My musical journey began 3 years ago, when I came to the UK. I was so excited to go to a new school and when I got my first violin I was amazed. At first I was terrified as all my classmates had already played violin for one year. This pushed me to work hard and try to be as good as my friends. It started off with school ensemble and got to the point where I am now, the MiSST orchestra; the most amazing group of young people anybody could be. I have taken part in many unforgettable events, including the most incredible concert last April (5th anniversary). I am so grateful to be involved in this programme and I would recommend it to every young musician.
I joined COLA Highbury Grove already playing the clarinet but through the MiSST program I excelled in music and in general at school. I was given the opportunity to play the cello which forced me out of my comfort zone and I joined the school senior orchestra in year 7. Everyone was older and better than me which made me practise hard and allowed me to meet new people. What really changed me as a musician was joining the Saturday school in year 8. The music was almost impossible and it felt like everyone was 100 times better than me. The constant performing and the fact that none of my friends attended boosted my confidence in a way that nothing else ever could have. Music improved my team work skills and multi-tasking ability which made me better in core subjects. It also gave me the motivation to focus and work hard because I knew that if I kept up my school work I would be allowed to continue music. Another vital thing that music did for me was that it made me feel like I belonged. I struggled, particularly in the lower school with being dyslexic. I felt stupid and behind everyone else but being a part of the music at HGS let me do something I loved and that I felt kind of good at. Being part of MiSST for the last 6 years has been amazing and is the reason I’ve done so well academically.
I’ve loved music since I was really young – when I was dead-set on becoming a part of the next Girls Aloud! Obviously things have changed since then and over the years I have learnt various instruments like flute and keyboard, but I have never felt as connected to music as a year and a half ago, when I first started playing saxophone. Saxophone has led me to being a part of advanced orchestra and band at school, and of course the MiSST Saturday orchestra. These are honestly all of the highlights of the week for me. I used to see music as a hobby rather than a career, but being a part of such ensembles made me realise that in future I definitely want to pursue music professionally.
I began at Highbury Grove in 2011. I already had some musical experience, having learnt the violin for two years with Music First. Also during my time at Gillespie Primary School, I started learning the trumpet and piano. I joined Highbury Grove’s music specialist school in year 7, where I had double bass lessons for three years. Highbury Grove offered countless ensemble and performance opportunities which allowed me to really develop as a musician. I continued my trumpet playing in the school choir, orchestra, brass ensemble and in the pit band for the annual musical. Consequently, in 2015 I was put forward to attend the National Youth Orchestra Inspire Orchestra; an incredible course which offered a taste of life in the NYO. It was very and quickly advanced my development as a musician.I left Highbury Grove in 2016 to go to Woodhouse College Sixth Form but I remained connected to MiSST. At Saturday Music School I led the brass sectionals which challenged and improved my leadership skills. In 2017 I gained a seat at the London Schools Symphony Orchestra which was great fun and allowed me to keep up my love for orchestral playing. This year I am taking a gap year, having received an offer to study music at Cambridge next year. I still play in the LSSO and am currently an intern at MiSST where I support with admin and teaching in schools.
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School joined the MiSST programme in September 2018. EGA runs a music specialist school programmes with 70 students who have theory lessons, choir and small group instrumental tuition.
Central Foundation Boys School joined the MiSST programme in September 2018. There are currently 180 year 7s on the programme.
AMSI is the first MiSST alumni school, who having run the programme for 3 years are now developing their own classical music programme.
MiSST continues to support the school financially to further develop of ensemble playing. As am alumni school, students at AMSI can attend the MiSST programmes of Excellence
Samuel Rhodes School joined the MiSST programme in 2017.
SRS is MiSST’s first special school and a cohort of 10 Year 7’s currently have weekly cello lessons. All are very excited by the programme and resources are being developed for use in other MiSST schools to use with children and young people who have particular learning needs.
Whitefield joined MiSST in September 2017 and currently have 150 students on the programme.
NNA began working with MiSST in September 2015 with a view to trialling the materials MiSST had developed for a younger age group. At NNA all children attend a weekly singing assembly and Years 4 5 and 6 have the opportunity to learn a classical instrument through group tuition. The programme is strongly supported by the Headteacher and Governors of the Academy.
Highlights of the year 2017-18 include:
Ready to play @ Goldsmiths University
August 2017 saw Mount Carmel RC College close and reopen as the City of London Academy Highgate Hill. The end of the era was marked with a number of celebrations where the musicians not only played a key role but also played exceptionally well. The senior orchestra who have become skilled, accomplished and self-directed demonstrated the power of music and what can be achieved through regular, high quality group tuition.
Sedgehill school joined the prgramme in 2014. Close to five hundred students attended the MiSST programme last year.
Student Case Study
This student joined Sedgehill School in September 2016 and quickly demonstrated how musically talented she is. She previously had no experience playing an orchestral instrument before joining but has risen to the challenge. She auditioned for both the school orchestra and school choir Vocalize, having solo parts in both. She has begun to write her own music thanks to her experience in the MiSST programme. She attended Radley this year and plans on attending Saturday school later this year. She is now a school ambassador and has stated that music has given her the confidence to fulfil this role.
SMMA joined the MiSST programme in 2015 so the programme is now in its 4rd year and has reached over 500 students.
This student came to SMMA in Year 7 having never learnt an instrument previously. She had an interest in drama and dance outside school, but this was the first instrument tuition that she had encountered. Her progress was evident within a couple of weeks. She was one of the pupils that surpassed what the beginners in the previous year group had achieved by the end of the year the end of her first term.
Her increasing knowledge of theory has encouraged her to start composing and every lunchtime she comes to music to write songs. The most recent of which was performed at our summer showcase.
Frederick Bremer joined MiSST in September 2014 and this year nearly 600 students benefitted from the programme.
Student Case Study:
This student had a few engagement and behaviour issues when he started school. He started violin in his music lessons and then asked to continue in the Music Specialist School. At first he said he didn’t enjoy music, but he has made a lot of progress on his instrument, has less behaviour issues and receiving less behaviour points in lessons as he is now more focused. He attended the Radley residential and has performed in many concerts.
September 2016 was the joining date for Holloway school. During the year 2017 – 2018, there were 420 Key Stage 3 students benefitting from the MiSST programme.
A boy with a history of behaviour issues. He has taken a great interest in music and is keen to make progress. He visits the music department every lunchtime to practise. Music has given him a focus and the improvement in his overall conduct has been notable.
When I started at Highbury Grove, I was given the opportunity to learn the violin in the Music Specialist School. I remember being inspired by the School’s Scholars Orchestra and was accepted into it after achieving a Grade 2 Distinction. I have recently completed my Grade 5 on the violin. Being exposed to other enthusiastic musicians propelled my desire to seek more musical extracurricular activities. Hence, I joined MiSST’s Saturday School programme in Year 10.
Music has always played a huge role in my life, and the MiSST programme has helped push my abilities by providing opportunities to not only tour Europe and play in prestigious venues but to also pass on my musical knowledge unto others.
I used to play the guitar at primary school but because the teacher wasn’t very good I never really made any progress. Since coming to Arts & Media I have learned to play the Cello and because of the fantastic teachers I am now really confident and hope to take a Grade exam this year. I love playing music because it relaxes me and I think it has helped my concentration too. Performing at the Barbican was so exciting because I have never been to such a big posh place before. I had my photo taken in a green place because when I am older I want to save the planet and make it a better place for everyone. To do this I will need to go to college and that’s why music is so important, because it will help me achieve things in my life and take me to new places.
The MiSST Andrew Lloyd Webber programme was developed at Highbury Grove School, which became one of MiSST’s inaugural partner schools in 2013.
Lister joined MiSST as the next partner school in September 2013 and has the largest number of students currently on the MiSST programme.
Frederick Bremer joined the MiSST programme in 2014 and have already established a thriving specialist music school.
AMSI joined the MiSST Programme in 2014 after additional funding was received to roll out the MiSST programme further across the London Borough of Islington.
Previously Mount Carmel Catholic School, City of London Academy Highgate Hill joined the programme in 2014. Despite being our smallest partner school now has one of the largest orchestras of any of the schools we work with.
Sedgehill School also joined the MiSST programme in 2014 as part of our expansion.
Saint Mary Magdalene Academy joined the MiSST programme in 2015.
Holloway School joined the MiSST programme in 2016.
Whitefield School joined the MiSST programme in 2017.
Elizabeth Garrett Anderson School joined the MiSST programme in 2018.
Central Foundation Boys School joined the MiSST programme in 2018.
At COLAHG, over 1,000 students have learned to play a classical instrument, with music completely embedded in the life of the school. The number of students engaged in regular music activities totals over 500. Orchestras, ensembles, individual and paired lessons, choirs, bands and rock groups add to the diversity of the music curriculum, engaging large numbers of students beyond the formal music curriculum. Over 80 students now play at Grade 4 and above with almost 40 at a level equivalent to Grade 6.
Some highlights from 17 – 18 include:
This student did not originally choose Music Specialist School when she joined Highbury Grove. Instead she learnt to play the viola in core Music lessons. In April she decided that she would like to join Music Specialist School and so she started coming to the after school sessions and having individual lessons.
Her playing has gone from strength to strength; she says her highlight of the year was being selected to attend the MiSST Radley College residential in July.
All 1200 students at Lister have had the opportunity to learn how to play a classical music instrument in the last 5 years. 150 individual instrumental lessons now taking place on a weekly basis, representing 11% of the whole school cohort participating in additional instrumental lessons. 31% of the whole school cohort are engaging with additional Music provision on a weekly basis.
This student finds many aspects of school life difficult and confusing due to his autism, but when he is playing his flute he is happy and focussed. After initial worries about attending flute lessons and rehearsals, he has come into his own and is always one of the first in the room for orchestra. He has made the brave step of joining the MiSST Orchestra, and has now enjoyed several residential trips with the Music Department. It is fantastic to see the effect that music has on him and we are delighted he achieved Grade 1 Merit this year.
The aim of MiSST’s Pathways to Excellence is to provide progression routes with additional tuition, support and opportunities for young people on the ALW Programme who teachers identify as musically able. Programmes also support school musicians whose musical standard is above their peers.
Saturday Music School runs between 10.00 – 13.00 every Saturday during term time at Central Foundation Boys School in Old Street. The 2018 autumn term begins on September 15th and runs until November 24th with a half term break on the 20th and 27th October.
During the morning students will have sectionals, rehearsals and the opportunity to learn more about the music they play through listening and watching clips of other musicians.
Workshops with Nicola Benedetti, side by side with the Pico Players and planned masterclasses with the Chethams School of Music and the Alauda Quartet add to the breadth and depth of the provision.
During the break students socialise, play their instruments and eat bagels covered in jam!
Students must go to a MiSST school and be at least grade 3 standard on their instrument to join Saturday Music School. To register, please email email@example.com with subject ‘Saturday Music School’ and let us know which school the student attends.
This programme offers 12 MiSST students the opportunity to gain and develop skills through a planned programme with the aims of:
The programme includes a 3 day Outward Bound Leadership Course in the Lake District.
Roles students undertake include:
Since joining MiSST in 2015, the music department at Frederick Bremer has provided opportunities to give performances and develop skills, with great progress being made by students undertaking MiSST assessments. As well as the Andrew Lloyd Webber programme, there are currently 98 students who are part of the specialist music school. The school provides an enhanced curriculum including one-to-one instrumental lessons, choir, small group theory and aural lessons, wind, brass and string ensembles and opportunities to perform each week to an audience. The improvement of these students over the months has been immense. Frederick Bremer School recently took part in Channel 4’s Educating the East End in which viewers witnessed first-hand the unconditional commitment of staff supporting young people to ensure they get the most they can from their education.
MiSST’s Key Stage 3 curriculum, known as the Andrew Lloyd Webber Programme, produces high-level, imaginative performers, composers and critical thinkers, preparing them for music GCSE, A-Level and beyond.
MiSST provides schools with the resources they will need for every Scheme of Work, encompassing absolute beginner to degree level students.
MiSST is committed to improving the quality of teaching, learning and leadership of music through high quality staff training, which increases knowledge, understanding and skills. Once the schools are confident in delivering the curriculum they are encouraged to write their own Schemes of Work.
3 music residencies have taken place in previous years and in July 2018 MiSST took further 240 students away over a 10-day period. 160 were aged 11 – 13 with 75% of those attending qualifying for free school meals. 80 students that attend Saturday School and are part of the MiSST orchestra also attended.
The residency aims to:
The impact of previous residencies demonstrated:
Hannah and Kerry report on Radley 2018:
“Radley was an extremely rewarding experience, not only musically but socially. The music was hard but not impossible so once we had grasped it, it was nice to be able to focus on musical technique and the details of the music as that is something we rarely do at school. It was also really nice, as older students, to mentor the younger students as it not only helped then but also helped us to understand the music better.
“However, Radley was more than just the music. The sports and activities, like swimming, football, rounders, warm ups before rehearsals and the country walk, allowed us to explore the school grounds, which are enormous and the family groups split up our usual friendship groups and let us meet new people, allowing us to make new friends.
“Our favourite thing about the trip was meeting, and performing with, Wynton Marsalis. Being coached by him in the master class was unreal. He was supportive, fun and made the trip absolutely unforgettable.”
Truda was Head Teacher at Highbury Grove School, and the driving force behind the development of the Andrew Lloyd Webber Programme that MiSST operates today. Over 12 pioneering years of Truda’s leadership, the school was transformed, earning an Ofsted “Outstanding” rating. By 2012 the school was able to give every student a classical instrument upon admission as well as weekly tuition.
Truda has served as a school Head and Governor in primary and secondary schools for over 20 years. She is also a member of the National Advisory Board for the Outward Bound Trust.
Rachel, having worked for a number of years at Highbury Grove School and more recently The City of London Academy Highbury Grove, brings to MiSST considerable senior leadership experience. Rachel was the founding chair of the Highbury Grove School Foundation and raised significant sums of money to enhance the educational experience of the students. She has a BA and PGCE from Loughborough University and is currently undertaking an MSC at CASS Business School.
Stephanie has been a music teacher at the founding MiSST school since 2014. Stephanie plays the clarinet and piano and was educated at Chethams’ School of Music in Manchester. Following this Stephanie was awarded a scholarship to at the Royal College of Music where she studied with Tim Lines, Michael Collins and Richard Hosford. During her four years at the Royal College of Music Stephanie played in a number of masterclasses with world renowned clarinettists such as Maximiliano Martín; a variety of ensembles under the baton of prolific conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy; studied in for five months as part of the Erasmus programme and won the clarinet prize in her third year. Upon graduating Stephanie was elected student president for a year and worked closely with the Director of the College Colin Lawson and President of the College Professor Lord Robert Winston. After leaving the Royal College of Music Stephanie enrolled on the Teach First program and was placed in the founding MiSST school, Highbury Grove. Stephanie completed the Teach First masters in Educational Leadership with UCL and IOE and applied leadership theories studied to her previous role as Head of House at City of London Academy Highbury Grove. Stephanie is principal clarinet of the London City Orchestra.
Robert has worked as a professional musician and educator for over 40 years, holding posts as Conductor, County Music Adviser and Associate Headteacher. He is an Honorary Fellow of Goldsmiths University of London and was made MBE in 2006. As well as working for MISST he is also Musical Director of the English Schools’ Orchestra and the English Young Artists’ Sinfonia. In addition, he is employed as Conductor and Adviser to Enfield Music Service and delivers courses to teachers and students for Teach First and Orchestras for All. In 2008 Robert visited Venezuela to study the highly acclaimed El Sistema programme.
Originally from Portugal, Marta is an experienced flute tutor and performer. Marta started teaching the flute at Highbury Grove School in 2006, where she still currently teaches, and since then has developed her teaching skills in several other schools around London. She actively supported the development of the MiSST programme from the very start at Highbury Grove School and feels very passionate about making music learning as accessible and inspiring as possible. Marta was very fortunate to see two of her former students at Highbury Grove School, further their musical education at University level, one reading Music at Oxford University and the other studying flute at the Royal College of Music.
As a performer, Marta holds a BMus (Hons) and a MMus (Distinction) from the Royal College of Music, where she studied modern flute with Jaime Martin and then went on to receive specialized tuition on baroque and classical flutes with Rachel Brown. Since graduating, Marta performs regularly with all the major period instrument orchestras and ensembles such as, Academy of Ancient Music, Florilegium, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, English Touring Opera, London Handel Orchestra and Gabrieli Consort and Players. She has given masterclasses on baroque playing, participated in several broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 and recorded under the label of Hyperion and Chandos, amongst others. Marta was also awarded the Silver Medal from the Worshipful Company of Musicians in 2009.
Jonathan is an alumnus of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (MMus, cello) and the University of Manchester (MusB) and has been working as a professional musician and as a music educator since graduating from the UoM in 2014. Jonathan has and continues to work as a peripatetic teacher, orchestral section tutor and ensemble coach/conductor with Enfield Music Service, Ashmole Academy, the English Schools Orchestra and now, since 2017, with MiSST.
As a performer, Jonathan has been principal cellist of orchestras such as the Arch Sinfonia, the Asyla Ensemble, Westminster Philharmonic Orchestra, Covent Garden Chamber Orchestra, the London Graduate Orchestra and Surrey Opera Company and a member of Constella OperaBallet, the Melos Sinfonia and the Orion Orchestra. Previously he has been principal cellist of the London Schools Symphony Orchestra and the University of Manchester Symphony Orchestra and has performed under Gustavo Dudamel, Sir Neville Marriner and Sir Colin Davis. Jonathan is also in demand for recording and session work and regularly performs with his string quartet, the Vine Quartet. With a keen interest in curating and programming, Jonathan was Project Co-ordinator of the Arch Sinfonia, a London-based young professional chamber orchestra conducted by Chloé van Soeterstède, from 2015-2018 and is the Orchestral Manager for the London Contemporary Music Festival this year (2018). As Director of the MiSST Saturday Music School, Jonathan is also grateful for the conducting tuition he has received from teachers such as Peter Ash, Mark Heron and Tim Redmond.
Cristina Prats-Costa originally from Ibiza, Spain, combines her passion for performing and teaching. Awarded by the Conservatorio Superior de Música del Liceu, she completed her higher education in Barcelona. Afterwards, moved to London to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (BA hons in performance) and at The Royal Academy of Music (MA in performance and LRAM teaching diploma). Cristina has been working for MiSST schools since 2015 and holds the Certificate of Music Education from ABRSM and MiSST. Cristina is the first violin of the Alauda Quartet, former fellows in Chamber Music of the Royal Academy of Music. With the Alauda Quartet she recorded for Radio Nacional de España, Radio Vaticana Rome and Kultur Radio Deutschland. They have also recorded the complete string quartets of the Italian composer Roffredo Caetani which was released by the label Brilliant Classics in November 2016. She has been a member of several orchestras, including the National Youth Orchestra of Spain, Southbank Sinfonia London, Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra and Philharmonia de Madrid among others.
Cyan was a pupil at Highbury Grove School, where she was first given the opportunity to learn a musical instrument. She went on to study music at the University of Oxford and later joined the Teach First Leadership Development Programme in 2015. Cyan was a primary school teacher in Islington for 2 years, leading the music programme in partnership with MiSST. Last year she lived in Madrid, teaching at a British international school.
Daisy is an ex-student of MiSST school Highbury Grove, where she greatly benefited from the music programme. During her time at Woodhouse College Sixth Form, she became a MiSST student leader, leading the brass section at the Saturday Music School. Having completed her A Levels in June 2018, she is now taking a gap year before going to study music at Cambridge University in October 2019.
Chris is a Doctoral Researcher in Politics at the University of Manchester and has a Masters in Research Methodology from Birkbeck, University of London where he was awarded a Special Commendation for Outstanding Performance in a Postgraduate Dissertation. Chris previously worked for a political party for 9 years including as a Campaign Manager for the 2012 London Mayoral election and has a particular interest in increasing standards in education and services for young people.
Andrew is Managing Director of Pembroke VCT, responsible for executing the firm’s strategy, leading the investment team, deal origination and supporting portfolio companies.
Andrew has over 25 years of experience in entrepreneurial ventures across a variety of sectors including health, wellness, hospitality and consumer brands.
Madeleine Lloyd Webber is lead trustee on the board of The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, and the Director and Vice Chairman of Really Useful Group and Really Useful Theatres Ltd. Madeleine has over 20 years’ experience as a charitable trustee and is a passionate believer that giving young people a chance in artistic life and exposing them to professional arts training, instils and enhances a wide range of life skills.
Martin is a qualified solicitor who has worked at Oakley Capital as its General Counsel since 2009, specialising in corporate law, Funds and M&A. Prior to this he spent over eleven years in private practice at law firm Ashurst LLP in London and in Madrid, Spain. Martin advises a broad variety of companies and authorities on local and multinational matters.
Stephen has lived in East London for many years and held a significant number of positions including Chairman of NHS Tower Hamlets, Teach First, London First, NCH Leadership Board (now Action for Children) and the Board of Governors of the University of East London.
Stephen is actively involved in his community through membership of several Trusts, including the Immigrants Aid Trust and the Advisory Council for the Prince’s Trusts. His interests include classical music, carrying his wife’s harp, gardening, cooking and needlepoint.
Current roles include Chairman of Barts Health NHS Trust, President of Proshanti, Chair of International Health Partners, Unitas Communications and Deputy Chairman of Woods River Cruises and Water City Developments. Additionally, Stephen is a Trustee of the High Street Fund, Mayor’s Fund for London, Barts and The London Charity and The Sports and Health Partnership.
Stephen’s career has been in the financial sector. His posts include Chair of Charles Fulton Holdings, Director of Jessel Toynbee and Co, Non-Exec Director of the Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum, and founding CEO of Business in the Community. He was Joint President, Chair, and founding CEO of London First.
Nicola began learning to play the violin at the age of four. At eight, she became the leader of the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain and by the age of nine had passed Grade 8. In September 1997 she began to study at the Yehudi Menuhin School for young musicians under Lord Menuhin and Natasha Boyarskaya.
In May 2004, aged 16, Nicola won the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition. Since then Nicola has been awarded honorary doctorates from Glasgow Caledonian University and Heriot-Watt University as well as an honorary degree from the University of Edinburgh.
Nicola was presented with the Queen’s Medal for Music, the youngest of the twelve people to receive the award since it was established in 2005.
Nicola plays the Gariel Stradivarius (1717), courtesy of Jonathan Moulds and practices between three and seven and a half hours a day.
Alongside Nicola’s performance career, she is passionate about music education and gives a significant amount of time to this through her work with MiSST and other music organisations.
Nicola’s motto is “Enhance your own ability, be the best you can be – but don’t keep that for yourself. Share it, expose it, give it and try to enrich other people with what you have managed to achieve.”
The Foundation believes that in order to maintain vibrancy in the arts, it is critical that the new generation of potential artists are nurtured and encouraged. Recognising that these are difficult economic times to get a start in artistic life, the Trustees are prioritising projects that enable people to develop their abilities and careers.
The Brewers’ Company is one of the oldest Livery Companies in the City of London and ranks fourteenth in order of precedence.
Charles Wolfson Charitable Trust financed MiSST’s pilot project at Highbury Grove School, and continues to support the development of MiSST. A common theme running through each of the Trust’s funding programmes is an emphasis on supporting and promoting excellence.
Normans are a specialist supplier of Musical Instruments and accessories with over 50 years’ experience servicing the education sector. We work closely with Music Educators throughout the country and pride ourselves on great customer service and the ability to offer schools and parents a one stop solution to all of their purchasing needs.
EPM provides personnel services, consultancy and training to a large number of Primary, Secondary, Academies, Special, Foundation, Aided and Community schools. We have a team of well qualified and experienced personnel and payroll advisers and supporting administrative staff.
Orchestras for All believe that no young person should be excluded from the benefits of making music. We bring together young musicians of a wide range of abilities within one ensemble. This teaches leadership skills to more advanced players, and gives peer role models for the youngest.
City of London Academy Trust – Highbury Grove and Highgate Hill
United Learning – Sedgehill
Education Personnel Managment
The PiCO Players
Outward Bound Trust
Orchestra for All
Leonora Saunders, Portrait Photographer
I started playing violin when I was 9 years old and joined the beginner string group at the Waltham Forest Music Service. It was only when I arrived at Frederick Bremer that I was able to get an individual lesson. I am now preparing to take my Grade 3 exam and am involved in the Waltham Forest Intermediate Strings group, school orchestra and advanced string ensemble. I was also lead violinist for one of the ensembles performing alongside Nicola Benedetti at the Barbican concert last year. I have been a part of the Music Specialist School since last year where I take part in the ensembles, choir and I have recently started to learn the flute. I love music, I like practicing and performing with friends. Playing music allows me to express myself, I get quite stressed and it allows me the opportunity to forget about everything.
I went to a lot of different primary schools when I was younger as we kept moving a lot. During this time I tried out lots of things like tap and ballet but I wasn’t very good. In the last primary school I went to I really wanted to learn the trumpet. My mum signed me up and I really enjoyed playing this instrument and got to grade 2 at the end of Year 6. When I started secondary school, I was able to continue playing the trumpet in cadets which allowed me to play another instrument in school. I chose to play the flute because it was interesting for me because I never thought that I would be able to play the flute as it looks really hard. Music allows me to express myself and this is important to me as I want to be a graphic designer in the future. I want to be like the Japanese guy that created Sonic The Hedgehog.
I used to play a bit of piano at primary but I was not overly keen. However, since I have started the viola at Saint Mary Magdalene I have really enjoyed it! It’s amazing how far I have come and we have only been doing it for about a term. I have always liked the subject music and singing especially! I guess I have just always been confident. Thanks to my school and MiSST I have found myself a new passion. I chose to have my picture taken in my bedroom as that is where I practice my viola so I spend a lot of time in it!
I came to England from Moldova in September 2014. I never considered playing an instrument but now I have learnt two in the space of a year. I enjoy playing an instrument because I couldn’t speak English very well and music is a universal language and I was able to participate with everybody else.
Music means that I can learn how to do specific skills that I can use in my daily life. For example; learning how to play with different people means that I learn how to communicate, which I can use in daily life. Music also means that I get to see a lot of different cultures that I have never seen before. In short, I get to learn more about the world.
I started playing the flute when I was at Highbury Grove School at the age of 12. At the time I also took lessons on the cello but felt that my passion for music could personally be more expressive with the flute which led me to enjoy music-making more whilst studying at school. With the encouragement and determination that my teacher Marta Gonçalves gave me, I was able to push myself towards the ABRSM graded exams, and after 3 years, I managed to gain a distinction in my ABRSM Grade 8 exam. At this point I knew that I wanted to pursue towards music as a career in the future. With support and inspiration from my school and MiSST, I began applying to youth orchestras such as the London Schools’ Symphony Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain of which I both gained places in during 2015 and 2016. My experiences with these youth orchestras will never be forgotten as they were very beneficial to my development and progression as a young musician. In aspiring towards a career in music, I decided that I wanted to apply to conservatories for further education, which led to gain a place at the Royal College of Music. Now currently in my 3rd year at RCM, I realise that so much has changed in my performing and my overall musicianship through the experiences I have gained. I have taken part in several performances with the RCM Philharmonic Orchestra which included pieces such as Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No.6 and Mozart’s Symphony No.35. I have also managed to take part in opportunities outside of RCM, which included a broadcasted performance on BBC Radio 3 of Errollyn Wallen’s ‘Mighty River’ with Orchestra X at the Hull City Hall, and most recently a performance of Brahms’ Requiem with the Brixton Chamber Orchestra. I hope to continue to experience different musical opportunities that will push me towards my goal of becoming a professional orchestral musician in the future