Introduction by Webmaster|
This webpage contains seven articles on teaching deaf children to play and enjoy music, written by Mr. William Fawkes. He was a teacher at Mary Hare Grammar School from 1962 to 1985, and from 1975 taught music to deaf children, and actively encouraged them to play musical instruments.
In 2006, more than twenty years after retiring from teaching, Bill Fawkes was encouraged by several former pupils to write about the origins of the music programme at Mary Hare.
Bill's encounter with music began in 1938 at age eight years old with piano lessons in a Norfolk fenland village. Later, he became a chorister at St. Margaret in King's Lynn. During National Service, he was choir master and pianist at the camp church in Singapore giving him invaluable experience in playing in public, in singing and in training other people, in this case in singing.
He then read History at the University of Leeds and gained experience in the University Choral Society. He started as a teacher of the Deaf at Doncaster School for the Deaf and in 1962 joined the staff at MHGS where he taught history and later became Deputy Principal. In 1975, he started the music programme of which he became director. He retired in 1985 but continued as a consultant until 1988.
Now Bill is now thrilled to see his seminal work bear fruit in what is probably regarded as the world's only academic music programme for deaf children.
The webmaster thanks Mr. William Fawkes for permission to reproduce his articles.
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Articles © 1981-2006 William Fawkes
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