is always pleased to hear from former pupils & would welcome more
contributions to add to this page.
Orr wrote in August 2019:-
I started at EYM in my
pre-school year when I was still three. I remember being
in a very old building - which I now know as Bruntsfield House, part of
James Gillespie's High School - sitting in a circle playing different
singing and clapping games. I realise now that these were
important early lessons in developing an understanding of rhythm and
harmony. I also remember it was great fun and music on a
Saturday morning became part of my routine, one that I continue today.
In my primary years at
EYM I picked up the descant recorder, followed by most other members of the
recorder family. Jean Murray was my teacher through these
years and taught me to read music. I played violin for a
couple of years at school but realised that I was more suited to woodwind.
In P6 I had an opportunity to learn alto saxophone after school and
took to this quickly because of my recorder playing. My
saxophone playing developed to the point where I was able to join Edinburgh
Schools' Jazz Orchestra (ESJO) aged 12, as the youngest member. I
still enjoyed recorder playing with friends on a Saturday at EYM, in a
quintet and ensemble.
At an open
day at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland when I was 14, I was interested
to hear young people playing in a jazz ensemble. A few
months later, with the support of Andrew Carvel, I successfully auditioned
for the RCS and was excited to start at the 'Juniors' (Jazz) last autumn.
Attending the RCS has become my new Saturday routine and I have
really enjoyed my first year there, studying with Paul Towndrow.
I still play in ESJO too, as well as other bands and orchestras
through school and the Council's music service. None of
this would have been possible without my years at EYM and I am really
grateful to Jean and all the other teachers who helped me along the way.
Laura Johnson wrote in July 2019:-
EYM was the very beginning
of my experience with music. When I was little I went to the musical play
classes, and then it was where I first started to play the cello, which I
think is an opportunity all young people should get. Later I went on to play
in the junior and senior orchestras. I made great friends through EYM, and it
gave me the opportunity to explore a vast variety of music. The skills I
learned while playing within the senior orchestra enabled me to audition and
get into other well-known orchestras such as EYO and NYOS, and now I've also
joined an orchestra at Leeds University. I will also always be grateful for
this brilliant start to my musical life!
Bowyer wrote in November 2019:-
I was an EYM
student from age 5 up to 17. With EYM I learned to play the recorder through the
excellent guidance of Simon Rennard, who always managed to balance progressing
our skills with having a genuinely enjoyable Saturday morning. Learning the
recorder was good fun and allowed me to play a lot of great, and often
under-appreciated, music - like at the Baroque ensemble I am a part of at
university. My skills on the recorder also greatly helped me to pick up the
saxophone when I was older, and the grades I achieved on the saxophone benefited
my UCAS application. I am very grateful to Simon and also to Jean Murray for the
opportunities that were opened up to me by EYM.
I was also
lucky to be able to pass on some of my recorder skills to a group of students I
taught during my year volunteering in Myanmar. Teaching music was a challenge,
and made me appreciate the ability of my teachers to deal with overactive
children, but it was satisfying to pass on a skill that was not normally
available to the students of the school and it was very nostalgic to teach out
of the same book that I learned from at EYM.