Wednesday, 26 September 2012
Why me? Why me?
I've changed my mind. It's a better idea to say a bit about MY LIFE IN MUSIC before I go on to anything else. I was a late starter. I asked my folks for piano lessons when I was nine and they got a beat up piano into the front room at 21 Gladstone Street in Abertillery and sent me up the road to Miss Horler at number 47. Two shillings for a half hour slot. My brother is seven years older than me and he was into biology. He told me it's impossible for the right hand and the left hand to do different things at the same time. It's not; but it is a challenge. I don't think I was that good but that probably helps if you're a teacher because you know what it's like to struggle a bit and YOU CAN SYMPATHISE WITH YOUR STUDENTS. At eleven I started playing the cornet. Hopeless. I couldn't even get a sound out of it for weeks but I did play my first concert on cornet - Cwm's Junior Showtime. That's Cwm in the South Wales Valleys . . . I switched to French horn a year later and it began to click because not many people played horn round there in the seventies and I was in demand. That's when I first began to earn some money from playing in my mid-teens. I eventually made it through to the National Youth Orchestra. My worst choice was to drop music as a subject at school in favour of Latin. Still, that choice made a practical musician out of me. I taught myself the guitar and the recorder. I spent more than a decade in France mainly working with homeless people but came back to Britain in 2002. I met some great musicians called Huw and Catherine who inspired me to write some new songs http://soundcloud.com/frost-at-midnight/ Lots of them have been played on BBC Radio including Radio 2 and Radio 4. At the same time, I began to teach piano a lot - I'd always done bits and pieces - and it just snowballed from that. I decided I needed to have a qualification to get a bit of credibility so put myself through Grade 8. Once again, I SYMPATHISE WITH MY STUDENTS because that was tough. I felt as if my hands had turned into lumps of quivering slime. Yes, kids, I know how you feel when you walk into that exam room !