Penny Stirling, Director
Penny Stirling, violin
Penny Stirling is the Founding Director of Yorkshire Young Musicians.
She was born in Somerset and trained at the Royal College of Music in London.
Although graduating as a pianist, her first job was as a Head of Strings and she then went on to run the string department at Wells Cathedral School from 1980 - 1990.
After working as Head of the Instrumental Music Service for Wiltshire County Council, she married and moved to Manchester where she became Director of the Junior Strings Project at the Royal Northern College of Music.
This innovative course, which won the Partnership Trusts' Thorn EMI award for innovations in music teacher training in 1995 and a Queen's Anniversary Prize for the RNCM
in 1998, trains postgraduate students to teach, using children from the local community - thereby giving many youngsters an opportunity to learn a string instrument.
Now run in conjunction with Manchester Metropolitan University
, this is one of the few courses where teachers can train to teach instrumental music alongside their classroom studies and obtain a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (with subsequent Qualified Teacher Status).
In December 1999 Penny
was awarded Fellowship of the Royal Northern College
In 2004, whilst still retaining a part-time position as Consultant to the Junior Strings Project, she moved to North Yorkshire and became Director of Yorkshire Young Musicians, a new DfES Music and Dance Scheme for highly talented children in the Yorkshire and Humber area.
Penny has taught violin, viola and piano at Wells Cathedral School, Chetham's, Junior RNCM and currently at St Peters School, York.
She founded the chamber music course 'Young String Venture' at Lake District Summer Music and is Course Director for Pro Corda North and Director of Stirlings Summer Strings.
She often works with County Music Services on Professional Development days and is Course Leader for the Manchester centre of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music's Professional Development course leading to the award of CT ABRSM.
In addition, she has worked as a mentor for the CT ABRSM course in Singapore and Hong Kong and as a presenter of Violin Seminars for the Board.
Other recent work has taken her to South Carolina (USA), Norway and Bermuda to assist the teachers working for the Yehudi Menuhin Foundation.
adjudicates for many music festivals both at home