The First Specialist Teacher
It was not until the 1790s that the trustees decided to take on the first specialist teacher – an organist was appointed to teach the children to sing and to play at Founder’s Day.
We know that the head master and head mistress had always been expected to lead singing. A manuscript book started in the 1780s records some of the specially-written hymns the children sang at Founder’s Day. A typical excerpt runs
The themes of gratitude and obedience are uppermost in every hymn. The Cass trustees were not unusual at this time in expecting constant thanks and deference – they also wished to ensure that the children did them and the Foundation credit on the public occasion of Founder’s Day, and good music was one of the ways of ensuring this. So the children got their music teacher.