Thank you for the Music

I have a belief. A passionate belief. A belief I have lived my entire life by and will continue to live by until my last days. MUSIC IS ESSENTIAL TO HUMAN LIFE.

I’ve taught music to youngsters for my entire adult life. Even in sixth form I ran a choir club and at University I was the Music President. I was then Head of Music in various secondary schools for 12 years. Whilst teaching, if I had a reluctant student I always played my trump card to win him round; “What kind of music do you listen to or like?” They ALWAYS had an answer. Granted, sometimes they needed a little nudge to reveal it, but I have still never met a human who doesn’t like some kind of music.

For most of my secondary school career, I walked into my classroom every day feeling immense gratitude that I was able to nurture a pupil’s love of music. I had been entrusted to help that love grow and help them safely experiment with their creative side and perhaps discover new things in this wonderful world of sound. I loved nothing more than playing a child a piece of music and watching their initial reactions; from the covering of ears upon hearing a 12 tone serialism piece, to the deep concentration upon hearing Flight of the Bumblebee. What a pleasure it was to be in the position of introducing these kids to new experiences for the first time!

Music creates an emotional reaction in everyone. Love or loathe a piece, it forces you to have an opinion. Music can change the way you think, feel, buy, react and make decisions. Music has always existed. Music will always exist. Music is for the young and old and every single human being can gain something from music.

As Plato said, “I would teach children music, physics and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the key to learning”.

 

Helen Ames

Principal: Little Voices Hertfordshire West

CELEBRATING OUR BEST EXAM RESULTS IN PETERBOROUGH!

Well, the results are in! And boy, were they worth waiting for!

Our fabulous pupils here in Peterborough took their communication, acting and musical theatre exams recently with The London Academy Of Music And Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and we are very proud to announce that OVER 90% of our pupils achieved a DISTINCTION!!

What super results – and huge congratulations to the pupils of Little Voices Peterborough. All your hard work and the small class sizes has really paid off. Well done to everybody!

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Top LAMDA Exam Success for Little Voices’ London pupils

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Little Voices South West London performing arts school has helped students in Putney, Richmond , Earlsfield and Fulham to achieve outstanding results in this year’s London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) examinations. In May, 125 Little Voices children took exams in grades 1- 8 with over 99% achieving a distinctions and merits, and yet again, Little Voices has maintained its outstanding 100% pass record. The students ranged from aged 4 to 18 years old.

Little Voices focuses on expert guidance and traditional teaching methods in singing and acting, delivered in small group lessons to maximise student development. Principal, Ashlea commented: “We are thrilled that our students’ talents have been recognised through these amazing results and are so proud of all of them. It is always rewarding to be part of an organisation that helps students to achieve their ambitions,” she said.

LAMDA examinations are prestigious awards, from which students can gain UCAS points to help with their university applications. As part of the exams, students must perform their poems, scene and musical theatre piece’s for the examiner with confidence. One group; Max Moorehouse, Tessa Barkett and Grace Corah all achieved exceptional marks with a very high distinction, for their performance of Frozen!.

Little Voices have four centres across south west London, running for the past two years during which time Principal Ashlea Pearson and her team of tutors have trained 200 students in drama and singing, helping them to achieve a consistent 2 years of impressive LAMDA results.

Well done everyone!

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If At First

You Don’t Succeed…

 

I always loved to sing. My mum was (and still is) an avid member of the Church choir and an outstanding singer in her own right. From an early age I would sing solos at Christmas and try to be the loudest singer in the congregation! My first main role came at the end of Primary School where I was selected to be Joseph in ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’. I remember everything about that performance, from the costume to the stage directions, but my overwhelming memory is of feeling an amazing buzz from being in front of an audience. It was clear to me at 10 years old that my future lay in performance.

As I entered secondary school, I was already learning to play the cello and piano and continuing with singing wherever I could. I joined the choir and music was my absolute favourite lesson of the week. I was confident and loved singing with a passion.

Then disaster struck.

During Year 8, there was an opportunity to be in the choir for ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’ at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, performing with Philip Schofield every night! This was obviously fate! I’d already performed the lead role at my primary school and I was confident that entry to the choir would be a breeze. I attended my audition and sang my heart out. The school selected the best 30 singers from Years 7-9 and I eagerly awaited their decision. When the list went up, my heart sank. My name was there, but on the reserve list! I hadn’t made it! How could this be?

After what seemed like an eternity of tears and tantrums, I picked myself back up again and decided that someone would drop out and I would be offered their place. It didn’t happen and so I watched my friends and peers go off to rehearsals and performances and listened to their amazing stories of the professional world I so desperately wanted to join.

Although this was absolutely my first experience of failure and disappointment, to this day I am so glad I experienced it. This business is fickle and hard hearted at times, and as a performer you have to develop a thick skin. This wasn’t the last time I would experience disappointment in this world, but in going through something like that at 12 years old, I know that firstly, you get over it and secondly it makes you more resilient and stronger than ever before. You have to learn to pick yourself up and throw yourself back out there. I continued to work towards my hopes and dreams and joined everything I could that was Performing Arts related. At that same school a few years later, I played the lead role in Guys and Dolls and received the ‘Senior singer of the Year’ award, so I definitely got back on my A game!

Confident children need to be nurtured and sometimes a negative result in something can actually help them grow. They need lots of love and encouragement and constant reminders that if at first you don’t succeed, try try again! If I had given up at that first hurdle, I’d never have got to where I am now.

Helen Ames BA(Hons) PGCE

Principal – Little Voices Hertfordshire West