Mary studied at the Birmingham Conservatoire, where she gained a BA Hons and performing and teaching diplomas. She then completed a PGCE year at Birmingham University, which included what would prove to be an inspiring opportunity to observe Heather Clemson teaching violin in schools in the Birmingham area. Mary’s contact with the equally inspiring Heidi Nixon (then training on the Suzuki course) led to an interview with Sandwell Education Authority, who wanted to appoint a violin teacher interested in becoming a Suzuki Teacher.
Mary then completed the 5 levels of the Suzuki Teacher Training course while working in schools in the Sandwell area, bringing the teaching method to as many families as possible, with the support of Heidi Nixon and Andrew Crabtree – Suzuki trained colleagues – attending workshops (Birmingham, Ayr, Edinburgh, Bryanston, Cheltenham, Bristol, Paris) and large scale concerts in London and Birmingham. After 11 years, Mary moved to work for Worcestershire County Council as she was expecting her first baby and wanted to work near to where she lived, enabling maximum family time.
Mary has worked for the music service in Worcestershire, now an independent ‘Social Enterprise’ called ‘Severn Arts’ for 18 years, which has afforded her a great variety of music teaching experiences, including GCSE and ‘A’ Level music teaching in a High School, whole class string tuition in Primary schools and whole school Musical Praise and vocal coaching in primary school. She currently continues with a range of music teaching along with her violin teaching and string orchestra directing and is responsible for running an Area Music Centre and line managing other teachers within the service. For the past year, she has enjoyed coaching the String section of the Worcestershire Youth Orchestra, which is directed by ex-CBSO cellist, Richard Jenkinson, and seeing Suzuki membership numbers grow by setting up a ‘Suzuki Club’ in her area. Mary has also been delighted, recently, to play in some orchestral concerts featuring her past student, Charlotte Moseley, in works such as the William Walton and the Mendelssohn Violin Concertos. Fresh out of ‘The Royal Northern’, with 12 concertos committed to memory, Charlotte says, “it was the Suzuki method that enabled me to memorise music confidently”.
Mary is very happy to have had the support of her wonderful husband, David, a musician, for 27 years and they have two fabulous, bright children, (it must have been the Suzuki lessons!), Reuben and Rachel, aged 18 and 16, who both love music – amongst many other things.