Call for Classical Youth

Try putting that under yer chin, darlin’!’ was a phrase I would dread, clambering awkwardly onto the bus with my enormous cello towering over me, fumbling in my pocket for my 20p bus fare and wanting the shy-world, which many musicians inhabit, to swallow me up.  Nowadays I’d probably be offered therapy for having to cope with ‘verbal abuse and bullying by the toothless tramp on the 240’, but back then the message was more gung-ho and less precious: ‘ignore it, get over it, move on.’ 

And trundle along I did, all the way to the music centre where Day One of the Easter Youth Music Course was about to start.  Not that arriving there was much less daunting… all these confident kids my age and older, dressed in cool outfits and flicking their silky hair.  Help.  And boys too!  Gulp.  ‘Is there room for insecure types in music?’, I wondered.  Oh my, if only I ‘d known what we all subsequently admitted we’d felt on that day…   My best friend (to this day) later said she’d found me so scary and self-assured.  Really?  NO!  You were the scary one!

And the point to my pop-psychology ramble is this: music gives us pleasure.  But making music together from a young age gives us invaluable life skills: working as a team; uniting us with a common purpose; learning to be comfortably fearful of the unknown and dealing with it; making friends for life.

So, how about this Easter supporting the many youth music courses either by encouraging your children to participate, or by attending their final concerts?  These are just some of the exciting youth opportunities and events this month:

April 4th – The Battle of the Somme Centenary Tour: Suffolk Youth Orchestra, The Apex, 7.30pm
April 6th – Norfolk County Youth Orchestra, St Andrew’s Hall, 7.30pm
April 7th –  Essex Youth Orchestra, Saffron Hall, 7.30pm
Apr 10 -13th – Cambridgeshire Holiday Orchestra (
April 16th – Family Concert: Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Snape Maltings, 2pm

And if you’re one of the many talented teens (or younger!) I’m reaching with my Get Classical brand, have a fabulous time on your music courses this Easter and if you feel shy, insecure or just plain under par, remember, so does the person next to you!  Get over it and you’ll reach new heights in your playing and new depths in your Self. 

Making Music: it’s a very good therapy.

As well as that, this month’s Get Classical with FJ radio highlight: On Monday 17th April Fiona will be talking to Geoff Lavery, conductor of Gippeswyk Singers and Beccles Choral Society as they prepare for their upcoming concert of Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius at Snape Maltings on Saturday May 13th, 7.30pm.  Tune in Mondays at 6pm on ICR 105.7FM & online at