“Music is like air to me, I cannot live without music”

Thomas was born in China in 2005. He moved to England a few years later and started learning guitar with his Grandad when he was 6 years old. Before Thomas started playing guitar, he used to regularly love listening to Honegger’s highly descriptive piece Pacific 231.

His grandfather says:

“We had great fun acting out the locomotive’s mechanical efforts as portrayed by the complex rhythms of the music. At that stage, it was obvious that he had a musical imagination”

Then just before his 6th birthday he expressed an interest in making some sounds on his Grandfathers guitar, which was way too big for him.

“He would have been very familiar with the sounds of me teaching and playing. I showed him a little tune using just three of the open strings plucked by three of his right hand fingers and I was astonished by his sensitivity of touch and his tactile oneness with the strings.

“I had never heard anything like that before from one so young. He was obviously a born plucker! He memorised the 8 bar tune in a matter of minutes, so that we were able to play a fluent duet straight away. That’s how it all started and it’s been a joy to teach him ever since.”

Thanks to AYM Thomas has been able to develop his skills further. He has used his Award to help pay for instrumental lessons and to buy a guitar. Thomas says:

“AYM has been so helpful! They have provided many musical opportunities for me to experience,such as the guitar masterclass with Milos. Furthermore their financial support has helped me in buying a new guitar, which will allow me to perform with more passion in the future. I am so grateful for AYM’s generosity and encouragement.”

“My guitar playing has been maturing over the years and my new guitar has a warmer tone, more projection of sound and generally more potential as an instrument.”

Thomas has just completed his GCSE’s and is looking ahead to the future.

“Due to the covid pandemic, I still haven’t taken my grade 8 guitar exam. One of my goals is to finish this grade with, hopefully, a distinction. That would be fantastic and also satisfying to have completed all the grades from 1 to 8.”

Another longer term aspiration is to try and enter BBC Young Musician.

“Watching the TV competitions has always been a compelling experience for me and it would be an amazing opportunity if I could make it to the category finals. You never really see classical guitar on the show, so it would be great if I could make it through.”

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

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