14 year old Alexandra from Kingston has been playing the violin for four years. She recently passed her grade 3 exam and plays a large part in her school's musical community. Alexandra's mum says: "Music has given Alexandra the confidence of knowing an extra ability and that enables her to be committed and proud of her capacities. All of that is just possible because of her scholarship."
Read our Q & A with Alexandra below...
Why did you decide to play the Violin?
My primary school was part of the wider opportunities program so in year 4 we started learning string instruments and I picked the violin. I was interested in the violin before I had the opportunity to learn it at school. My friend played it and I sometimes watched him practice and since then I'd loved the idea of playing such an elegant instrument. So of course, when I was given the opportunity, I grabbed it with both hands. I then continued playing it after year 4.
Has your music taken you to some cool places? If so, where?
I joined the Kingston training orchestra which was my first experience in playing alongside different instruments. This helped me learn to play not only as an individual but as a team. I then moved on to the Kingston youth orchestra which is filled with so much talent. Playing more challenging music helped me gain confidence in my violin playing as an individual. Since joining these orchestras I've played in many musical clubs, concerts and performances in theatres and churches. I have also gone to trips with my orchestra such as PGL and the Lion King west end theatre.
What music do you like playing the most?
I love playing classical music because of how many emotions can be expressed in a single piece of music. I also find playing blues/ jazz really fun as it is different to what I usually play.
If you could perform alongside someone famous who would it be? Or what musician do you look up to?
I have three main artists that I look up to:
The first one is Bon Jovi. I love how much passion he puts in his music and I would love to be able to express that much passion in my playing.
The second one is Edward Elgar. I find his pieces so beautiful and I don't get tired of playing or listening to them over and over again because of how well composed they are.
The third one is Beethoven not only for how far he got to with his music but for how he dodged the obstacles in his life to achieve greatness. Even though he was deaf, he was able to become one of the most talented and famous artists in the history of music.
Has the scholarship enabled you to have new opportunities?
The scholarship was the reason I was able to join the orchestras I did which helped me evolve in my playing.
What advice would you give to scholars who have just started their scholarship?
You must dive into every opportunity you get because many others would wish to have what you have got - so don't waste it.