A lot to be thankful for…

I was five when my mother placed an accordion on my lap, and was seven when I discovered an urge to play saxophone. The advice given to us was to “learn to play clarinet first and then a saxophone will be easy”.

Good ol’ mum promised me a tenor sax if I passed grade 5 on the clarinet and was true to her word, I still have it, thanks mummy!

Saxophones were very expensive in the early 1980s but eventually I was lucky enough to pick up a second hand alto, which now sits permanently in my music room looking as if it’s been about a bit and has a few tales to tell — true!

I joined my first band shortly after I was 16 and knew this was what I wanted to do. Having finished my studies at the Colchester Institute I drifted away from “formal music”, a family necessitated a “proper job” and as bands and friendships changed music took a back seat for a while.

Then all of a sudden, quite by chance, in about 1990, I found myself starting to give lessons, a discipline which I had previously enjoyed during my studies, and of course my family appreciated the extra income! I quickly found that helping people to learn to do something which can give so much pleasure is deeply satisfying and I relish my students’ achievements and enjoyment. I was delighted to be approached by more and more people simply through recommendation.

Eventually, as the numbers of my students increased, I reached the point of conflicting interests between a full-time job and an ever growing lesson schedule. No competition, the job had to go!

I have now been happily independent since before the turn of the century, I have also been a Bikeability instructor working in schools (requiring regular DBS checks), helping young people to learn how to ride safely on the road, which is highly rewarding and doesn’t interfere with me working at home doing what I believe I do best. I thoroughly enjoy the variety of my work, no two weeks are the same, and I consider myself privileged to have met and continue to meet all sorts of fascinating and wonderful people, some of whom have become firm and long lasting friends.

2018 brought a new chapter in my life, a move to Scotland to be near my family and to experience and enjoy the wonders of the Moray Firth area, along with the excitement and challenge of meeting a whole community of new people and students.

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