Fae Jones talks about her impressions of Beatrice Rollins of the Northern School of Music, and the difference between music teachers now and how it was taught then.
Fae: I do have such happy memories of Beatrice Rollins, really, she was— They were all— They were people their time and she was gentle, very kind… very sweet old lady, really. You would not find her now a days, I don’t think you’d see that sort of character, really, but she was just kind and… and lovely. And that— I can’t remember, you see, she’s supposed to have taught us… rudiments and I… She must have taught it in a class group, you know, I don’t… I don’t remember too much about that, really, the details of it.
Heather: Why do you think there is not that kind of Beatrice Rollins persona or that kind of person now in educational music? Why do you think that is?
F: Well, I don’t know. I’m not sure… I’m not sure. It’s certainly become much more… It’s much more technical now music, isn’t it. Much more… I don’t want to say high powered, it’s not— You see, what— The atmosphere that was created at the Northern was… Not quite so… Now how would I put this. It was local, it was warm, and it was a family atmosphere. I don’t think today’s academic life allows for that, does it. And I don’t think those characters are quite eager anymore, do you? I mean it was a thing of it’s time. You have to remember a lot of those women must’ve had fiancés in the war, like at my school, or partners in the war who died and dedicated themselves and there were a lot of dedicated, as I remember, single women at the Northern. So, it was another world, it was truly wonderful. I always remember it with a smile on my face anyway *laughs*.
Part of the #NSM2020 project "A 20/20 Legacy: the centenary of the Northern School of Music" supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.