16-year-old Oscar was nominated for the Trinity Talent Class of 2021 in the Progress category. This is in recognition of the progress demonstrated when completing his Classical Piano Advanced Certificate, whilst studying at Rossall School in Fleetwood.
Oscar's parent, Jesse Knight nominated him for TrinityTalent, stating that: "Throughout Oscar's youth, Trinity College London provided clear goals and motivation with rigorous music curriculum selection. Oscar appears to be fully aligned with his music again, and we are grateful for the extended support provided by Rossall School and his fine instructors."
The TrinityTalent panel said:"Oscar's progress is evident. He's shown resilience during an upheaval in his personal life to go on to win competitions. This is a fantastic achievement. Oscar is continuing to progress with playing the piano and is once again thriving!"
How do you feel about being selected to be part of TrinityTalent Class of 2021 and being recognised in this way?
Honestly, I am fortunate to be considered among other worthy contenders, given the unusual situation of the past two years. For all of my Trinity Piano graded exams 1 to 8, I enjoyed predictable learning cycles and always a familiar environment. However, the pandemic pushed my piano exam dates numerous times, which was really challenging to deal with. Additionally, my moving to a new school and getting acquainted with an unfamiliar piano instructor took considerable adjustment. Therefore, I feel the TrinityTalent recognition will be something I remember as the culmination of a difficult time where I pushed myself to give my best.
How do you feel you have developed creatively and artistically in 2021?
Until I was 15, I learned and developed piano music in isolation with just my instructor. Since I moved to my new school, I was suddenly among other live practising pianists, which was meaningful to me. For instance, many students pursued their own personal style and approach, and I noticed it allowed them to carry on longer without fatigue during long practice sessions; they made it fun! Also, sharing and engaging with peers and senior instructors excites me, and I feel more confident discussing previously vague concepts.
What impact did your Trinity qualification achievement have on your artistic development?
I progressed through Trinity’s graded exams and was prepared to sit for the Advanced Certificate when I was 14-years-old. Looking back, I see how the initial narrow curriculum gradually gave way to more stepped difficulty and more flexibility in music selection. Once permitted, it was clear my choices favoured music pieces that were less rigid and more of a rag and jazz in nature. So, I credit the Trinity exam process for helping me identify the various styles and features that ultimately confirmed the music I wish to pursue and those that were of less interest.
Has taking part in a Trinity qualification helped you to develop wider skills, such as communication skills, creativity or confidence?
During my youth, I attended to my academics and practised the piano every day, especially for hours on end when an exam was near. I didn’t always want to study or practice, after all, I’m a leading player on my basketball team, so there were often conflicts between desires and requirements. So, aiming for Trinity qualifications was often an appropriate way to display and release my emotions; I’d play loudly if I were upset, quickly if I was in disagreement or slowly and poorly if I was sad. Nowadays, I can visually and aurally recognize my emotions even if I’m not already aware of them just by the way I am playing. As strange as this may sound, I believe growing up with Trinity exams always on the horizon had a calming effect because of the certificate pursuit.
What are the next steps for you artistically and creativity in 2022?
My next steps in my musical advancement will be to explore and develop outside the traditional scope of classical music and begin to carve a path in contemporary music, specifically Trinity’s Pop & Rock. I have always enjoyed playing contemporary music, either with family or friends or even simply for the pleasure of learning the cheerful melodic lines from my favourite earworm songs. I want to continue playing in a more social setting at school as this is a great way to boost confidence, get acquainted with others and enjoy music altogether.
What are your longer term aims, for example for your future studies or work?
Though piano and music may not be my primary career pursuit, I want to earn a diploma such as Trinity’s ATCL that will allow me to teach piano while attending post-secondary school. This will be challenging because preparing for a diploma piano exam during my Sixth Form academic years may be the most difficult thing I will do.
Have you got any advice for other young people working towards a Trinity qualification?
Doing a qualification like this helps to provide a bit more focus and purpose and helps you to show more of your positive personality to teachers and peers. Another bonus is that my family and those around me treated me with greater respect because I was on a path to achieving something respectable.
Is there anything creative you’re currently working on you’d like to tell us about?
I am composing a piece to submit for my GCSE music requirements. It will be a fusion of classical and contemporary styles.
Read more about the talented young people selected to be featured as part of the TrinityTalent Class of 2021.