I have made many friends through MMCL.

Lewis, violin

I was six years old when I first took part in Summer School of the new project Making Music, Changing Lives. It was a very interesting and fun week. There were many children there and we played games and tried lots of musical instruments. I was really impressed with the trombone but decided on the violin as my chosen instrument. My mum has a video of my first performance at the Summer School final concert. I was on stage with my ¼ size violin surrounded by the other little musicians playing tunes from famous kid’s films. At that time I could only play open strings but was proud of my performance.

After a few violin lessons, I joined the MMCL orchestra as the first (and at the time the only) violinist. My mother asked the conductor if I was ready to play in the orchestra, she was told that the orchestra needed a violinist. I had to be the leader of the orchestra and that motivated me to learn very fast.

I am fourteen now and still continue to be a leading violinist of the MMCL Orchestra. Thanks to our wonderful teachers, and with Jan Gould’s extra tuition I have achieved Grade 5 theory and performance – I expect to take Grade 6 performance in a couple of months time.

A lot has happened during the last 8 years. I have learned to play many beautiful and sometimes very challenging pieces of music and have participated in many different concerts at venues ranging from Christmas concerts at local pensioner homes to the Wales Millennium Centre. Some of our performances have included collaborations with well known professional musicians. We have played with the Welsh tenor Rhys Meirion (I was interviewed with him and featured on Songs of Praise) and also played with the Cambrensis Choir and City of Cardiff Symphony Orchestra and we’ve made good friendships with musicians from the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and Welsh National Opera. Thanks to MMCL I also took part in Master Class hosted by the world-famous violinist Nicola Benedetti.

I don’t know what my future will bring, but I am sure that my love of music and playing the violin will inspire me in many ways. I have made many friends through MMCL and gained lifelong skills. MMCL has made me a more confident and organized person – this project has really changed my life and lived up to its’ title.