Name: Abigail Melody Matchett
Location: Antrim, Northern Ireland
Trinity qualifications: Rock & Pop Grade 8 Vocals (Merit), Rock & Pop Grade 1 Guitar (Pass)
Music organisation: Abigail has been a student of The Music Rooms since she was 7, starting with singing lessons. She did her Grade 1 vocals in December 2016. She worked her way through all the grades since then and achieved her Grade 8 at the start of June this year just before her eleventh birthday!
Abigail has been playing the guitar for just over a year and has recently started learning to play the violin. As well as getting lessons with The Music Rooms, she performed at several concerts and sang in a Music Rooms band. She sang in the school choir at primary school and hopes to continue singing at grammar school.
Mainly interested in: Abigail loves the combination of drama and song in musicals and hopes to further her involvement in this area. Mostly she just loves to sing and listen to music!
Sources of inspiration: Abigail's whole family love music and have educated her in loads of different types of music.
My music teachers have helped me to become more confident and have made my journey fun.
Personal circumstances: Abigail feels that her young age has been restrictive in terms of the level of her voice and has found it hard to relate to the messages songs. She also has autism, which can enhance stress levels.
Here a video of Abigail performing last year at a street festival. It features her brothers playing the drums as well!
Experience of working towards a Trinity qualification
Process of working towards the qualification: Abigail really enjoyed learning new songs, some that she had never heard before. She particularly liked the structure of working towards an exam and then starting again with a whole bunch of new songs for the next grade. It was tense in a couple of weeks before the exam.
The exam experience: For the most part, Abigail found the examiners really nice, but she said it was pretty nerve-wracking.
Once you’re finished with the exam you feel fantastic if it has gone well!
What was challenging about preparing for the assessment: For Abigail's Grade 7 and 8 exams, she was really busy at school preparing for her transfer tests, so she found it quite hard to get everything balanced, but she got there in the end. For vocals, she focused on trying to get the songs pitched perfectly and the dictation clear to get the most points from the exam.
Where to find sources of help and support:
Family and teachers in school have been really supportive, they are my cheerleaders! Everyone at The Music Rooms gave me so many opportunities!
Welcoming new opportunities
Opportunities that have been opened due to Trinity qualifications: Through The Music Rooms, Abigail has performed a lot of her Trinity Grade songs in public. She has sung at town hall concerts, street performances, outdoor concerts and has sung on two charity singles.
Impact of this experience: Because she is quite young (11 years old), she feels she can get overlooked, but now she has a certificate that proves what level of singing she capable of, "which is cool!" She now listen to new artists that she wouldn’t have come across before. She is about to start grammar school and is hoping her music grades will open a lot of opportunities in the future.
I’ve always loved singing, but by doing my grades I’m now getting opportunities to perform and show other people what I can do.
What's been learnt: Abigails feels that there is a lot more to singing than just picking a song and singing it. She says "It can be hard work, but really rewarding."
Impact on creative development: She now knows how to improve her diction, volume and timing by reading the musical manuscript.
Impact on wider learning studies: It has increased her interest in music and has encouraged her to learn other instruments.
Next steps in the journey
What's next: Abigail wants to keep singing and she would love to be involved in some musical productions, within or outside school.
Personal tips and advice
Don’t give up, enjoy it, keep practising, be brave and don’t let any opportunities pass.