Sheffield's Holistic Music Educators

David Milsom, BMus, MMus, PhD, FHEA, FISM    Partner
Violin & Viola


David Milsom is a native of Sheffield. After beginning a degree in History at the university in 1992, he swiftly changed to become a music student, gaining a 1st class degree in 1995, an MMus in 1996, and a PhD in 2000. During his studies he won academic and performance prizes at undergraduate level, and funding for his postgraduate research from the British Academy. Between 2000 and 2006 David gained a variety of smaller research awards, including a British Academy grant to complete his first major monograph, 'Theory and Practice in Late Nineteenth-Century Violin Performance' (Ashgate, 2003), and an Edison Fellowship at the British Library in 

2003 (for study of early sound recordings). He was made a Visiting Research Fellow at University of Leeds in 2005, and from 2006 to 2009 was a Research Fellow at University of Leeds, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, in which he engaged in a large, ground-breaking project to record nineteenth-century chamber repertoire in experimental historical styles. Award of a further research contract at Leeds (also AHRC-funded) was interrupted in January 2010 by his appointment as lecturer in music at the University of Huddersfield, where his activities include teaching and examining in performance and musicology, and conducting the university's symphony and string orchestras. David has published widely, and is always engaged in new research, writing and performing. In 2014 he published a box-set for Naxos Educational: 'A-Z of String Players'. He is currently working on a Handbook Of Nineteenth-Century Violin Playing for Boydell & Brewer. He gives regular recitals in a variety of contexts, most notably at present with colleagues from Leeds University, with whom he is undertaking a tour of UK Music Departments performing nineteenth-century chamber music in ‘historically-informed’ ways.

Concurrently, David has been a prolific and dedicated violin and viola teacher in Sheffield since taking his first pupils in 1993. From 2001 to 2006 David also taught at Mount St Mary’s College and Barlborough Hall Schools in Derbyshire, and is keen to remember the importance of such ‘grassroots’ teaching and learning as more of his time is taken up with advanced students!

David now concentrates his instrumental teaching upon advanced students, adults, and youngsters who are especially dedicated to learning and practising, in reflection of his professional seniority and experience. He hopes to bring his activity in helping to design the undergraduate and postgraduate performance courses at Huddersfield to help shape and influence the practices of the Milsom School of Music.

Ruth Milsom, BMus                                                                     Partner
Piano, Theory, Aural, Accompaniment


Ruth grew up in Crawley and was fortunate enough to gain a place at the West Sussex Music Centre where she received excellent all-round music tuition. It is this educational experience, which encompassed instrumental lessons, ensembles and orchestras, theory and aural coaching, and choral training (in the County Girls' Choir), that has inspired Ruth to develop a holistic approach in her own teaching methods.

As well as her first instrument (piano), Ruth has learned the violin to Grade 7 standard and enjoys playing in amateur ensembles. She also achieved Grade 8 on the organ as a student and plays occasionally at local churches. More recently she has taken singing tuition with colleagues Peter Taylor and David Watkin-Holmes, achieving Grade 8 in 2012.

Since graduating from Sheffield University Ruth has taught privately for over 25 years, nurturing an established 

reputation in the Sheffield area. She is also a highly experienced accompanist and works regularly in this capacity in ABRSM and Trinity-Guildhall exams, being in high demand by a number of local instrumental teachers. The administration of the Milsom School on a day-to-day basis falls to Ruth, as well as the organisation of termly Workshop and Concert events. Although piano lessons for children form the backbone of Ruth's teaching activities, she also specialises in Theory and Aural, and has worked with a number of adults who have returned to learning the piano and reached an advanced level of proficiency.
With a family full of musicians and librarians, it is no surprise that Ruth is an enthusiast for knowledge, academic writing and good grammar - skills which she employs in a professional capacity as a freelance music typesetter, researcher, copy-editor and proofreader.

Ruth's favourite pastimes include choral singing with the Sheffield Chamber Choir, hiking, foreign languages and travel, birdwatching, cooking proper food, and sharing these enthusiasms with friends.

© 2014-20 by MILSOM SCHOOL OF MUSIC. All rights reserved.                        PARTNERS: David Milsom BMus, MMus, PhD; Ruth Milsom BMus

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