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Pay the Piper
Just so you don't think we're
making all this up ...
Pay the Piper was
created by David Bramhall.
A singer, clarinettist, double-bassist and pianist, David spent 25
years as a school music teacher in London, Scotland, Norfolk and
Suffolk before becoming a manager of Suffolk County Council's Schools
Music Service which employs instrumental teachers, loans instruments,
provides lessons to pupils in most of the County's schools and
operates its own examination system. It also provides bands,
orchestras, choirs and other out-of-school activities for young
During his twelve years with the Music Service, David found that many
of the enquiries he received were very basic ones relating to parents'
need for information and reassurance about choosing an instrument for
their son or daughter, about buying the instrument and maintaining it,
and about what standards might reasonably be expected and what
opportunities would present themselves. Paradoxically, as his task was
to provide services to schools and not members of the public, he was
not officially allowed to answer this type of question - though he
always did! So when he retired from real work in 2001 it made sense to
use some of the expertise he had built up over the years making such
information available to those who need it through this website. He is
greatly assisted in this task by having access to friends and former
colleagues who are very experienced instrumental teachers, and can
usually come up with any answers he doesn't know himself.
David has published extensively in various periodicals on music
education, and has written two books about classroom music (Composing
in the Classroom Opus 1 and Composing in the Classroom Opus 2,
published by Boosey & Hawkes) and an eBook about choirs (Training
your young choir published by
Choirmaster Press). He is also a successful composer of choral music. He has run youth orchestras and
choirs for many years, has conducted in towns and cities all over Europe and was the founder and director of the short-lived but award-winning
Harmony Girls' Choir.
In recent years he has turned his attention to writing fiction. His series of novels entitled The Greatest Cape (published by Walnut Tree Books) is available from bookshops and online, as is a short collection of ghost stories, "Aurelia".