Mary Hare History - Mr. Fawkes' Music Papers
Articles on deaf school children playing music

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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 1981 Teaching Music to Deaf Children
[Music Teacher, Vol 60, October 1981, p. 12-13. Online copy available by permission of the Editor of Music Teacher Magazine.]

 1985-1986 The Teaching of Music
[Unpublished manuscript intended as a chapter in a book]

 1986 Music Education to the Hearing Impaired
[Presentation at the XVIIth International Conference of the International Society of Music Education, Innsbruck, Austria]

 1986 Royal Academy of Music talk
[Lecture/demonstration concerning the teaching of music to the hearing-impaired]

 1986 Music at Secondary Level  New
[Presentation at "Deafness - No Handicap to Music" edited by D. Kennard, Disabled Living Foundation, pages 25-28.]

 1987 Using the IBM PC to Teach Music to Deaf Children
[Unpublished manuscript intended as a chapter for Volume 3 of The Research and Academic Users Guide to the IBM PC]

 1989 Article
[Pages 82-85 in 'Art Ability: Fifty Creative People Talk About Ability and Disability' edited by Simon Goodenough]

 2006 Teaching of Music to Hearing Impaired Children and Teenagers
[Condensed summary of above papers.]

Newspaper articles and other documents about Bill Fawkes' seminal work at Mary Hare and its outcome are listed below:

 Peta Levi, The Guardian (March 1980)

 Syd Gillingham, The Weekly (1981)

 1986 Royal Academy of Music press release

 Wendy Smith, Report for Education Queensland (2001)