Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Nigel Kennedy: 'Bad things can happen in music schools'

Nigel Kennedy playing at the Hay Festival 2015
The classical violinist Nigel Kennedy has said that “bad things can happen” in music schools when students are allowed to idolise their teachers.

Asked whether he thought there was a problem with the school system, and with the education of musically gifted youngsters in this country, Kennedy told an audience at the Hay Festival yesterday: “It’s certainly the wrong way, if the kids idolise the teachers so much that bad things can happen, of the type that have been discussed in the papers, in several musical institutions. It’s certainly the wrong way.”

In the early Sixties, from the age of seven, the Brighton-born musician attended the Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey, one of five top musical institutions for school-aged pupils in the UK.

In 2013, a Channel 4 documentary examined claims that Marcel Gazelle, the school’s founding music director (who died in 1969) had sexually abused pupils at the school during a period in the Sixties. Kennedy, who first raised concerns about sexual abuse at the school in 2003, lent his support to those making the allegations.  (more...)

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