The Jeremy Hibbins Essay Competition was started in 2015 in memory of respected teacher, music educator and member of the MMA Committee. Jeremy Hibbins died tragically in November 2013.

Jeremy may no longer be here physically, but his vision and ethos that he established in his School, and those who came into contact with him, will never be forgotten. The words role model and mentor are used frequently, but if there was ever a teacher and professional educator to whom you could apply these terms, Jeremy would be an outstanding example.

It is fitting that the Annual Essay Competition bears his name, and that generations to come will continue to benefit from the School he founded.

Details for entry 2017

This essay competition is for musicians from year 10 and above. It is aimed at (but not restricted to) all those studying music as a subject within the curriculum. The word limit is 2500 words.


The Competition will be judged by Professor Jeremy Dibble, The University of Durham.

Entries should be sent to Sandy Chenery, MMA Honorary Secretary, Stewart’s Melville College, Queensferry Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3EZ or
Entries should arrive no later than Friday 21 April 2017. Teachers will be asked to certify on a covering form that the essay is the student’s own work.

The prize fund is £350, with a first prize of £200. Certificates of merit may be awarded to runners-up who have impressed the judge. The MMA reserves the right not to award prizes if there is no entry of sufficient merit. Prize-Winners will be announced at the MMA Annual Conference every May.

Titles for 2017:

Choose one essay title from this list:

  1. Write an analysis of a piece of music you have studied and place it in social and historical context.
  2. Musician, Bob Dylan, has recently been awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in recognition of the quality of his song lyrics. Using the output of a song composer of your choice, give an account of how his/her music has been influenced by the poetry/lyrics he/she has chosen to set.
  3. At a time when the United Kingdom prepares to exit the European Union, does music have a role to play in reflecting national identity?
  4. How have developments in music technology and recording techniques influenced the composition of music in the 21st Century.

Winners 2016

First Place: Dan Gilchrist (Webern) Pate’s Grammar School
Second Place: Edmund Pemberton (Chopin) Fettes College
Third Place: Claire Watters (Haydn) St Helen and St Kathrine’s School

Winners 2015

First Place: Gabrielle Woodward, Queen Anne’s School, Caversham
Second Place: Greta Thompson, Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School