A gifted violinist has been appointed as Head of Strings at St Mary’s Music School.

Dr Valerie Pearson joins the school from the University of York where her interest in modern music and the relationship between performer, composer and audience was the basis of her doctoral research.

She also began a private teaching practice while completing her PhD and that experience now ranges from starting three year-old Suzuki violinists to leading university projects and teaching at international summer schools.

Part of her new role at St Mary’s is to develop the school’s outreach programme and partner with other music organisations to widen access for young musicians in Scotland.

Dr Kenneth Taylor is Headteacher at St Mary’s Music School, welcomed Valerie at the start of the new term. He said: “Valerie’s passion for music and music teaching is palpable and we are delighted to have brought her to Edinburgh. The innovative approach she brings to her classes will extend and develop the talents of our young musicians helping them to seize the opportunities of a rewarding music career, whatever their background or wherever they are based in Scotland.” 

Valerie commented: “Having studied the violin with Diana Cummings at the Royal Academy of Music I saw a deep understanding of the physiology of playing, which completely transformed my relationship with the violin, and this has been a huge influence on my own teaching. 

“I am really looking forward to starting at St Mary’s and having the wonderful opportunity of working with the talented young pupils who are passionate about their music!” 

St Mary’s Music School will host its annual Open Day online on 26 September 2020. https://www.stmarysmusicschool.co.uk/admissions/open-days/