Teacher Malcolm Abbs, who ‘enriched musical lives’, set to retire after 39 years

Published: July 28, 2011

WHEN he started teaching music in Camden’s primary and secondary schools in 1972, Malcolm Abbs’s contract stipulated he could leave with an hour’s notice.

Now – after 39 years – he has finally done just that.

Mr Abbs, who taught flute, clarinet and saxophone to pupils at Primrose Hill and Fitzjohn’s primary schools, as well as at Parliament Hill, William Ellis and Highgate second­ary schools, is retiring.

But the maestro, who will continue to pass on his knowledge at William Ellis’s Young Music Makers on Saturdays, prefers to say he is “moving on.” Mr Abbs will be spending most of his time writing music books and teaching from home. During a successful career, he has sung on stage at the Albert Hall and set up Camden Town jazz band Take Twenty.

Dot Fraser, of Dots Music Shop on St Pancras Way, Camden Town, who met Mr Abbs when he taught her son at William Ellis, said: “Malcolm has enriched the musical lives of so many over the years. His legacy will live on through the many musicians, both professional and amateur, performing round the world.”