June Boyce-Tillman and Keith Swanwick’s article on musical development is the second most widely cited paper in the history of the British Journal of Music Education. It appears in many discussions of musical development. A selection of the diverse domains where the paper is cited includes: instrumental teaching, Special Education Needs, primary school teaching, the development of learning for professional musicians, secondary school teaching, musicians’ skill development, adult music teaching and jazz improvisation. However, the background to this work, which was conceived for June Boyce-Tillman’s PhD thesis, is not always so well known. This article presents a research interview with June Boyce-Tillman conducted in August 2017. It explores her musical background and music education experiences, and seeks to enable further discussion of the characteristics which were described in the spiral model. The interview focuses on the concepts of Materials, vernacular, and musical Values, in particular, and the implications of these modes of understanding for classroom practices, including curriculum design.