The Milsom School of Music was founded in 2006, merging the teaching practices of partners David Milsom (violin, viola) and Ruth Milsom (piano, aural, theory). David and Ruth now have a combined half century+ of experience in individual and group tuition, ensemble playing and accompanying. The School works as a collaborative with a number of other teachers in Sheffield and actively encourages pupils to pursue a broad and varied musical education.
Students of all ages and abilities are taught in one-to-one lessons, which forms the cornerstone of teaching and learning. In addition, from time to time we put on workshop sessions in performance presentation skills. We also mount informal concert opportunities in which pupils, whether beginners or more experienced players, have the opportunity to perform in front of family and friends in a relaxed and supportive environment.
COVID-19 UPDATE: workshops and concert activities are suspended for the time being as we are all observing social distancing rules and guidance. We are continuing regular one-to-one tuition online. The situation is under constant review, and we are making plans towards possible future scenarios that may allow safely distanced group activities such as concerts.
Milsom School tutors are passionate about encouraging the very best from their students, whatever their level of experience and ability, and keen to encourage a holistic learning philosophy that empowers the individual student and sees them expand in confidence as musicians.
Who are the Milsoms?
Both former graduates of the Music Department of the University of Sheffield, David and Ruth Milsom have been active in Sheffield as performing musicians and instrumental teachers for at least twenty years. David is a Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Huddersfield, where he has responsibility for teaching performance in a large range of different contexts, as well as performing regularly with fellow staff and students as violinist, violist, and conductor. Ruth is a very experienced piano teacher and accompanist, as well as a freelance research assistant and desktop publisher, often working with David on performance and academic projects. You can read more about them elsewhere on this site.
Why choose the Milsom School?
Above all else we want our pupils to grow into knowledgeable, sensitive and thoughtful musicians, no matter what stage they reach with their instrument. Our tutors, all practicing performers, are thoroughly committed to passing on their knowledge and skills to the next generation. Pedagogically, the Milsom School is founded in established teaching principles of the European tradition - we are not followers of any one particular philosophy, but seek to create individual programmes of study for our pupils based upon a wide and well-established level of experience.
A key element to this outlook in relation to school-age pupils is to engage in and foster a 'community of learning' between teacher, pupil, and family/parents. We engage actively as much as possible with parents of a pupil in order to help develop learning strategies and support. Our informal concerts aim to be family-oriented and child-centred, providing opportunities to meet others involved in the learning process.
Where do we work?
We are based in South-West Sheffield, close to the universities, and the suburbs of Fulwood, Ranmoor, Ecclesall and Nether Edge, where many of our pupils live. Traditionally, many of our lessons have been peripatetic, taking place at pupils' houses, subject to suitability and timetabling. Some lessons are also available at the tutor's home. In addition, David's work at Huddersfield University means that he is also able to teach pupils between Sheffield and Huddersfield.
COVID-19 UPDATE: we are currently holding all lessons online. The situation is under constant review, and we are making contingency plans looking ahead to the possibility of in-person tuition held under careful safety protocols in the future.
News & Updates
Handbook of 19th-Century Violin Playing
Commissioned by publishers Boydell & Brewer, this new book by David Milsom will offer practical insights into violin playing in the long 19th century. This volume follows on from earlier immersive studies made by David, and aims to guide violinists (and other string players) in discovering how older approaches to music performance and violin style can inform their playing today.
David is continuing to work on his mammoth video set of J.S. Bach solo violin works. Forthcoming is a disc of Brahms viola and violin sonatas with Jonathan Gooing.
News and audio/video clips are available on David's website.
A-Z of String Players
David Milsom's publication, for the renowned Naxos record label, is available to buy as a box-set. The 'A-Z of String Players' is a biographical survey of 303 solo violinists, violists, cellists and bassists, and their legacy on record.