Dean from Hounslow is our May Scholar of the Month

12-year-old Dean is a guitarist from Hounslow, and one of our 2018-22 Scholars.  He sent a lovely video for our #ScholarsMakingMusic campaign to keep everyone smiling, and it really cheered us up in the (remote) office! You can watch Dean’s home performance of Gary Ryan’s Spice Trail below.

Dean’s mid-year report was excellent – having achieved a Merit for his Grade 3 at the end of his first year as a Scholar (summer 2019) he has continued to make great progress and shows real promise as a guitarist. His teacher told us: “Dean is full of energy regarding the guitar and in the short time I have taught him he has taken on board a lot of new ideas. His tone has come on in leaps and bounds and he is playing with musical phrasing. It is a pleasure to teach him and I look forward to pushing him on in the future.”

We asked Dean a few questions about his Scholarship and how he is keeping the music going at the moment:

How have you been enjoying your Scholarship so far? Tell us about the highlights!

Yes because it gives me the opportunity to share my talent with others. I have also had the chance to develop my skills in ensemble and theory lessons. During my scholarship, I have met many new, nice people.

The highlight for me was the Hounslow As One concert at the Royal Festival Hall. It was a great experience playing in front of a big audience in such a honourable building ☺.

What is your favourite kind of music to play?

During lessons and ensemble, I have played a range of rock, pop and classical songs.  I do not have a preference on music type, but have a few favourite songs. Among my favourites are Under Pressure by Queen, Spice Trail by Gary Ryan and Apache by The Shadows. 

Do you have a musical role model, or someone who inspires you?

I admire all musicians, but Mr Flanagan (my guitar teacher in primary school) inspired and motivated me. During my group lessons, Mr Flanagan would give me more difficult songs to learn as I was advanced. This prevented me from being bored and I managed to get a Merit for grade 1 exam before becoming a scholar.  I will always be grateful for his support.

How are you keeping the music going at home at the moment? Have you got any advice for Scholars who might be finding it hard to practice without their lessons and ensembles?

I am finding it difficult to focus because the days are so different. My parents are encouraging me to practice and I have finished learning a song I started before we closed. I feel accomplished because I have learnt something new and have practiced my sight reading skills..... we will see how accurate I am when Mr Cowie (my guitar teacher at secondary school) hears it ☺.

I would say to others, don't give up on your dreams.  It may be difficult now, but you will benefit from regular practice.

What are you most looking forward to once things are back to normal?

I am looking forward to the new ensemble group and finding out what music we will be playing. I am also looking forward to communicating with Mr Cowie and finding out what new opportunities London Music Fund has for scholars.

Dean playing at his Awards Day at City Hall in 2018