“My old clarinet was kindly given to me but it was held together with all sorts of things.”

10 year old Shia from Manchester has had a busy year. He says:

“I came to the world of classical music only recently and have only been playing the clarinet for two years. Since the start of lockdown last year, I’ve been teaching myself to play the trumpet and saxophone from YouTube and can now play both to a good standard.”

As well as learning new instruments, he’s also started at a new school.

“When we first went into lockdown, I received the best news – I got a place at Chetham’s School of Music.

“It was really strange starting a new school online and especially a music school. There was so much to learn about Zoom.

“Having my first instrument lessons online with my teachers was really good and I’ve got very used to all this now. I quickly made friends from my class and now I’ve finally got to meet them!”

Shia received The Edith Hemingway Memorial Award sponsored by our kind donors. With their help, Shia has now bought a new clarinet! He says:

“It’s a professional instrument that has a lot of history. It’s 20 years old and has been recently refurbished. I’m so delighted with it! Without the help of AYM, this would never have been possible for me.”

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