Whilst a student at the Queensland Conservatorium Mark was instrumental in organising and compering 'Kindy Concerts' for pre-school children. This culminated in a coach tour through outback Queensland and the Northern Territory to schools and Aboriginal Reserves to bring them music and instruments most of them had never seen or heard. He was also a Junior Music teacher for the Yamaha Music Foundation specialising in teaching under 5's.
The concept of 'Concerts for Children' was born in 1983 when Zamira Menuhin and Mark started a series of children's concerts in private homes. The concerts ran for 14 years and were for two different groups of children, the under 5's and over 5's. Each concert featured a different orchestral or ethnic instrument and was designed to nurture a love of music, preparation for the enjoyment of formal concerts and to develop awareness of musical concepts. 'Concerts for Children' has undertaken large public concerts for charity. These were a huge success with all 800 seats sold in advance and featuring artists such as Yehudi Menuhin and Tamas Vasary as well as pupils of the Menuhin School. From 1989 - 1993 Mark also ran a series of Concerts for Children in Oxford.
In addition to organising Concerts for Children, Mark Hooper has also conducted children's concerts and workshops at the Brighton Festival, the Patchwork Concerts and the Polka Theatre, Wimbledon with Hayley Mills. He also presents children's music workshops at the Abingdon Music Festival where children aged between 5 and 8 years have learnt and performed 'miniature musicals' which he composed.
“The results he obtained from inexperienced and musically underdeveloped students were quite remarkable within a short time. These results are testimony not only to his enthusiasm but equally to his understanding of the needs of the students, and his ability to communicate ideas clearly and vigorously…..”
Betty Vergara-Pink, Lecturer in Pianoforte, Queensland University of Technology.
"He proved himself to be an able and conscientious teacher who adapted well to the needs of the students. An enthusiastic and dedicated musician, he was able to stimulate and encourage the professional development of his pupils." John K. Ashton, Head, Department of Music, Queensland University of Technology