Recent graduate, 11 year old Channa from Enfield, has had a wonderful four years as a London Music Fund Scholar. She will be taking her Grade 4 keyboard exam in the autumn term and is determined to finish all of her grades by year 9. Channa's reports have always been glowing and it is clear that she has worked very hard over the past four years. According to her Music Service Mentor she is a valuable member of the Enfield Music Service Keyboard Band which has helped develop her sight reading skills. We are delighted that Channa has enjoyed her Scholarship and hope you enjoy reading her lovely Q&A as much as we did.
Channa's mum told us: "Channa has become very sociable, confident and outgoing as a result of being a Scholar. She has always been a very able student, but I believe that the Scholarship has allowed her to value the importance of hard work. She is not shy to lead others and her school grades have been consistently above average. She has a lot more self-belief and confidence"
Channa at our 2018 Playing Day at Kings Place
Read our Q&A with Channa below...
Why did you decide to play the keyboard?
From a very young age I was always drawn to music. I was never really interested in your typical baby toys, I only liked playing with the toys that made sounds. One day my mum bought me a very small tiny electric keyboard. I started experimenting with it making different sounds. It was the only toy I really played with. Then when I was a bit older, my mum bought me a bigger keyboard, still a toy, just slightly bigger. I was in nursery at that time, so any songs that we learnt, I would try to play. I remember my very first song was, ‘Twinkle twinkle little star’. My mum started to realise that I had musical potential. We found an old keyboard that was my dad’s and she started to let me play properly. When I ran out of nursery songs, she went to the music store, round the corner and got me a book. I attempted at the songs, but I couldn’t play them, as I had never learnt real notes. That was when my mum decided to pay for music lessons at my school. Neither me or her realised how much it would change my life.
Has your music taken you to some cool places? If so, where?
My scholarship has enabled me to go to some pretty cool places. On playing days, we sometimes go to City Hall. The views from up there are spectacular and it is amazing inside too. I have also visited Guild Hall, Kings Place, The Royal Albert Hall and The Royal Festival Hall. Recently, I went to The BBC Proms, which was an extraordinary experience. I loved seeing all the different performers.
What music do you like playing the most?
The keyboard allows me to play any genre of music I want, with it’s hundreds of different voices. Many people I know, who play the keyboard, tend to stick with classical music, but I prefer Jazz. I’m not really sure why I like it, but whenever playing a Jazz piece, it feels like I’m more focused.
If you could perform alongside someone famous who would it be? Or what musician do you look up to?
Although he has sadly passed away, I would have loved to play alongside Dave Brubeck. His music inspires me, and I admire all of his Jazz compositions.
Has the Scholarship enabled you to have new opportunities?
Every Saturday morning, I play the keyboard with a group of people. We are called Keyboard Band. We learn a new piece to play in a concert at the end of term. It has helped boost my confidence, challenge my abilities and make lifelong friends.
What advice would you give Scholars who have just started their Scholarship?
To all the new scholars, you’ve worked so hard to get here so never give up. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity; you either take the risk, or lose the chance. Be grateful, some people would kill to be in your shoes. Embrace your talent, others don’t have one. At times it will be a struggle and you’ll feel like giving up, but you should never ever give in. That’s how I got to be the person I am today, by never giving up. Try and make some friends. I have a friend that is now one of my lifelong friends. And if you’re shy, by the end of these four years, trust me, you won’t be. And the most important thing is to HAVE FUN!
Channa at our 2014 Awards Day at City Hall - at the very start of her Scholarship!