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
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Emily Patton (1831-1912) - Victoria, Japan and China

Emily Sophia Patton (born 1831) who propagated Tonic Sol-fa at Yokohama (Japan) from 1889 until her death in 1912 as well as in Shanghai (China) at various periods from 1901.  Her principal reason for migrating to Japan was a "distaste" for Australia following the deaths over a three-year period of her father, husband and son. (Sadly, her daughter, who accompanied Patton to Japan, died soon after their arrival.)  At Yokohama, Patton promoted the Tonic Sol­fa method through singing classes for both adults and children (including a highly successful Juvenile Tonic Sol-fa Choir).  Patton also introduced Tonic Sol-fa to Julia Moulton, the music teacher at Ferris Seminary in Yokohama.  As a result, Tonic Sol-fa was adopted as the sole music teaching method at Ferris until the early 1920s and, as such, demonstrated the successful transfer of this Western music pedagogy to the Japanese cultural setting.  During 1894, Patton with an Australian colleague, Ada Bloxham, was appointed to teach Tonic Sol-fa at the Tokyo Academy of Music but her appointment was short-lived due to the increasing influence of the German "conservatory" approach to music education.  Later in life, Patton went to Shanghai where she established a music teaching practice.  Patton returned to Yokohama and died there at the age of eighty. Biographical notes by Robin S. Stevens. Stevens, R. S., 'Emily Patton - An Australian Pioneer of Tonic Sol-fa in Japan', Research Studies in Music Education, no.14 (July 2000), pp.40-49. Stevens, R. S. (1999), Emily Patton and Tonic Sol–fa: The Influence of an Australian Immigrant to Japan on Music Education during the Latter Half of the Meiji Period, A paper presented at the Twenty–First Session of the International Standing Conference for the History of Education, University of Sydney, July 12–16, 1999.