Come rain or shine, lockdowns, pandemics, storms or snow, music matters deeply to us for the comfort it brings to listeners as well as the excitement and positive energy it fosters in children who take part, either by singing or playing musical instruments. Or in the case of many pupils at Taunton School, both!
Here are two of our Prep School Music Scholars who shared their musical experiences– some challenges, some thrills, some early memories – in an interview with Mr Sam Baker: Ethan Li (8F) and Freya Simpson (7V).
Mr Baker (SB): How long have you been playing your instruments?
FREYA: I’ve been playing the piano for 5 years and the violin for 4 years.
ETHAN: I started the piano 5 years ago and the clarinet about 4 years ago.
SB: What made you choose the instruments you play?
FREYA: My mum plays the piano and the violin and she started teaching me at home. We have always had a piano at home so music was always around me when I was growing up.
ETHAN: My older sister played the piano so I guess that encouraged me. At school, I was given an opportunity to play the clarinet as a taster for 4 lessons when I was in Year 3, and I chose to carry on.
SB: What is the most difficult aspect about performing or playing your instruments?
FREYA: With piano playing, I find sight-reading difficult. Also, the coordination with two hands is hard sometimes.
ETHAN: When playing the clarinet, it is sometimes hard not to squeak when playing some notes. To help manage this, it’s important to keep the clarinet and the reeds clean so I make sure it’s all clean after playing.
SB: What are your first ever memories of making music or giving a performance?
FREYA: Playing piano duets with my brother at home when we both started learning the piano.
ETHAN: Performing a piano solo in a Performing Arts Café when I was in Year 3. I remember being really nervous but relieved at the end.
SB: When was the time you felt most scared or most nervous about performing music?
FREYA: When I took my first ever piano exam, the Initial grade, I remember I was so nervous I couldn’t speak!
ETHAN: That first Café performance I did in Year 3. But nowadays I don’t really get nervous.
SB: What is your strongest and most happy musical memory?
FREYA: Performing piano duets with my brother.
ETHAN: Whenever I finish my music exams, I can finally play pieces that I like to choose.
SB: What are your musical targets over the next 5-6 years until you leave school?
FREYA: I want to be able to learn a really difficult piano piece that my Mum plays called “Solfeggietto” by C.P.E. Bach. Also, I’d love to get distinction for both my Grade 8 Violin and Piano exams.
ETHAN: To be able to sight-read pieces of music really easily.
**Watch our latest Performing Arts Café video, plus all our previous video concerts (including our Gifted and Talented Year 7 and Year 8 Showcases), on the main Music Drama and Dance page on Firefly** bit.ly/TPSPerformingArtsCafe
Sam Baker, Music Teacher and School OrganistCategories: Blog Preparatory