Sheffield music tutor hits right notes to win award

Lord David Puttnam with music teacher Emily Walker.
Lord David Puttnam with music teacher Emily Walker.
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SHEFFIELD-born music teacher Emily Walker has a song in her heart – after picking up a major national award.

The 31-year-old, from Mosborough, has been named Classic FM’s 2012 music teacher of the year for children with special educational needs.

She received the award from Lord David Puttnam at the Royal Albert Hall, at the Music for Youth Schools Prom, where some of her own youngsters had performed.

Emily has been teaching music at a special school in Surrey for the last seven years, where she helps the pupils learn different instruments and writes musicals and plays for them to perform.

She also formed a hand bell group called Bells Angels, which played at the Royal Albert Hall.

Mum Kate Hinchcliffe, who also lives in Mosborough, said music was in Emily’s blood, as was a close connection with special needs youngsters.

She said: “We are all proud of her and the entire family was at the Albert Hall to see her receive the award.

“It takes a special talent to do the job she does.”

Emily was a pupil at Mosborough Primary School, where she learned to play the recorder and the euphonium.

She went on to Westfield School then to Tapton School’s sixth form, where she played in their brass band for two years – including a performance in the Schools Prom in 1997.

Emily also played euphonium in Sheffield’s Baby Brass Band and then in the Crystal Brass Band.

As part of the Classic FM award, Emily will receive musical equipment and instruments from Yamaha and specialist music software from Avid for her school.

She said: “Winning this award means so much to me and the students.

“The arts are hugely important to children with special educational needs.

“The instruments and software will enable us to widen musical opportunities in our school, which will assist with pupil progression.”