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Posted by Posted by Haukur F. Hannesson, Chairman of the Trustees, Suzuki Teaching Trust and Hon President ESA on 13 February 2020

The sad news has reached us that Jean Middlemiss has passed away.

Jean Middlemiss photo 2019 1

Jean was a loyal friend of the SUZUKI™ Method and her efforts were pivotal in the introduction of the method in the United Kingdom. 

She was employed specially by Hertfordshire Music Service in the 1970s to coordinate the introduction of the SUZUKI™ Method  in Hertfordshire schools and in this role she was instrumental in starting the early Suzuki teacher training courses in Hitchin, in Hertfordshire.  In doing so she created the prerequisite for the existence and growth of the method in Britain. 

Her interest in the SUZUKI™ Method started earlier, however, when she spent time in Japan in 1973 studying with Dr. Suzuki in Matsumoto; one of the very first people from the UK to do so.

She was an accomplished musician and enjoyed accompanying Suzuki groups on the piano. Her many friends enjoyed her wonderful communication through music and her keen interest in all things musical and her always stimulating company.

Jean was a valued trustee of the Suzuki Teaching Trust for a number of years.  Her interest in the trust’s mission and projects was unmistakable. She always had sound advice for the trustees and gave a lot of time and effort to the trust, for example by instigating a fund-raising concert at the Purcell Room in London in 2005.

Jean’s eyes sparkled when she was interested in something and her enthusiasm lit the room.  I will always remember her positive presence and encouragement that made the world a better place for the people around her.  She will be sorely missed.

Obituary in the The Guardian Newspaper