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Clare Stevens tell YES magazine how her career and life combines her two greatest passions

think it was written in the stars that I would be a music journalist, if that doesn’t sound too pretentious. I was sorting out my study at home recently in order to

do some decorating, and found two copies of our local paper from my childhood in Northern Ireland, the ‘Ulster Star’. One features three accounts of an RAF Red Arrows display, submitted at the suggestion of our class teacher with the promise of a 10- shilling prize if they were published; unlike the other two, mine was written in perfect journalese! The other issue of the paper, dated a few months later, features a photo story about the same primary school’s 40-strong orchestra, and there I am playing my violin for assembly. I was 11 years old at the

time, but already words and music were hugely important to me. Although my degree is in English and Medieval History and my first jobs were in bookselling and publishing, I sang in choirs throughout school and university and beyond, tinkered around on the piano and went to concerts. I gradually began to realise that I’d like to find a way of combining my two main interests and was fortunate enough to be able to switch careers when my son was young, working first on a magazine for greengrocers, where I learned the basic skills of news gathering, editing, interviewing and writing clearly and concisely, then as deputy editor of Classical Music magazine. I’ve been editor of Music Teacher, published by the same company, for four years.

The write stuff



My biggest challenges are the lack of hours in any day and the difficulty of fitting adequate coverage of such a broad subject into a finite number of pages! There are just two of us on MT’s editorial team and there is never


My objectives as editor of MT are to put together a magazine that will engage and inform the largest possible number of readers, helping them to develop their professional expertise within their own fields, while offering insights from related areas with which they might not be so familiar. I think the most important skill for an editor is to be able to judge what will appeal to a typical reader, rather than merely reflecting their own interests.


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