonny delivered a perfect balance of talking and group activities. All was delivered in a clear engaging style. Activities were all very appropriate and insightful. I’ve been to a few workshops for other exam boards etc – but have never enjoyed a course so much.

(Hong Kong, 2007)



The workshop covered a lot of material from a variety of perspectives and was delivered in such a way that enthusiasm was the overwhelming characteristic. It appeared to re-ignite many of my colleagues’ learning and passion (including my own)


Jonny is a brilliant workshop leader. He is passionate about the subject, knows it thoroughly and is gifted in transmitting those things to participants. The pacing and the sessions, his ethos and his ability to target his audience are remarkable. I am inspired by his vision, have been stimulated professionally, and have been personally touched.


Jonathan is a consummate ambassador for the IB. He is friendly, engaging, informative, enriching, inspiring, and thoroughly professional in all aspects of his sessions. He is an excellent communicator and facilitator who clearly has great passion and belief in what he does

(Athens, Greece, 2006)



All Jonny’s sessions were very informative. He is very open and engaging, and his workshops have a great atmosphere.


Excellent! I really enjoyed it and learnt a lot.


Jonny is an excellent facilitator who creates an atmosphere where we can share good practice.





(Paris, France, 2006)


Excellent tutor and always something of interest - it was awesome!


Jonathan is a good speaker and keeps it interesting!


Jonny is an excellent trainer. He is prepared, concise, and humorous and keeps your attention. I feel we are lucky to attend the course.

(Colchester, England, 2006)



Jonny was enthusiastic, good humoured & respectful of differences-in summary he modelled what I understand to be the philosophy of IB music & the IB in general.


Outstanding leadership…an outstanding journey from beginning to end via an excellent facilitator


Jonny is very good at what he does. He used a great variety of learning mechanisms -solo, group, leader, directed, student directed. The flow was excellent & enjoyable. He was always empathetic with the mood of the group without allowing it to dictate

(Gold Coast, Australia, 2006)


 [Jonny was] a good communicator, with firm leadership, organised, flexible


Informed…….Superb…..well prepared…..inclusive style

(Doha, Qatar, 2006)




[Jonny had} excellent ideas for course delivery & showed genuine concern for all members of the group


The workshop leader is highly professional and an excellent teacher

(Bratislava, Slovak Republic, 2005)


Jonny was informative, experienced, not afraid to tackle difficult issues, could include everyone in the group, pacing and delivery excellent


Jonny showed excellent clarity, involved us all, gave excellent advice and encouraged discussion and our support for each other

(Munich, Germany, 2005)


I have had a great day's teaching - energised by the most wonderful course I have just been on.  Thank you for being so brilliant, and so inspirational.


This workshop exceeded my expectations – the best one I have ever been on.

(Tokyo, Japan, 2005)


 [Jonathan was] relaxed, humorous, enthusiastic, knowledgeable, engaging: in short, BRILLIANT!

(Sevenoaks, England, 2004)


I also wanted to thank you for your leadership in the training workshop. You made everyone feel relaxed, creating a safe and harmonious environment.

Chris Mannix, Subject Area Manager (IB Cardiff, England, 2004)


Thank you for all of your hard work in Sydney....  I was delighted with the workshops and the training that followed.  The IBO is fortunate that it can call on people such as you to carry out the important task of Workshop Leader Training and know that it will be done very well.

Laurie Ince, Diploma Manager (International Baccalaureate Asia Pacific region, 2004)


Jonathan was fantastic – [he was] funny and worked us hard at a furious pace, whilst keeping excellent focus within the group. Truly remarkable.

(Sydney, Australia, 2004)


Jonathan had an obvious deep understanding of the nature of (and problems inherent in) the teaching, planning and assessment of the IB music curriculum, coupled with an easy direct, clear communicative style.


His primus inter pares approach was much appreciated.

(Dubai, UAE, 2004)


With a relaxed yet efficient delivery and excellent use of humour, I thought Jonathan was fantastic.

(Singapore, 2003)


Jonathan’s presentations were a wonderful mixture of entertainment, academic and intellectual discussions, [and] questions and answers.

(Invercargill, New Zealand, 2003)


This is just to say thank you so much for the great weekend. The workshop was excellent and it really helped everyone in the department to start focusing on things more clearly. The idea for us of having it at school was extremely successful and I can pass on the message from the whole department, who feel very motivated after this inspiring weekend, and I know that I learned an enormous amount from this experience.

(Geneva, Switzerland, 2003)


Jonathan was knowledgeable, effective, collaborative and on task.

(Gdansk, Poland, 2003)


Jonathan had a great sense of humour, with excellent timing [and] he explains everything clearly and concisely. I would certainly been keen to attend future workshops led by Jonathan.

(La Coruňa, Spain, 2002)


Jonathan was friendly, professional, informative, experienced, understanding, amusing – absolutely fantastic!


 [Jonathan] stimulated ‘out of the box’ thinking…a helpful mixture of being informative yet provocative.

(Riga, Latvia, 2002)


The workshop was presented in an entertaining, informative and professional manner


[Jonathan] is a great communicator….this was a superior workshop experience.

(Adelaide, Australia, 2002)


Excellent materials and excellent delivery. A most valuable and enjoyable workshop

(Vancouver, Canada, 2002)


Very well informed and organised. Very good listener and all focused


Jonathan was very informative, clear, funny and an excellent presenter.

(Vienna, Austria, 2001)


Jonny was an excellent and enthusiastic presenter with good insights - thanks Jonny for the inspiration!


Mr Newell is an outstanding presenter - he must be an amazing teacher.

(Melbourne, Australia, 2001)


Respected us as professionals and brought us together as a team


Great pace, knowledge and understanding – encouraged discussion, good listener, experienced, confident

(Winnipeg, Canada, 2001)


Jonathan is an excellent communicator and very supportive


Jonathan had a great sense of humour and an effective way of delivering the material

(Hilversum, Holland, 2000)


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