This post was written more than two years ago. The content or information below may no longer be accurate.

The Mentoring scheme at ACM is an important initiative launched in September 2009. The scheme works in conjunction with the support provided by the Student Relations team. Building trust and relationship is central to the Mentoring scheme and the Mentors have been carefully chosen. The Mentor’s role is to be a reliable, non-judgemental professional adult, who can be available to students during their designated Mentor’s hours.

Some specific aims of the Mentoring scheme are:

  • To provide career advice to students actively wishing to progress their careers and those showing notable professional promise
  • To help students make a successful social and academic transition from school to college and from living at home to independent living
  • To support students who are struggling academically, emotionally, medically or financially
  • To support and encourage students to think and act constructively for themselves
  • To direct students towards professional and specialist advice and support when appropriate
  • To help students move forward in a positive direction from any starting position to a more positive one

The Mentoring Manager, Jo Mackinnon, can be contacted by emailing

Some examples of student needs that we have previously encountered and some helpful contacts that students, parents and guardians can approach for extra support:

Career Development

  • Advice for getting professional work
  • Skills development advice & design of practice schedule
  • Useful contacts – email addresses, phone numbers, agencies
  • Developing promotional tools

Money & Practical Issues

  • Personal finances
  • Student Loan problems
  • Accommodation and Housing

ACM-specific Issues

  • Problems with a particular aspect of the course e.g. music theory, technical skill, written coursework
  • Performance anxiety
  • Poor exam results
  • Problems making friends
  • Problems with classmates
  • Loss of motivation

Emotional Issues

  • Family breakdown
  • Personal relationship problems
  • Stress / feeling overwhelmed
  • Physical or Sexual Abuse
  • Lack of self confidence
  • Destructive behaviour – drugs, eating disorders, self-harm, etc
  • Pregnancy
  • Circumstantial depression
  • Suicidal thoughts

Health Issues

  • Repetitive Stress Injury (RSI)
  • Vocal nodules
  • ME or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Glandular fever
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
  • Extreme allergy (Anaphylaxis)
  • Mental Health problems e.g. Clinical depression, Schizophrenia

Behavioural Disorders / Learning Disibilities

  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD)
  • Asperger’s Syndrome
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Tourettes
  • Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia, etc
  • Speech and Language Difficulties

Useful Contacts

ACM is part of the Student Health Scheme administered by the Musicians Benevolent Fund. The MBF supports students by awarding grants to cover health treatment costs. Application forms are available through their website.

    tel: 0800 776600
    24 hour drugs advisory service for young people. Calls from a landline are free and won’t appear on your bill.
  • GUM Clinic
    tel: 0800 567123 (info about local clinics)
    Free confidential testing for Sexually Transmitted Diseases and HIV.
  • Guildford Citizen’s Advice Bureau
    tel: 01483 576699
    15-21 Haydon Place, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 4LL
  • Surrey Drug Care
    tel: 01483 300112
    24 hour confidential helpline – offering support, advice and information.
  • RASAC – Rape & Sexual Abuse Support Centre
    tel: 01483 546400
    For men, women and young people.

Jo Mackinnon, Mentoring Manager
Jo aspires to equip and support ACM students to achieve their professional potential. She currently lectures on the Cert HE Performance course and coordinates the team of mentors at ACM. Jo is a classically trained cellist, pianist and vocalist and a qualified teacher. She has worked in the professional business world for many years and has particular experience in sales and marketing through her involvement in her family business. She also works privately with individuals on a one-to-one basis helping them to identify and progress their career and personal goals.