On Thursday 2 March, I had the pleasure of attending the Young Songwriter of the Year finals at Thorpe Campus. Six students performed music and songs that had been written entirely by themselves. Playing in front of an audience is something that I have no experience of however, I appreciate how nerve racking it can be, even for experienced musicians. During the interval I spoke to one of the contestants, Tuen Allsop, and asked how long he had been playing the guitar. His response was not what I expected: “a month” he said.
I was somewhat taken aback and so questioned him further. He explained that when he heard of the competition he wanted to enter and so pestered his parents to buy him a guitar. He then taught himself entirely by using an App on his mobile phone. To go from zero to writing and performing a song in front of an audience is an incredible achievement and is testament to the dedication and determination of the young man.
It is also interesting to see how powerful mobile phones and technology can be in helping our children to accelerate their learning. When used for the ‘power of good’ they can lift the lid on learning and allow students to achieve things that people of my generation could perhaps only dream about. Unfortunately, as we are becoming all too aware, mobile phones and social media can also be incredibly damaging to a childs wellbeing and I would urge you to read the following article on using social media.
To finish on a positive with another example of determination and achievement from one of our Year 12 students: congratulations to Chantelle Frost who won a silver medal in a recent national archery competition. She took up the sport in October 2016. It just goes to show where determination can take you!
Mr D Woodcock
Head of Thorpe Campus