I started doing A-Levels at sixth form, but it wasn’t for me. I’d grown up around music and I love to sing, so I decided to try to make music a full-time career. I didn’t have all that much technical knowledge at the start of the course, but I knew I wanted to become a better performer.
We spent the first few months working towards a big solo project, which was aimed at technique and also building our confidence in performing in front of each other. I’ve learnt a huge amount on how to perform, including how to control my voice and how to deal with nerves. At the moment we’re doing our big end-of-year project, where we organise and perform at an event at Nescot. We’ve decided to use the event to raise money for charity, too. We’ll get graded on our own performances, but also on how we organise the event. We’ll be doing everything ourselves, so it’ll show us how much we’ve learnt on the course and how far we’ve come.
The teaching is good - we have the support we need, but we don’t have our hands held, because that doesn’t help anyone in the long run. We’re encouraged to develop independence and a strong work ethic, because we’ll need those skills in the industry. We have a few units of Music Technology within the course, which is good because it teaches us to think about things like composition and recording. You don’t need to be classically trained or able to read music to do the course - we have got people who are Grade 7 or 8, but others who don’t play anything. Next year I’m going to the University of Canterbury to do Performing Arts, specialising in vocal studies, and I’m looking forward to seeing where it takes me.