Hi Nathan, tell us about your Gold Arts Award experience.
My name is Nathan Kenworthy, I am 15 years old and live in Cheshire. In September 2016, I was approached by my music teacher in school and was asked if I would like to take part in the Arts Award, and it was suggested that I work at the gold level.
I am a clarinettist studying at the Junior RNCM and so my preferred art form was always going to be music performance which is something that I love to do and have been lucky to perform as both a soloist and as part of orchestras. My new skill was conducting, as I felt this would give me a different perspective into orchestral performance and, it taught me a great deal in how to listen to all parts of an orchestra which has helped me in my orchestral playing.
I also attended a conducting masterclass as an observer, given by Mark Heron, which provided me with a greater understanding of conducting. It helped when I conducted the school band at a concert I organised. This concert was also a part of my Arts Award and was called 'Musical Journeys'. The title was chosen as I believe that all young musicians, regardless of how long they have been learning should be able to have the opportunity to perform and to acknowledge that everyone’s journey is different. This was the most challenging part of the award for me as there was a lot of organisation involved and it has taught me how much work needs to be done behind the scenes.
Performing in front of an audience and sharing your love of music is a skill which can take time to perfect. It is not just about playing the right notes in the right order! It is also about being confident and relaxed whilst you play, watching somebody who is extremely nervous can spoil the enjoyment for the listener. These skills, for example; confidence, teamwork and adaptability are also needed in the workplace in later life, even if it's not in an arts-based profession.
Going on from here I have just been offered a place with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. I will be taking my GCSE’s this year too and hope to eventually study music at a conservatoire with a career as either a soloist or orchestral musician.
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