“My favourite musical is The Lion King. When I grow up I would love to play the violin in the orchestra pit for this show.”

For the Big Give Christmas Challenge week, we’ve been sharing stories of what music means to seven young musicians we’ve supported. By the end of the week the themes of these stories will have spelled BIG GIVE. Today is day three, and our theme is the letter “G.”  We’d like to introduce you to 10 year old violinist Elena who has grown so much as a musician.  

Elena began playing the violin when her Year 3 class had whole class lessons together. These lessons at school only lasted for a year meaning that Elena wasn’t able to continue playing when they finished.  

This is where AYM stepped in – we helped Elena access violin lessons for free so she could continue to learn.  

Her violin teacher, Aimee, says: 

“Elena has made great progress and even adapting to online lessons and the difficulties they brought. She started out on open strings and has now achieved her Silver Music Medal which she’s really proud of! Elena loves to perform and create her own music, and she is always up for learning challenge pieces.” 

Elena says: 

“I really enjoy playing and writing my own music. I also love playing Disney songs and songs by The Beatles. I love listening to the band KISS too. I want to be able to perform for more people.” 

Elena also loves playing musical games. Her current favourite is Beat Saber, “where you choose any song and chop up blocks of music. It’s hard but really fun!” 

Earlier this year, Elena was chosen to perform at the Music for Youth Festival alongside other young musicians supported by AYM. This would have been their first opportunity to perform music in a group since the pandemic. A special piece called ‘Grow Wild’ was composed by the young musicians for the event. With the support of multi-disciplinary musicians Yshani Perinpanayagam and Tom Lawrence, Elena took part in online composing sessions.  

After months of workshops, recordings and rehearsals, Elena was ready to perform at Music For Youth Festival in the summer. However, the Music for Youth festival was sadly cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic, so the piece could not be performed live. This was obviously a real shame, however the project was still a valuable experience for Elena and the piece premiered online. The young musicians hope to come together for a live performance of ‘Grow Wild’ soon. 

If you would like to support more young musicians like Elena as they grow on their own musical journeys, please donate this week during the Big Give Christmas Challenge. We’re raising £70,000 to support talented young musicians through our Awards programme and we’ve already raised over £38,000! 

Donations made during the Big Give Christmas Challenge can be doubled, meaning your donation will have twice its impact!  

If you have any questions about fundraising, feel free to get in touch with AYM’s Development Manager, Sanpreet Janjua

Tel: 0300 302 3422

Email: [email protected]

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