Every Saturday morning, over 100 dedicated young musicians from across the North of England arrive at Leeds College of Music for the Saturday Music School, a fun yet challenging timetable of music education tailored to their individual abilities and interests.
In today’s blog we hear from Owen Spafford, a student at the Saturday Music School, about how he first got involved and why he thinks other young people should too…
“I heard about the Saturday Music School from a friend who had been there a while and said it was great. He said it was a cool place where you could play awesome music with awesome people. Looking back, he was pretty much right!
“I looked it up online and it seemed really cool. I wanted to meet new musicians and learn about new kinds of music, so it seemed like a good place to go.
“Before I signed-up I went to one of their open days. I really enjoyed it because I liked taking a look at the amazing instruments and other resources, and getting a chance to play them. We then did a workshop which was great fun because from nothing we created a band and did a performance!
“I had already made up my mind that I wanted to go but the open day assured me that it was the right decision. Hearing what people said and seeing the place made me want to join sooner.
“Before the audition to get into the school I was very nervous and shaky, but after I had played my first tune and chatted to the tutors I felt much more confident. They were very nice and didn’t put too much pressure on you at all.
“I’m pleased to say I got in and go every week. I do my ensemble first thing in the morning, which is great because we get to write, play and arrange our favourite songs. Then there’s workshop which is when we get different people from different areas of the musical world and they share their knowledge with us. Lastly I have composition, which is one of three choices – between composition, keyboard skills and music theory. In composition we create our own songs using software, and we get to conduct our own songs and learn to write music, Ben Isaacs is the tutor and he’s a really good person to learn from.
“I love playing folk music on Fiddle, Mandolin and Bodhran, but I also like other music as long as it has a strong tune really. All in all I think attending the school has expanded my love of music and would encourage other young people to get involved!”
On 16 May Saturday Music School will host an open day for young people looking to improve their musical skills and find out more. For more information on Saturday Music School, or to apply for an audition in June 2015 visit: http://www.lcm.ac.uk/courses/Young-Musicians.