Miriam Cox'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:

    - 55 -

    The year in which you left school:

    - 1973 -

  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):

    - May 16 -

    School exams in music (e.g. O Level, GCSE):

    - None -

    Instrumental / vocal lessons (e.g. piano from aged 9 to 15):

    - Piano from 7 - 12, 13 - 15, guitar 15 - 16. Not good at either but can read music. -

    Instrumental / vocal exams (e.g. Grade 5 trumpet aged 14):

    - I did a singing exam of some kind when I was about 14. -

    Music at college / university (e.g. music degree at York):

    - None. -

    Other musical study (give details):

    - Choir at school, Stirling, Junior Singers choir 10 - 15, university choir. -

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

    - I am a primary school teacher and teach my clas, have run a school singing group, currently attend a singing group weekly in Stirling and when it runs another group after school for an hour weekly. -

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

    - On-line via friend, or was it BBC link? -

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?

    - Mum was a teacher and we were always singing ditties, church hymn music and my nana was a very keen singer singing lots of Scottish songs and ditties. My granda had a record player and i remember buying him Yellow submarine in Amsterdam when I was 10 and on a school cruise! -

    - We listened to the radio a lot, watch and listen with mother, the white heather club tv shows, alexander brothers, black and white minstrels shows, Sunday afternoon musicals on tv. -

    - I have a very broad taste in music and really like just about anything with a catchy melody, harmony or a story to
    tell. I can sing along with classical music too but have difficulty remembering the names of the tunes. -

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

    - Singing together programmes, Robert Burns Scots songs. I wanted to learn to play violin or fiddle, but we could not afford it. We sang hymns at assembly too - there is a green hill far away...... The minister with very white hair who broke his ankle on the kerb, and Mr Budd, who told us about the sign in the local steamie which said "When all else fails, please read the instructions!". -

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

    - Playing in large scale orchestral concerts, particularly in large venues such as Exeter Cathedral. -

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

    - Singing Patricia the stripper with my two boys when they were wee while we were hoovering, Queen, Chris de burgh, Messiah in st Giles cathedral with stirling uni choir, being brave enough to sing solo at the albert hall in Stirling and getting huge applause, listening to radio 2 in the middle of the night, alex lester programme and latterly teaching children a descant for silent night and singing with singing stirling in the tolbooth in Stirling on a thursday evening - probably loads of other things too! -

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

    - Would love to walk down the main street with one of those great big drums on my front! Or play a tom and jerry double bass, be able to play piano for school assemblies - not real regrets just wishes. -

  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.

    - I find that when people are talking, songs or tunes with related lyrics or words just pop into my head and I find I am singing inside my head ALL the time. I seem to be able to pick out harmonies in tunes and I love it! Thank you for the music from ABBA is very appropriate in my case and music, singing is really good fun! -