Margaret Hubicki MBE

Margaret Hubicki
6 Langford Place rebuilt

Born in Hampstead in 1915, she was an English composer and teacher of musical harmony who invented the colour staff method to help people with dyslexia to read music.

Born Margaret Mullins to a Scottish mother and an English father, she studied piano and composition at the Royal Academy of Music with Victor Booth and Benjamin Dale. Many of her finest chamber works date from the late 1930s, including a Piano Sonata (1935), based on Dale’s massive Sonata. She made an orchestration of Irish Fantasy (originally conceived for piano), which was premiered by Sir Malcolm Sargent and later taken up by Sir Henry Wood.

While still at the academy, she met Bohdan Hubicki, a Canadian violinist of Ukrainian descent, and they married in 1940; three months later they were  living at 6  Langford Place when on 15 October 1940 it was hit by a bomb during an air raid. She was badly injured and Bohdan, who was 26,  died the next day in St John and St Elizabeth Hospital.  Perhaps because of these experiences, she devoted herself increasingly to teaching and other projects. She was a professor of harmony at the Academy for many years and a founder teacher and governor at the Yehudi Menuhin school. She examined for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and was on the advisory panel of the Council for Music in Hospitals and the British Dyslexia Association.

She invented Colour Staff, an imaginative tool for teaching musical notation, which was taken up in the 1960s and is shortly to be re-manufactured in an updated version by Robinswood Press. She was Professor of harmony at the RAM until she retired in 1986, when she was appointed the MBE for services to music In hospitals.   She later lived at 14 Abbey Gardens.

This page was added on 24/06/2020.

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