To some, this next post might be too over the top, too emotionally fuelled, too glib. I cannot explain to anyone else how much this man influenced me and enabled me to become the woman I am today.

slim

The gentleman, there is no other way of introducing this man, playing the trombone in this delightfully dated 90’s screenshot is Adrian ‘Slim’ Hopgood; known by many as the music teacher from Westbourne High School, Ipswich. To me and many others, he became so much more.

He created a safe haven for all us, musical misfits. He alongside those he taught gave us a home and a home is the best way to describe it. We felt we belonged, and therefore to a certain extent, were devastatingly loyal to him. We may well have complained when he challenged us to sing out loud, improvise in public, learn bass clef… the 8:15 rehearsals, that slowly became 8:30. The importance of learning how to tidy the music instrument cupboard and knowing the difference between speaker cables and jack to jack leads.

He taught us a great many skills and it was interesting to see how many of us are now teachers, heads of music, youth leaders … musicians in our own rights. He would have been proud of all of us in our very different ways. He needed to be remembered with quiet, grief and sadness but celebrated in life, laughter and loud, LOUD music, which in his words – will always play on.

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. (Albert Einstein) 

Rest In Peace, Slim and know how loved by all your students you were x

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