MMF has a long and proud history of being at the forefront of best practice in music education. Our reputation has grown, not by accident, but because of the vision of one man, John Mander. John set up and has led MMF since 1991. His drive and commitment has enabled us to grow and flourish for the benefit of the children and young people we serve across the borough.
John was able to attract other teachers and musicians to join him who shared his passion and values and they, in turn, have helped him shape our musical journey. Many parents down the years have entrusted their children to our care and the MMF family has grown generational roots way beyond Merton. Each young person will have carried something special from their time spent at MMF in to their adult lives – a love of music, friends and wonderful memories of concerts and tours. That, for us as educators, is the inspiration for the work we do. Music-making sits at the heart of MMF and we thank all the past and present members of Music Centre bands for the gift of music that we have all shared.
As John steps away and retires from MMF at the end of term it is a moment to reflect on what has been achieved, celebrate it and then look to the future. John’s greatest gift of all is the legacy of a thriving, outward looking organisation that is not afraid of change and is committed to our aspirations and values. We will, of course miss him and goodbyes are always difficult, but we are fortunate to have been colleagues of this inspiring man and to have been able to share in his determination and vision for music-making in Merton. And that will not change.
From us all at Team MMF,
Merton Music Foundation