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This photograph is, as far as we know, the only image of staff and students together as a school photograph from the early days of the Royal Manchester College of Music (founded 1893). You can see the overwhelming majority of female students (so many bonnets!). This is because even though Sir Charles Hallé founded the College to be a professional conservatoire to rival London's institutions it actually started out as a sort of specialist finishing school. Despite best intentions, the majority of students were middle-class young ladies from the suburbs who weer send here to learn "an accomplishment" as it were. Singing, violin and piano were all considered to be very gentile tricks which a young lady could cultivate in order to be brought up "proper". (Because as we all know, in order to attract a husband, one must learn to play the piano.)

Reference: Man-Mus/72
Artefact added : 13th February 2017
by rncmarchives
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