Mary Cohen studied violin, piano, chamber music and composition at the Royal College of Music, where she won many major prizes. After several years in the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, she set up the teaching practice that has become a research base for her educational projects. As well as violin and piano, she also plays the viola and cello.
Mary gives seminars regularly both in the UK and abroad. Since 2001 she has worked for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music on their innovative Music Medals project, both as technical consultant and composer. Passionate about chamber music, Mary introduces it from the very first term of instrumental lessons, recognising both the value of new skills and of social music-making. She founded String Quartets From Scratch (SQFS), a club for chamber music for 7 –18 year olds, for which she has written a great deal of ensemble material, resulting in such publications as the Quartetstart series.
Mary believes that learning to play an instrument should be set in the context of a broad musical experience, and that each pupil has a unique personal learning style that should be encouraged to flourish. Her publications for the early stages are designed to have instant appeal for children of primary school age, with lots of humour and an easily digestible progression of new techniques to learn. The acclaimed Superseries (including recently revised editions of Superstart for violin and new editions for viola and cello) has transformed modern teaching methods while bringing huge amounts of enjoyment to countless student string players.