Maxwell from Lambeth is our July Scholar of the Month

13-year-old violinist Maxwell from Lambeth is one of our 2016-20 Scholars, and had it not been for the pandemic, he would have had his graduation ceremony this week. (Don’t worry, we will be celebrating all the graduating Scholars online this month… watch this space!)

Maxwell is an incredibly talented and dedicated musician, and has been a model Scholar. He was nominated for a Scholarship back in 2016 when he showed promise and enthusiasm for music after two terms of group violin lessons at primary school. Three years later,  he achieved a merit for his Grade 5 last summer, and is now playing at Grade 6 level. This rate of progress is truly remarkable, and a credit to Maxwell’s talent and hard work.

Maxwell enjoys playing in the Lambeth Youth Symphony Orchestra and Senior Strings. He has been working on technique, expression and sight-reading, and has also grown in confidence as a solo performer. On Remembrance Day he played for hundreds at the Imperial War Museum, and his performance demonstrated maturity, self-control and artistic flare. In a glowing mid-year report, Maxwell’s teacher described his brilliant work ethic, growing confidence and rapidly developing technical & musical skills. We were delighted to read the following passage:

“Maxwell is always on time, never misses a lesson or a rehearsal and demonstrates great commitment to all musical activities he takes part in. He is an example for other members of the orchestra, particularly since he travels for more than an hour to get to the lessons. He is developing into a mature, confident young artist, ready to overcome any musical challenge in front of him. He is developing a sensitive artistic personality, taking his own informed choices in performance and repertoire.”

Maxwell at our Gala at the Royal Academy of Music in July 2019

We asked Maxwell a few questions:

What have you enjoyed most about your London Music Fund Scholarship?
"During my Scholarship I have enjoyed meeting talented musicians and being given opportunities to go to amazing concerts."

Tell us about your proudest or happiest moments.
"My happiest moment in my Scholarship would be when I went to Britain’s Got Talent The Champions because of the fun I had and the experience with the judges coming over to our seating area."

Thinking back to your Awards Day at City Hall in 2016, how would you say you’ve grown or changed since then?
"Since my awards ceremony at City Hall I have gained more musical knowledge and confidence in playing with others, and especially by myself."

What three words would you use to describe your experience as a LMF Scholar?
"Exciting, interesting and challenging."

Do you have any words of wisdom or advice for younger musicians at the beginning of their Scholarship, or children who are starting to learn an instrument?
"For people starting their Scholarship I would say don’t give up and always challenge yourself, whether it’s picking a harder piece of music or choosing to perform a solo. And lastly always practise!"

Now that you’re graduating from your Scholarship, what are your goals for the future?
"Now that I am graduating my goals for the future are to join the National Youth Orchestra and complete my music up to Grade 8 at the Guildhall School of Music."

We are so proud to have supported Maxwell over the last four years. We can’t wait to see where his musical journey takes him next, and look forward to inviting him back to LMF events as a Graduate Scholar!

“All the time I am meeting new people and interacting with them as we put together masterpieces of music, it’s all been a wonderful experience for me. So, I would like to thank everyone at the London Music Fund for all the support they give to people like me, helping us improve our instrumental skills, social skills and also our listening skills. Once again thank you guys for your amazing endless support.”

From Maxwell's letter to us at the end of last year