Art of Teaching at the Royal Academy of Music 1985-2008

The First String Experience (FSE) was a valuable resource for Senior Royal Academy of Music string students. It gave them hands-on experience in starting young beginners on all stringed instruments and at the same time provided FSE with assistants and future teachers. 6-8 RAM student assistants and 4 or 5 ex-RAM teachers, trained by us, worked with us every Saturday. Each year my assistant, violinist Cecily Mendelssohn, and I had three pre-LRAM seminars to all 3rd and 4th year undergraduates and post-graduate string students. We encouraged all these students to watch us on Saturdays and directed well paid work to them if they were interested.

First String Experience
I started the First String Experience course at the Royal Academy of Music in 1987 as a 1-year course for 24 children aged 7 or 8 years old. It has now grown to a 5-year course with 30 children in each year, starting at age 4. The course is regularly oversubscribed. Applicants are accepted for the first year without audition provided they are born between certain dates. All applicants are entered into a ballot.

I retired from the RAM in 2008.


Royal Academy of Music