Mary S. McLuskey's Story


Story submitted, August 2012.


Some background information

  1. So that I can compare responses between countries and across generations, please give me the following background information on when and where you went to school.

    Your nationality:

    - Scottish -

    The country in which you went to school:

    - Scotland -

    Your age:

    - 51 -

    The year in which you left school:

    - 1978 -

  2. I also need some information on your formal music education (if you had one), so please give details below of any lessons or qualifications in music that you have taken.  You will have chance to expand on these answers later, so brief details are fine at this stage.

    Years of classroom music in school (e.g. aged 5-14):

    - 0 -

  3. Please give a brief description of your current involvement in music:

    - I sing with two differnet groups - 1 a community group, Singing Stirling and an offshoot of that group; Our Front Room,an all female close hamony group. -

  4. Please tell me where you heard about this research project:

    - Jo Miller who is the Musical Director for Our Front Room and Singing Stirling. -

Thank you for those details.  The rest of the questionnaire is more open-ended: there are five prompts about home background, school experiences, influential people, highlights and regrets, and you can use those to tell your story in whatever way makes sense to you.

Please answer in as much detail as you feel able to, focusing on those questions which are most relevant to you, and giving specific memories and examples whenever you can.



Life history prompts

  1. What kind of music was going on in your home as a child? How influential do you think this was in your development?

    - My Dad always sung around the house and in locla clubs. As a child I would sing with him - Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Blues and big band music, classical and pretty much everthying in between. -

    - My father's voice was smooth, rounded and strong. When he sung people took note. It was a major influence on me and I never imagined that I could sing as well or even close to his ability. His talent and love of music left me with a life long love of all types of sounds. -

  2. What are your memories of school music? (These might include people, activities, opportunities…)

    - Horrible. I was told I couldn't sing (adulthood has confirmed that I can sing and that I'm not too terrible!). -

  3. Who has been influential on your musical behaviour at various stages of your life?

    - Dad - from childhood. -

    - Older Sister - gang show songs, nighttime singing and lots of nonsense making bad harmonies as we grew up together! -

    - My husband - a gigging artist who has the most amazing voice - why else would I have fallen for him. -

    - Myself - many years of trying to finf my own voice. -

  4. What have been the highlights of your musical life history so far?

    - Realising that to sing is to love and I can do both. -

  5. Do you have any regrets about missed opportunities in music?

    - Not really, I think it would be great to have a littel more formal knowledge but to be 100% honest the sound is more important than the ability to'read'. I have met so many fabulous people through music that I could ever regret anything about it. -

  6. Please add any final comments below on the process of telling your musical life history, or any other details that you feel you've missed out of your account so far.

    - My mother, who made me practise and wouldn't let me give up, and who made me go to Regional Schools Orchestra. -

    - Donald Runnicles, who started his own orchestra to be a conductor, with whom I played/helped run orchestra aged 14-18. This got me involved in music as fun rather than a chore. -

    - Neil Mantle, whose amateur orchestra I've played in since 1977. -

    - Friends with whom I've played duos/quartets over the years. -