Peter Wastall 1932 - 2003
The widely respected wind instrument teacher and writer Peter Wastall has died of leukaemia aged 71. For more than 25 years Peter was an advisor to the music publishing company Boosey & Hawkes. More than half a million young people have learnt to play their instruments using Peter Wastall's books.
Peter is known worldwide for his integrated series of woodwind and brass teaching publications including Session Time, Practice Sessions and the Old Macdonald Recorder Method. However, he is best remembered for the award-winning Learn As You Play series which remains one of the most widely used beginner tutors, and has been translated into French, German, Spanish and Dutch. He was a member of the Editorial Board for the recently published Boosey & Hawkes Wind Method.
For many years Peter was a member of the Society for Research in Psychology of Music and Music Education, with whom he was actively involved in research over the processes of learning to play and the development of style and technique for woodwind instrumentalists. He received an MA in the Psychology of Music for his work on improvisation techniques and he channelled all this background and experience into his teaching books. He travelled widely giving seminars for music teachers, the central focus of which was to encourage the exchange of ideas and techniques in instrumental teaching, and he explored contexts encouraging instrumental teachers to integrate their teaching into the school classroom music curriculum.
Peter Wastall entered the Royal Marines School of Music as a flautist aged 14 and served in the Royal Marines Band as player and tutor until the age of 30. In civilian life he taught at St Lawrence College, Ramsgate, Dover College and at Kings School Canterbury. Having moved into teacher training at Nonington College, Dover, Peter later returned to instrumental teaching for the Northamptonshire Music Service.
He and his wife June retired to a beautiful house with large garden near Exeter where Peter devoted his time to his twin interests - music and gardening. These he did with enthusiasm, expertise and passion, traits which underpinned all he did.
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