Chairman - Mrs Vanessa Kind

Secretary - Mrs Sarah Winship

Membership Secretary - position vacant

Treasurer and acting Membership Secretary - Mr Ian Rudd

Special Concerts Organiser – Graeme Humphries

Matinee Organisers–Graeme Humphries and Amanda Hampshire

Parent Representatives–Graeme Humphries, Amanda Hampshire, Sarah Winship

Teacher Representatives–Barry Maleham, Chinami Smith, Marilyn Over

Newsletter Editor–Prue Holmes

Publicity–Marilyn Over

Profiling the Committee Members.

To help you become familiar with the committee members, we are profiling them in our newsletter. This time we introduce Mrs Marilyn Over, a well-known piano teacher in the Durham area. Aside from the numerous musicians Marilyn has developed, she has also contributed to the music scene in Durham, and supported the DYM through her hosting of many matinees and other musical events.

I am something of an ‘accidental’ piano teacher having discovered, almost by chance, that I really love teaching.

I studied philosophy at London University and worked in newspapers as a sub-editor in Surrey, Bristol, London and latterly Newcastle.

I had piano lessons as a child and trudged up to Grade 8 but hadn’t played for some time when my husband David’s job brought us to the North East. We bought an ancient piano from the local auction rooms and I tinkered about on it but hadn’t played seriously for some time.

Just after our daughter Harriet was born I met Cherry Maleham through the NCT (National Childbirth Trust). Harriet and Barry and Cherry’s daughter Holly became
firm friends as toddlers and have remained so ever since, as have their parents.
The time seemed right to return to some serious playing and I started having lessons with Barry. Not long afterwards, another friend told me about a Trinity College LTCL teaching diploma course which was being run part-time in the area.

My ‘hobby’ was soon to get out of hand because a condition of the course was that students had to be teaching at least four pupils to be eligible to take part. As Harriet was by this time at St Margaret’s School there seemed to be a ready supply of guinea pigs volunteered, albeit rashly, by their mums at the school gate.

My piano teaching practice grew alongside part-time work for the Newcastle Journal and in journalism training. It was through the latter that I realised just how much I enjoyed teaching. This realisation coincided happily with the completion of the LTCL course. It was through membership of EPTA (European Piano Teachers’ Association), which DYM supports by organising the regional round of its piano competition, that I encountered the inspiring work of Zoltan Kodaly (1882 - 1958). The Hungarian composer believed that music is for everyone and his pedagogy has at its heart the development of inner hearing and musical education through singing.
(As my pupils will testify, my enthusiasm is undimmed and I try to incorporate his philosophy into my teaching with the use of solfa singing and systematic rhythm names).

Another part of my musical life for some years has been as a member of the Durham Singers. The choir’s repertoire ranges from Renaissance polyphony to the work of contemporary composers such as Julian Anderson and Augusta Read Thomas. Each year we also perform a large choral work and especially memorable among these have been Brahms’ Requiem, Bach’s Passions, Haydn’s Creation and, last year, the Monteverdi Vespers.

It’s a privilege to see pupils grow from tiny beginners into accomplished and thoughtful musicians. One of the greatest pleasures is to really feel a shared love of music and music making. I do hope they will remember their lessons fondly, despite my banging on about Bartok, the enforced solfa and the improvisation games involving pieces of cut up card! I issue strict instructions when they move on that they must come back to visit me in my old age. I’m always delighted when they do.

Marilyn Over
13 September 2018

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