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Born in Liverpool, where his father was Rector of St Nicholas' Church. The family then moved to Brighton, where Martin's father was Vicar at St Peter's Parish Church. The family moved to Glasgow just before the second world war, and Martin spend most of his childhood there.
Educated at Repton School where he was a Music Scholar. Awarded an Organ Scholarship at Clare College, Cambridge, where he read Music and Theology. In this post he had responsibility for the Chapel Choir of men and boys, and Choral Society. He was a keen athlete, and ran for the university, narrowly missing being awarded a 'Blue' for cross-country running.
After university he was in the Army for two years where he gained a National Service Commission. He still claims that this experience was invaluable for his later profession.
Later on he was for some years at Grimsby in Lincolnshire where his post as Organist and Choirmaster at Grimsby Parish Church was combined with school teaching and various musical activities.
Has spent most of his career with the Royal School of Church Music where he was known principally as a choir trainer specialising in the training and motivation of young singers. In this capacity he initiated and developed the RSCM Chorister Training Scheme which has since been used in various forms in many parts of the world. He also inaugurated the RSCM Southern Cathedral Singers, a group which has broadcast frequently on BBC Radio's Choral Evensong from Canterbury Cathedral and elsewhere.
Has travelled widely as a choral conductor, accompanist, lecturer and adjudicator. In this capacity he has worked in the USA, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Appointed MBE for 'Services to Church Music' in the 1993 New Year Honours List.
-  - Royal School of Church Music - Martin How. Retrieved 6 November 2016.
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