MBE for Sheffield music teacher who transformed the lives of special needs pupils

A much respected Sheffield music teacher who has dedicated herself to teaching people with special needs has been awarded an MBE

Saturday, 28th December 2019, 12:00 am
Claire Pashley

Claire Pashley has her own music studio and teaches people with special needs from her house in Beauchief.

She was recognised for her services to children and young people with special needs and disabilities in this year’s New Year’s Honours list.

Claire’s unique and highly acclaimed teaching methods have been so well regarded that she was awarded the position of Chief Examiner with the prestigious Victoria College in 2012. Her published tutor books in keyboard, singing, piano and early learning are sold worldwide in countries as far as Sri Lanka, Malta and Ireland.

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Claire, who has taught people with special needs for 25 years said the award was “wonderful” and had come completely out of the blue.She said: “A lot of special needs people are told they can’t do anything but through music they find that they can.

“And if you give them the right opportunity to succeed quite a few can pass examinations.

“They come to my house and enjoy making music for half an hour. It’s not just about taking exams it’s about opening doors and the social side.

“I always encourage them to go out and play music where they can. One of my pupils has been coming here from the age of six and she’s now 18 and going out playing flute in care homes and actually enjoying music.

“I think there is a real need for it in this area. I have tried to encourage special needs at Victoria College as well.

The secret to Clare’s success is that all lessons are uniquely geared to pupils’ specific needs. This is supported with the philosophy that all pupils can achieve irrespective of age, ability or background.

She added: “I have no idea who has nominated me – I thank them very much whoever they are it has been a complete surprise.

“In a way I feel the MBE should be given to my work colleagues.

“ I have three teachers who work with me at my studio who have helped me on the way. It is a team effort.”