London Music Fund: Making a difference

As part of our wide-ranging sponsorship programme, we’re continuing to support the London Music Fund. The LMF offers scholarships to talented young London musicians who don’t have the financial means to pursue their musical development. The partnership between the LMF and ABRSM also provides workshops throughout the year to bring the young players together to experience ensemble-playing in different musical styles.

Maureen is parent to two LMF scholars. We asked her to tell us what the LMF scholarships mean to them.

Can you tells us something about your children’s musical backgrounds? 

Molly is 11 and Patrick is 10 years old. Molly is working towards Grade 5 Violin, Grade 4 Piano and Grade 3 Percussion. Patrick is working towards Grade 3 Violin, Grade 2 Piano and Grade 2 Trumpet. Both children started playing the violin when they were six, followed by the piano. Percussion for Molly started when she was 10 and Patrick has only started trumpet in the last year.

How long have they been LMF scholars and what does that involve?

Molly is in her fourth and final year as a LMF scholar and Patrick is in his first year. They're lucky enough to be able to take part in workshops with talented professional musicians, developing their skills and broadening their understanding of music.

What have the musical benefits been for Molly and Patrick?

Being a scholar has allowed both children to receive funding towards lessons – violin for Molly and trumpet for Patrick. Molly has taken part in a project with the London Symphony Orchestra, which introduced the children to improvisation skills, and was lucky enough to play in the Royal Festival Hall on another workshop. This has helped her create some pieces of music at home. For Patrick, his scholarship is relatively new but he's looking forward to taking part in any opportunities offered.

Has being a LMF scholar helped them in other ways aside from their musical development?

Both children use music as a way of dealing with difficulties they faced when their father died from leukaemia in 2014. They often play pieces together. The London Music Fund and our wonderful friends at the local music service have supported both children by encouraging them to use music as a positive way of dealing with their grief. 

Can you sum up what they enjoy most about playing their instruments and being involved with music?

Molly tells me that just being able to sit and play any instrument makes her happy, and she's made some friends through music who are like-minded. Patrick enjoys performing, especially trumpet, as he's playing his daddy's trumpet and it makes him remember him proudly. 

As a parent, how important is it to you that Molly and Patrick make progress musically?

It's very important to me that they progress. They both have an amazing talent, and I like the fact that as well as using their talent they're being introduced to different types of music.

Do you have any tips for other parents of talented young musicians?

Regular practice is a must – I provide a practice schedule. All the dropping-off and picking-up is worth it!

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