Annual Awards: Poppy’s story


I first heard Nicola Benedetti play when I was four or five, and immediately wanted to play the violin just like her. AYM’s funding came at a really crucial time for me as I was facing stopping regular lessons. I’d been busking with my recorder and violin to raise money. The most I’ve made busking is about £100 but normally I get about £40. This wasn’t enough with school, musical commitments and the weather and so AYM’s support meant I could carry on with my lessons!  They also invited me to take part in their annual Awards Day workshops with the Halle Orchestra in Manchester and even invited me to play at Stationers’ Hall in London.  I think the Hall had really nice acoustics. And I liked the canapés!

The trickiest thing about developing as a violinist has been the technical stuff, like bow hold. I started off with one bow hold and then I was taught a different one and then my teacher is trying to get me to do yet another one!

I’m going to Marlborough College next year: their Head of Music was taught by the same professor as my music teacher. My teacher talked to him and he asked to hear me play, and now I’ve got a scholarship! I also got into the finals of the Rotary Competition. There were 4000 musicians and I was runner up. I played the Hot Canary by Paul Nero and another piece by Aram Khachaturian.

I really enjoy performing. I never get nervous because I’ve done it from a young age and I just like to make the audience happy. I want to be a soloist, but before that I’ll probably go to university. That would be best because there’s lots more things you can do and you get to meet people other than those who just play music. I like performing on my own best, because I like communicating with the audience. It makes me feel happy that they’re enjoying it.  I just like to share my music with them.

Poppy (age 13), violin, from Somerset

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