May, Edward Collett



Organist and widely known musical educator; born at Greenwich, England. His first musical training began with his brother, a musical amateur and composer, and was continued under Thomas Adams, organist at St. Paul's, Deptford, and a family friend. Some time later May was a student of piano under Cipriani Potter, and of singing under Crivelli. In 1837 he became organist of Greenwich Hospital, remaining with that institution until it was abolished in 1869. In 1841 he organized classes in which thousands of grown people and children received musical instruction. These classes were enormous, that in the National Societies' Central School numbering over a thousand teachers and many children besides, while at his classes in the Exeter Hall, the Apollonicon Rooms and St. Martin's Hall he taught several thousand. He was made professor of vocal music at Queen's College, London, in 1880, and he had also taught in Battersea, St. Mark's, the Training Schools, Hockerill, Whitelands Home, and Colonial. He has published some songs and a textbook entitled Progressive Vocal Exercises for Daily Use. His daughter, Florence May, is well known as an interpreter of Brahms, under whom she studied, and also as his biographer. She is a successful teacher.