skip to main content

Life Changing Stories Shared as Part of #SupportMyMusicTeacher

Did your music teacher change your life? We asked our community of musicians on Twitter about the teachers who shaped them.  

Published: 02 April 2020 | 12:00 AM Updated: 28 April 2021 | 4:30 PM
kids in a band playing imaginary instruments
"Let us have a band rehearsal every lunchtime and after school for about 18 months." Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Here are just some of the stories they shared about inspiring and supportive music teachers, through the #SupportMyMusicTeacher hashtag. 

Martin’s teacher got him to Glastonbury  

“If it wasn’t for the encouragement, support and generosity of the amazing @benassi27 I would never have been able to pursue a career in music, and most certainly wouldn’t have ended up playing Glastonbury with Stevie Wonder or touring all over the world”  

Alt pop band The Gravity Drive thank the teacher who helped them achieve their goal:  

“#SupportMyMusicTeacher Colin New at Perins School Alresford. Let us have a band rehearsal every lunchtime and after school for about 18 months. Absolute legend of a man”  

Sophie’s teacher went above and beyond to support her students  

“Shirley Helleur in Newcastle u Lyme. An amazing woman who knew how to encourage everyone’s best musical assets, she taught me how to sing and made me feel good about making music. She was really there for me during bad times at home too, big love for Mrs H! #SupportMyMusicTeacher

Sophie Cooper, trombone, guitar player and vocalist based in West Yorkshire, is one part of The Slowest Lift

Three teachers changed Jessica’s life  

“Three share this equally, I can't decide who was more pivotal: Geraldine Hinsley, Gareth Green, or Karen Cousins - all taught in Wakefield, every single one was crucial to the way I developed as a musician. Legends all three. #SupportMyMusicTeacher” 

“Mr Green still teaches, and runs a very successful webcast on music theory (I went back to him for piano technique refresher lessons a year or so back). I believe Mrs Cousins still teaches piano somewhere, but no idea what happened to Mrs Hinsley, would love to know”  

Jessica Rowbottom, aka The Bleeding Obvious, has been described as “The queer Victoria Wood” for her one-woman original LGBTQ+ cabaret. 

Enej aka Spheres shares how one teacher made all the difference 

“I used to hate music school, until, at 8, my flute teacher gave me Papageno's aria from The Magic Flute to play. Took a listen and fell in love with opera. I'm 19 now, play 6 instruments, I've composed film and theatre soundtracks, 2 albums and more coming! #SupportMyMusicTeacher” 

“Although she doesn't teach me anymore, I visit her every year for her birthday and bring her chocolates. I really would've been a completely different person without her, and I cannot thank her enough.” 

Rich makes music for a living thanks to one Mr Buckley  

“#SupportMyMusicTeacher Mr Buckley encouraged me and a few friends by letting us stay after school to use gear and record our terrible noise, and even fixed it for 2 of us to work at a studio for our work placements. Looking back he was a great help...This was the 80's.” 

Mr Gordon broke a few rules to help Ms Ellis on her way to becoming an opera singer: 

“My singing teacher made compilation tapes for me of great singers like Jussi Björling, Renata Tebaldi, Schwarzkopf, Pavarotti, Franco Corelli & Maria Callas. 14 yrs old - I’d never heard anything so powerful & moving. Changed me forever! Thanx Mr Gordon. #SupportMyMusicTeacher” 

One teacher’s support has changed a lot of lives  

“#SupportMyMusicTeacher Dr Ruth Gipps. aka Wid. She gave Meta free piano and composition lessons and helped me pass the audition for @NordoffRobbins1 Check out her symphonies - the recordings are out there”  

Meta Killick and Alistair Clarkson now make up music therapy organisation Living With Harmony 

Mrs H gave Gráinne confidence and her first recording experience 

“Yes she did! She was an absolute dynamo, running choirs, orchestras, school musicals - our choir even made a record. On a personal level she gave me real confidence in my abilities, and music has been a massive part of my life ever since. Thanks Mrs H #SupportMyMusicTeacher

Regan’s teacher shows nominative determinism doesn’t always hold true  

“Music has always been my no.1 passion, but wasn't expected to get good GCSEs, so was generally feeling worried. I asked Mrs Flat if she thought I could get an A for music. She said YES. Now I've had my music on tv, and had songs featured/reviewed in major music publications!” 

Antony marks a special teacher’s birthday: 

“In a small Lincolnshire town in the 1970s where aspirations were low and opportunities few, Eric Redfern showed me new horizons & transported me to other times & cultures through the power of music. He will be 90 in September #SupportMyMusicTeacher”  

Support your music teacher  

During these complicated times, we’re celebrating the music teachers who shaped our lives, and encouraging musicians and learners to do the same through the #SupportMyMusicTeacher hashtag. 

Is your music teacher the best? Has learning an instrument changed your life? Is it making social distancing a little bit easier right now?   

Let us know on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #SupportMyMusicTeacher.

Get MU membership today

From gig players to part-time teachers and professional instrumentalists, MU members can access specialist insurance for musicians. This includes accident cover, health schemes, travel insurance and car insurance add-ons through the Musicians’ Union.

Explore our member services

  • Get public liability insurance for musicians
  • Access expert legal support
  • Be represented in your profession
  • Access expert career advice, resources, and training events
  • Connect, network, and get to know the community of musicians

Learn about all membership benefits

Get MU membership today

Continue reading

Two young female street musicians, one playing acoustic guitar and the other an accordian.

Deadline Approaching for Funding From Alan Surtees Trust 

The Alan Surtees Trust makes up to four awards of £2,000 annually to support performers aged 16 to 30 with projects rooted in, or influenced by, folk or traditional music of all cultures. The deadline for applications is April 30.

Published: 15 April 2024

Read more about Deadline Approaching for Funding From Alan Surtees Trust