Furthering talent student holding a guitar.

“Music means everything to me. It’s who I am.”

14 year old Jake, from Stafford began his musical journey in Year 4 with whole-class guitar lessons. His teacher spotted his enthusiasm and instinctive musicality. Seeing his potential, they nominated him for a place on our Furthering Talent programme in Staffordshire. 

“I was nine years old, when I realised that I wanted to do music. I found out that guitar was the talent I had. When my teacher told me he nominated me for Furthering Talent and that I could have a 30-minute lesson every week after school, I was really excited.

“AYM has given me the ability to learn the guitar well and to follow my passion. I’ve progressed so much as a musician and I’ve had experiences that I never would have had otherwise.

As well as weekly lessons I’ve gone to a variety of Get Togethers such as brilliant concerts at the Birmingham Symphony Hall – something I wouldn’t have thought about attending before. These widened my knowledge and understanding of my craft. 

“Being nominated for the programme has made people take me more seriously. If I “just had lessons” it wouldn’t mean as much to me or to others.”

After 5 years on Furthering Talent, Jake is moving onto new musical adventures:

“I am lucky enough to have a place at the Birmingham Ormiston Academy Arts School. I’ll be doing a BTech in Music. The ultimate plan is to make a name for myself in the music business as a performing musician. As a back-up plan I would like to learn to be a guitar technician. Over the summer I have been doing some workshops to learn some of these skills. 

“Thank you so much for helping me achieve my full musical potential, I really appreciate it”

He has always been interested in music. As his mum recalls: 

“Jake’s grandmother had a keyboard and when he was very young he liked pressing the keys individually, to see what sounds they made. When his cousin let him have a go on her guitar, he tried each string. There was no bashing. He wanted to make it sound nice.

“Thank you for the opportunity you have given Jake over the last five years. His journey through learning the guitar, understanding music in more depth and being able to write his own music has been enhanced so much by his lessons and guidance given to him by AYM. It has been such a good solid start to his musical career.

“As a single mother, Furthering Talent has made a massive difference to us as a family. I could never have afforded the lessons Jake has had. The programme has opened up Jake’s world so much. He had lots of talent that needed nurturing and developing and has music teachers did just this. He has been inspired to try his hardest, to achieve skills that he thought were too hard and to love playing, writing and creating music. 

Jake has gotten into the Birmingham Ormiston Academy and we couldn’t be more proud. The start of his journey was enabled by you. Overall I could not be more proud or grateful.” 

Thanks to support from our donors, we’re able to give musical opportunities to young musicians like Jake from across the UK. See how you can help in the link below.

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