“Whenever I play music it relaxes my thoughts, as they usually feel like they are racing at 100mph.” 

17 year old Ajay has loved music for as long as he can remember. He says:

“I’ve been playing music all my life. The first instrument I ever played was a recorder which I picked up in reception and I also played African Drums regularly in primary school.

“In Year 5, I picked up an alto saxophone for the first time – despite my arms being too short to play comfortably. I played alto sax until Year 6. Then I went to secondary school and started playing piano instead.”

Despite limited access to lessons, Ajay was determined to keep playing. He explains how he managed to teach himself in his free time:

“I self-taught myself everything by watching others and experimenting on different instruments. In secondary school I would play piano during all my breaks and teach myself songs I loved.”
Ajay was able to go further with his music thanks to a supportive teacher. He says:

“I picked GCSE Music in Year 9 and we had to have instrumental lessons from teachers. My mum couldn’t afford these, so my music teacher paid for them out of the music department budget as she said I could do really well.”

But Ajay wasn’t too keen on picking up the saxophone again – despite his teacher’s encouragement. He explains:

“My music teacher made me start playing saxophone again because I told her I played once. I didn’t want to play saxophone at this time as I hadn’t played since I left primary school and I was gutted I couldn’t do piano as I was really enjoying it.”

Luckily, he stumbled across a video online that changed his opinion of the saxophone completely:

“One day in the middle of year 10, I scrolled upon a video of a saxophonist called “Leo P” that really inspired me. A burning passion was born and I started to love playing the sax. Since then, I have performed in many school plays, shows and concerts. I have done shows outside of school, such as the Artist Development Programme at Hackney Empire in 2022, where we got to create our own music and perform it on stage with others.”

Saxophone is now Ajay’s main instrument (though he’s also been teaching himself bass guitar and still plays drums and piano!). With all these instruments at his fingertips, Ajay has started composing his own music. He says:

“I really enjoy improvising and creating my own music and my own expressions through my instrument. My goal now is to one day create my own track fully composed by me!”

Ajay applied to our Awards programme to help him progress towards this goal. He shares how this has helped him:

“The Award has helped me tonnes in getting a midi keyboard to start to create my own ideas more comfortably and to service my saxophone!”

We can’t wait to hear more of Ajay’s music!

If you are, or if you know, a young musician like Ajay, aged 5-17, with bags of musical potential who needs support for musical costs, AYM could help.

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