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Meet FMS Members

Sue Beckett
Head of Service
Portsmouth Music Service

Singing a solo as Mary in the nursery nativity show is the first memory I have of anything musical as a child, followed closely by playing the triangle in the infant school orchestra…once!

My grandmother played the piano and I remember hearing her play on just one occasion. I think my parents wanted me to fulfill their musical aspirations and they were incredibly supportive in my musical pursuits as a child, paying for lessons and taking me to music centre, rehearsals, concerts, …in fact anywhere that would inspire me musically…even Atarah’s Band!

I started learning the recorder at school (other than the triangle incident above!) and always sang in all the school choirs. Playing the piano and cello began when I started secondary school and the commute across central London with my cello was always a challenge, especially during rush hour…if only there hadn’t been a waiting list for the oboe! I continued to play the recorder alongside other instruments and studied this at University with Piers Adams. Our next door neighbour was the bass trombonist in the London Symphony Orchestra and as such, I was able to go to a multitude of inspirational concerts on a regular basis from a very young age, which had a significant impact on my musical upbringing.

The first instruments I learnt were the recorder, cello and piano, which I continued to study through my University years. As a young teacher I learnt the guitar and studied African drumming and still love flying out to various regions of Africa to pick up new rhythms, techniques and drum into the early hours. More recently I have learnt the euphonium and joined the local Band, which I love and I have been learning the oboe for three weeks and can now squawk my way through “Gabriel’s Oboe”! I can play a number of instruments to a basic level, including clarinet (I have a Silver Music Medal!), flute, tenor horn and trumpet, but I cannot play the bassoon….yet!

The ability to make a difference to the lives of young people and adults by providing exciting and inspirational musical opportunities that can transform their lives.

Be authentic, be visionary, communicate, nurture and develop relationships with people that can make a difference to your organisation, recognise and value the contribution of all individuals in your organisation …that’s more than one!

More time!

Not the highlight, but a memorable moment… Working with a group of children aged 5-18 year olds from challenging backgrounds to compose and perform a song for Children in Need which they performed live on the BBC Children in Need Programme. For some of those children and their parents it was a life changing experience.

For me, this changes on a regular basis…currently, my top three are: Elgar’s Cello Concerto – I played this as a young cellist and have always loved it. Matt Bianco’s La Luna – I love salsa! Losers Like Me! A song with very poignant lyrics written by a local Portsmouth composer to celebrate the Olympics.

That there is a wealth of high quality musical opportunities for all those children and young people who wish to play and sing and that their lives and the lives of those who are influenced by them are transformed in and through music.

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