Isabelle Chousmer-Kerr

Isabelle Chousmer-Kerr joined our graduate programme in 2019 and now works as Music Production Manager in our Press and Enterprises division.

You joined Trinity in 2019 on our inaugural graduate programme. Can you tell us about your journey?

I wanted to join the Trinity graduate programme to gain experience working within an Awarding Organisation and a more corporate environment than I had previously. I had previously worked largely self-employed as a singer, Singing & Piano teacher, and choir leader for four years since graduating in 2015 with a degree in Classical Music Performance. I felt that the work Awarding Organisations do in providing assessments and qualifications to learners has a huge impact within Music education, which is something I’m very passionate about and wanted to be involved in.

What are the key responsibilities as a Music Production Manager?

As Music Production Manager I work within the TCL Press team. I work closely on all new Music publications from inception to release and take responsibility for producing the products (for example printing and ebook upload) plus ensuring each product is set up correctly with the distributors for sale and organising pre-release marketing and trade reviews for each product. Each new release has unique parameters, so the role is highly varied, which I enjoy. I’ve had the opportunity to undertake additional responsibilities which has helped me develop my skills, for example setting notation and coordinating the cover design process. Additionally, I maintain the current Music publication portfolio by ensuring good stock levels and taking responsibility for the book reprinting process, plus making continuous improvements to the TCL Press ebook store.

What is one of the most exciting projects you’ve ever worked on at Trinity?

Trinity recently released new Piano Exam Pieces Plus Exercises from 2023 publications from Initial-Grade 8. This is the first major release I worked on from inception to release (I joined mid-way through the project for the other releases I’ve worked on). For this release the Press team really pushed boundaries by including more pieces than ever before in a wider range of styles and genres than any other exam board. A huge amount of work went into the release, and it was so satisfying to be able to see the project through to the end and get such good feedback on the final product. This was such an exciting project for me to work on because through my work as a Piano teacher I know first-hand how the diverse range of repertoire that we’ve published in these books will have such a positive impact for both Piano students and teachers.

How did the graduate programme help you learn the fundamentals of business?

Through the graduate programme I became acquainted with fundamental processes such as data hygiene, outsourcing to consultants, defining the profitability and compiling a business case for projects, invoicing and finance processes within a large organisation, and tracking business risks and actions. The graduate programme provided a supportive environment where I was able to learn and grow these skills and get accustomed with Trinity as a whole through placements in different teams (prior to joining I had only engaged with the Music exams side of the business). 

Not long after joining us, the COVID pandemic hit the UK, how did that impact how you worked?

The COVID pandemic disrupted the original plan for the graduate programme, which was to undertake three placements in different teams. However, COVID lead to me being given opportunities to work in even more areas of the business than I had anticipated, eventually five.  I worked within the Secure English Language exams and operations teams during the summer of 2020, both things I had no prior experience of coming from a Music background, which gave me a greater understanding of Trinity as a business. Working throughout COVID also provided invaluable experience of business transformation, as Trinity had to transform and adapt to meet the challenges presented by COVID.

What advice would you give to someone early on in their careers to set themselves up for success?

I would advise people early in their careers to be open minded about work opportunities. Even when an opportunity does not immediately align with your career goals, it will always provide some learning and development, and will likely broaden your skill set beyond what you’d foreseen. This can be invaluable in progressing to future roles that do align with your career goals, as most roles require a broad range of transferable skills.

What is the best part about working for Trinity?

For me the best part about working for Trinity is the multifaceted nature of the business. It means there’s always a wealth of opportunities to be creative and get involved in different projects, and each week, month, and year can look a little different. You could never get bored working at Trinity.


“The best part about working for Trinity is the multifaceted nature of the business. It means there’s always a wealth of opportunities to be creative and get involved in different projects.”

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