What is your instrument of choice - including your voice?
I'm a classical Soprano singer.
What do you love about playing music?
As a student - I'm in my final term of a joint Music and History degree - I'm really busy with my work all the time, music (even singing lessons for my course) is a bit of a break from essays and reading. Choral singing has always been something I do to relax and just have fun. I've also met some of my best friends through singing and it's lovely to be able to regularly catch up with them.
When you leave uni and find a new home will you join your local community group?
There's a lot of music going on at my university and I'm a member of the Chamber Choir. As well as this, I joined The Bach Choir in London last year. Hopefully I'll carry on with this as far as I can but I would also like to get involved in more choral singing back at home after university.
Why did you join your current group?
I joined The Bach Choir because I wanted the experience of singing in a big chorus and singing larger works. I'd always been in smaller groups and never had a chance to sing works like Mozart's Requiem or Bach's St. Matthew Passion which I have thoroughly enjoyed.
What do you get from the group?
The Bach Choir has given me a lot of confidence, both musically and socially. As well as getting the opportunity to sing with a chorus of a high standard every week I get to sing in fantastic venues with great orchestras. I've learnt a lot of new music and had lots of new experiences including recording for film scores and radio programmes.
Do you feel that there are enough opportunities for young people to find an outlet for their musical talents?
I think there probably are if you know where to look. My musical experiences mainly came about because my parents were musical and had an interest already so I got a lot of input at home. It also completely depends what kind of music you're interested in and what instruments you play. As a classical singer growing up I had plenty of opportunities but only because my family were willing to help me with transport and cost. If I hadn't had this input I think it would have been really difficult for me to get involved with a lot of what I was lucky enough to do.
What more do you think could be done to get young people excited about learning music or joining a group?
I went to a ordinary state secondary school and there really was not a lot going on there in terms of music. The subject was not considered important and there was not a huge amount of extracurricular stuff to get involved with. I think early exposure to all kinds of music is very important, including pop, jazz, classical and world music. This means young people get early exposure and can really start to think about what music they enjoy rather than only being able to listen to what's on the radio. I think cost also has an impact. A lot of groups (like The Bach Choir) charge lesser rates for young people which really helps and gives incentive. I think in general more could be done to change perceptions of music as an important subject. It gives a lot of confidence and helps with all sorts of skills that make a difference in lots of other aspects of school and life. Overall, I think the main ways to get more young people excited about involvement in music are exposure and incentive.
If you are a community choir, orchestra or band and you want to reach out to young people please go to artsawardsupporter.com/makingmusic to find out more