Growing up I was massively interested in music and began my musical journey. The first time I played the cornet was at 7 years old. There was an evening at primary school at which students would essentially ‘try out’ instruments. That evening out of all the instruments i tried, the cornet really stood out to me. I enjoyed the sound it made, and the complexity of being able to get so many notes with just three valves. I instantly took up lessons along with another classmate, however at this point I was renting a cornet. My cornet teacher took me through basic notes as well as simple pieces of music. However, after a year, my teacher had to move away. Following this, I promptly got my own teacher, and around that time my Dad bought a Blessing student trumpet from a neighbour that was moving out!
When I was 8, I could play 5 or so notes, which meant I could qualify for South Derbyshire Music Centre (SDMC) Satellite Band. This band was aimed for beginners, so most of the members were around my ability. The satellite band gave me brilliant experience for playing in a band.
About a year later, at 9 years old, I began working on my first music exam, grade 3. In year 6 I took the exam and passed with a merit. Because of the grade 3 I was able to join a higher up SDMC band, which again, massively improved my playing ability and helped with my musical journey.
After starting secondary school, I joined the school band, which was officially grade 4+, however I could join due to my playing level. I started work on my grade 4 and took it in less than a year.
I passed the exam and qualified for the SDMC intermediate band. The two bands I was in at the time were the main focus at that time, as i stayed at that particular level. My dad had supported me massively at this point and through all of my musical journey. At 13 years old I started work on my grade 6, I took it in half a year and passed.
I was invited to the SDMC concert band and Swing Band, both high level, due to my grade 6. I was still playing at this level on my blessing student trumpet, and that was when my Dad decided it was time for a new trumpet. We looked around quite a few shops, including Normans, in which I tried 3 trumpets; a Yamaha, another Yamaha, and a Bach Stradivarius trumpet. The one trumpet which stood out to me was the strad. I loved the tone which was warm, yet sharp and crisp. Through my school at the time, my Dad bought me the Bach Stradivarius.
At the end of year 9 i joined a new school. At this new school i started lessons with Jon Eno (BEM) and started a new music centre called Hot House. I had left SDMC by then, and Hot House had taken its place.
I started practice on my grade 8 exam at 14, and i’m looking to take it in November this year. The qualification will hopefully open up many opportunities, and music will become a major part of my life.