Gallery of Notable Early Australian Music Educators History of Music Education in Australia compiled by Robin Stevens Homepage Bibliography of Secondary Sources Gallery of Notable Early Australian Music Educators
© Robin S. Stevens 2018

Ada Bloxham (1965-1956) - Victoria, Japan and South Africa

Ada Beatrice Bloxham was a pupil of Emily Patton in Melbourne  from whom she learnt Tonic Sol-fa.  About 1883, Bloxham (a mezzo-soprano) won a Clarke Scholarship to the newly-established Royal College of Music in London where she spent four years studying with Madame Otto Goldschmidt (better known as Jenny Lind) and gained the Associate diploma (ARCM).  While in London, Bloxham continued Tonic Sol-fa studies and qualified as an Associate of the Tonic Sol-fa College in 1883, gained the Advanced Certificate in 1884 and also qualified for Membership of the College in 1885.  She then achieved the distinction of becoming the first woman to be awarded a Fellowship of the Tonic Sol-fa College.  She returned to Melbourne at the end of 1888, and set up in practice as a music teacher in Coburg before going to Japan where she taught Tonic Sol-fa with Emily Patton at Yokohama and in Tokyo. She then went to South Africa where she married John Edwin Palmer of Shewsbury, England, then a Lieutenant in the Imperial Light Horse, at St. Paul’s Church, Durban on 4 April 1901.  By 1912 she was teaching Tonic Sol-fa in the south of England but returned to South Africa in the early 1920s, resuming her Tonic Sol-fa teaching at Durban. Biographical notes by Robin S. Stevens. References: The Musical Herald 1883-1889 and The Tonic Sol-fa College Calanders 1909- 1929 (J.Curwen & Sons). Stevens, R. S. (2016). Pathfinder and Role Model: Ada Bloxham, Australian vocalist and Tonic Sol-fa teacher. Sage OnlineFirst, 17. doi:10.1177/1536600616669360 Stevens, R. S. (2015), Ada Bloxham, Vocalist and Tonic Sol-fa- ist—A nineteenth century Australian musician at the forefront of musical achievement