Music graduate Kathy Blackwell talks to us about how her career in teaching gave her the experience needed to co-author a number of educational music books for young string players.
B. Mus. (Hons)
|Year of Graduation
Your time at the University
I chose the Edinburgh music degree course on the recommendation of a music teacher and it proved to be a very good decision. The course was hugely enjoyable, thorough, and wide-ranging, covering everything from acoustics, musicology, harmony and counterpoint to ethno-musicology and performance. Hearing a live performance of an enormous Alpine horn at one of the acoustics lectures has certainly stayed in the memory.
The knowledge and enthusiasm of the staff, including Kenneth Leighton, Peter Williams, and Rita McAllister has had a strong and continuing influence on me. During my time at Edinburgh I had the opportunity to do some study in Russia which sparked an interest in Russian music that I then went on to pursue as a Post Graduate student.
Edinburgh was and is a beautiful and fantastic city to study in and the friends I made during my time there, including meeting my husband David Blackwell (B.Mus 1983) was one of the best aspects of studying music at Edinburgh.
The course was hugely enjoyable, thorough, and wide-ranging, covering everything from acoustics, musicology, harmony and counterpoint to ethno-musicology and performance. Hearing a live performance of an enormous Alpine horn at one of the acoustics lectures has certainly stayed in the memory.
Tell us about your Experiences since leaving the University
After leaving Edinburgh I continued with Post Graduate studies in music at St Anne’s College, Oxford before entering a career in teaching and bringing up two children. My teaching experience has led me to co-author with my husband David, a number of educational music books (Fiddle, Viola, Cello and String Time) for young string players, which are published by Oxford University Press. We have twice won the Music Industries Award for ‘Best Educational Publication’ and have presented workshops to teachers in the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore. I have been a strings consultant for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and a contributor to their publication ‘All together! Teaching music in groups’.
I continue to enjoy teaching and meeting teachers at workshops, training days and conferences. We hear regularly via our website and via Youtube from teachers and learners around the world who are using our music and feel grateful for the opportunities I had while studying in Edinburgh that have contributed to what has been a rewarding life working in music.
Make the most of all the opportunities that university life offers and explore your subject in as many ways as you can. But most important of all, enjoy it as it goes all too quickly!