Isabel has been nominated by music teacher Helen Perry for passing her Grade 5 baritone sax and Grade 5 singing exams, both with distinction. Helen says that Isabel is an incredibly talented multi-instrumental musician: “She has Grade 6 clarinet, Grade 3 alto sax, Grade 5 theory, Grade 2 piano – and now has added Grade 5 baritone sax, with an exceptionally high distinction (95), and Grade 5 singing, which she achieved a distinction also. Both in the same session, on the same day.”
“Isabel shows such musicality in her playing for one so young,” says Helen. “She is a joy to both teach and listen to. She plays and sings a wide range of different genres of music, showing amazing musicality and natural talent in all. Isabel has just started flute also and is already showing talent on this instrument. She aims to get Grade 8 on all before she is 18, which I expect her to fully achieve.”
According to Helen, her aims in life are either to be in the Marines’ band or in a pit band for musicals (hence her wanting and loving to play numerous instruments). Beyond her musical qualifications and aspirations, what is most important to her is her total love of performing and playing, says Helen. “Put simply, it’s what she lives for.”
Isabel says that working towards an exam has helped build her confidence in her performance and gives her recognised targets to work towards. “It gives me valuable feedback from someone other than my teacher,” she adds. “I like studying lots of pieces on the syllabus and then choosing three to make a balanced program. I think more about the pieces that I am playing – the style, genre, about the composer – and showing different aspects of playing.”
Isabel’s advice to other Trinity students?
“Practise hard so that you know your pieces, listen to them lots and get familiar with the accompaniment, so that when the exam nerves start, you can immerse yourself in the piece. The familiarity will help you control those initial nerves. Have fun playing lots of pieces from the syllabus so you can make an educated decision with your teacher on which pieces make a good programme. Most of all, try and enjoy the exam experience!”
Find out more about achievements from young people around the UK with Trinity Grade Exams