John Curwen was born in Heckmondwike on 14th November 1816. John’s father was a church minister and he followed his father profession becoming a minister and preaching for 26 years.
It was during his time as a young minister teaching Sunday school children that he believed hymn singing to have a major contribution to play in the moral and religious development of children. John also through personal experience recognised that the traditional methods of teaching music at that time were often difficult to grasp.
He studied many systems and eventually created his Tonic sol-fa system of music education. A system of music he considered to be a simple method to teach singing. A method which he dedicated the rest of his life to perfecting.