Been a while old friend!

It’s been a while since i posted on here so I thought i’d update you on life and all. I am now in my half way through my degree. I’m not going to lie but this semester has been very hard and it hit me on week 2 that i  can’t muck anything as everything will go towards my final degree mark. However though i did get some marks back for a brass trio i did for composition module which i got a first for but my comments mentioned the brass band unity feel of it-i’ve been found out!!!

We also had a workshop with a string quartet for the final composition which was great fun and went a lot better than expected. I’m really pleased with how the string quartet went for me-the sound shows how much my composition has changed since starting uni. I might actually miss the composition module now i’ve dropped it for semester 2 as it’s now longer compulsory……..

Christmas was busy as every with lots of caroling, 2 uni concerts as well as my own chamber music assessment and playing in two friends assessments. My caroling actually finished on 23rd december but at norwich station of all places…..MY SECOND HOME!!! However though, this wasn’t with my main band as i also depped with another brass band which i am on good terms with and a brass quintet at a pub which was great fun!

I’m now on my January break where i’ve been practicing for my end of year recital and just relaxing while composing a soundtrack for a commission as well as brass band rehearsals of course!  Looking forward to when i’m back at uni especially my two option modules-music education and electroacoustic composition!

Best,

Leveridge

Secondary School Memories Part 2: Sixth Form

Following on from my previous post, here is the second post in the secondary school memories series but focusing on sixth form. I decided after my GCSE results to stay on at my high school’s sixth form due to it having the best music faculties of them all. A decsion that i don’t regret at all.

The way i could focus on certain subjects was brilliant. I took as levels in music, music technology, ict and buisiness studies as well as compulsory buisiness studies. This meant i could do as much music related stuff which i wanted during my free’s as well as work for my other subjects obvisolly 😛

Also, this is being posted on the 2 year anniversary of my leavers day from sixth form :O!!!!Before I start, here are some piccys from sixth form 🙂

Music loving ❤

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More music love from yesterday 😛

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my god I look drunk!

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#flashback steel pans make music students go hyper 😛 #a2music

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Love my mates 😀

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Year 12: This year started of really really well. I was making really good friends and getting on well with work. I would either be in the mac suiet or with the cafe crew during my free periods. We had a music day out for a study day which was so much fun! Although i had these home worries, i didn’t let them try to affect my school life. In Febuary 2013 during halftime, the houseswap finally happend. This absolutley deverstated me and made my depression even worse. I need to thank the music staff, my a level music group and boo for the support during this period. I was working hard but i was feeling unhappy inside. My as exams came round and i thought i did well but the depression i was suffering meant i didn’t concentrate and do as well as i thought. I then came back and started doing the work for my a2’s.

Year 13: My AS results where not as good as expected which gave me a kick into reality to work harder. I dropped buisiness which was a great descion as it meant i had more free’s and could focus on music music music. I would either be with the cafe crew or in the mac suiet. It was fun times although after a check up at the hospital and a further meeting with a suregon, i had to book myself in for the surgery to remove my thyroid. I was very nervous about this and then managed to get a lot of coursework done before my op which was good. I had auditions for uni which i got offers from all my choices.I then had my op and after my calcium episode i reutrned to sixth form and spent the rest of the time getting work caught up. I was also mucking about with my friends and it was generally just like that until my leavers day and my exams. I also managed to get my grade 7 horn with distinction as well!!

After I finished my A-Levels, I took a gap year. This was a very last minite descion but one which was the right descion. Due to my health situation and how i didn’t feel comftable or happy with my uni choices as well as being unsure on whether i had made the right descion with applying to uni, i choose at the last minute to withdraw my application and reapply for 2015 entry.  This was certainly the right descion as i got my grade 8 horn, grade 5 theory and after thinking more carefully my application, got into universities i actually wanted to go to and now, i am at a brilliant univeristys which i love and enjoy everyone second of which is the right one for me by far. I am still living at home though but the commuting has not fazed me at all.

To end, I will post a picture of my Levers hoodies. I’m sure that once i graduate, I will have another one from my university to add to the collection, but I will always be a Wymondham High girl at heart thanks to the brilliant 7 years i had there.

#leavershoodie

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Don’t wish your school years away, they go a lot quicker than you think.

The concerts i had with uni this weekend as well as one with my brass band went really well. I’m now done for my first year. Suprised how quick it went. I’m taking this week off for rest and to tidy up my cv before looking for a summer job so i can hopefully start saving for my own horn 🙂

Best,

Leveridge

Secondary school memories Part 1: Year 7-11

So today marks 4 years to the day since I had my leavers day at my high school. Makes me feel old or what :O!!!! I’ll embed some photos from this time 🙂

#throwbacktuesday timelords @zoe_read221b #doctorwho #leaversday #goodtimes2012

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#nationalbestfriendday ginge is one hello of a legend who i miss loads as well as year 11 times 😦

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Inspired by a post on another blog which i follow, I thought i share some memories from my 5 years in secondary school from year 7-11.

Year 7: This was a hard year. I was the only person from my middle school to go to my high school. I hated this and wanted to change to the high school in the city where nearly everyone from my middleschool went to.I was placed into abbey house which colour was purple, my form was A4 and i was in the tiffey river band. Making friends was very hard and i would often just sit in the library or wander around at break and lunchtimes. The only people i would talk to would be staff or ta’s. I don’t know why but i would do impressions to people in my year to try and get aceptted and talking to people. This only got me a reputation where i was known as the special kid who did impressions. I only realised this later on. People would be screaming at me when i’d walk down the school corridors and the older kids from year 9+ would get involved too. I hated this and it all became too much just before the summer term started.School didn’t intervene with this until the summer term though…. Music was my favourite subject of them all and i got my grade 3 horn at the end of the year 😀 I slowly started to feel happier during the summer term and was in a good state of mind at the end for a great summer break.

Year 8: This year started good. Although i was still struggling with making friends and would often have to be put in a group for group activities to stop me being alone, i was talking to people. I was still doing impressions and making myself look like an idiot in order to chat to people until the summer term where people finally started to accept me as a nice person not some special kid who makes themselve look like an idiot in order to try and make friends. This was a big relif seeming as i was really hating be pressured to do this in order to not be bullied.I went on a trip to germany with school at the end of the year which was awesome. I had never played so much mario kart and pokemon in one week and had so much fun when we went to a theme park called phantasialand where the micheal jackson thriller ride was as well as lots of very scary german rides. We also had a disco on the last day which was so so fun! I also got my grade 4 horn! There was no change of my favourite subject too….!!! I met a certain man during this year who would certainly change my life for the better………..I ended the year feeling a lot happier than i was in year 7 and had a fantastic summer break.

Year 9: This year started alrightish. I was getting on with people although i would still often have to be put in a group or work on my own due to shyness. I went on the trip to the Belgium battlefields which was great and i also got to take part in the remembrance ceremony at ypres representing the school which was very special. I was also invited to be in a year 9 fast track music group for talented musicians within the year to do theory stuff and to focus on music more. It was so fun. We also had to choose our gcse options. I nearly didn’t do music for graphics (with my fantastic art and design skills i know…) but i choose history, rpe and music. Looking back, i should have done drama or just had a period to work because of how much i struggled with history. I went on a trip to pleasurewood hills which was very fun! In may 2010, my grandma died. This devestated me and the imediate actions my family did made me feel really unhappy. This affected my work for the rest of the year where I underperformed in everything including the exams which would decide how i would be placed in the y band during year 10 where the whole year would be mixed with people you never knew beforehand. I also made a few bad remarks which i shouldn’t have done. I got my grade 5 horn though which was good during the summer but i could not wait for the summer holidays to come.

Year 10: This year was a fresh start for me. I was out of tiffey river and into the y band with new people who i didn’t know as well as people who i knew from tiffey. Music GCSE was my favourite lesson as we would muck about more than do work. The same applied to maths (for the wrong reasons though……;)! I soon realised though that i made a big mistake with taking history as a gcse option. I was making new friends and getting better at it in comparison to year 7. I was also diagnosed with a thyroid condition. Partly due to genetics but possibly due to how sad i felt possibly i don’t know…i didn’t need surgery at that time though and it just had to be monitored regularly by the hospital which was a relief.I went on the pleasurewood hills trip again which was just as fun! I applied for house prefect at the end of the year which i didn’t get which broke my heart. I was given house ambassador though which in reality was just my head of houses way of making some people feel better about it by giving them a badge which had no significant role unlike the prefects did. I properly just wanted it for the badge and the privileges anyway.Asides from this, it was an awesome year although my year 10 gcse results where a kick into reality.

Year 11: I dropped history at the start of the year so i could have an extra study period which was the best decsion i ever took. A lot of this focus for the year was on what to do next. I had a look at many different sixth form and colleges in the area and after much carefull deliberation, I decided to apply for my schools sixth and one in the city as a backup as well as the HE college for a music BTEC incase i would completely muck-up my exams badly. I finally settled down and was happier than ever-working hard but also mucking about in lessons particularly music. I had finally felt like the real happy me had came out. My mock results where good (except for an e in english literature because i was in top set…) and my favourite lessons where music and maths (for the wrong reasons though in maths…) ;)! I got my grade 6 horn before i left and the last few weeks where awesome. Lots of mucking about and not much work done. The leavers day was great but sad, i did a dr who theme and after the final assembly, everyone was saying goodbye and crying which was sad.

Once I had finished my GCSE exams, the first day afterwards I was given some shock news about the house which devastated me. I was worrying about this for over 2 years and I had learnt how much my parents and family had betrayed and ignored me. Although this was horrible and I would often cry about this bucketloads when alone, I had a fantastic summer. Hanging out with friends, going out with mum and walking the dog for walks along the norfolk countryside in the beautiful sunshine. It was bliss. The 2 sixth form induction days i had went well, still knew what my first choice would be though……

Lots of exciting musical things happened during this period. I depped on solo horn for an adult band and after depping with them twice, I got asked to join permently! I presume the depping was my audition to join! I also got accepted to the youth band of a very famous brass band in yorkshire and i was continuing to compose and play all around norfolk. All dandy and good 🙂

At the end of the summer after going on holiday to lancashire, i had the important gcse results day. I got the results which I needed but to find out whether i stayed at my schools sixth or switched to the other one which would have been closer, you will have to wait for the second blog post in this series!!!!! Sorry 😉

Today, i’ve had my end of year recital which is the only exam i have had as everything else is coursework. Really happy with how it went, not getting home till late as i’ve got orchestera rehersal till 9 tonight in preperation for the 2 concerts we’ve got this weekend! Fun!

Best,

Leveridge

Music has changed my life for the better

So this past fortnight on saturday, I was at a contest with my brass band at bulins skegness playing fire in the blood in our first contest since promotion into the 2nd section. Considering it was our first contest since promotion and at a wide field of bands from all areas, we played very well and got a very respectable result of 19th.

It got me thinking about how learning about music and how to play an instrument really has changed my life for the better. It’s amazing how something as simple as learning how to play an instrument and make music can change somebodys life for the better. I’ll be honest, my early childhood and first few years at school where not in the best of starts. Due to various things which happend in early childhood and not acutally speaking until i was 3, I needed a lot of support when i started school. . During this time, I had interactions with music as my parents would always have music on all the time and i would attend a pre school music group which i enjoyed as well as singing being a part of my playgroup i went to. The biggest thing which captivated me would be listening to the salvation army brass bands when the would play carols at christmas time in the streets of norwich which i adored! Back to school. I started first school and i had support from a teaching assistant when i started reception to the end of year 5 as part of the ways to help me with my education. I started later than i should have and although my parents wanted to pull me back a year because of that, the headteacher sad i would develop best by staying with my year group. I was not very cleaver at all. Although i liked reading, i struggled with everything else so i needed a lot of support compared to the other kids in my class.

During this period, I was forced by my parents to sing in the school chior which i did not enjoy as well as learning to play the recorderd as most kids learn in year 2 and the ocarina in year 3. I was involved in all of the christmas plays which my first and middle school did which i loved doing. When i moved over to the middle school i had the chance to learn an instrument in year 5. I grasped this opportunity immediately and after thinking about it, I decided that i wanted to learn a brass instrument. Why you may ask???? Well, because I thought the theme tune to coronation street was cool as it was on a trumpet which sounded awesome. Part of it as well i think was from having on segement a week in middle school where we would have music learning lots of different stuff which i loved. I nearly decided before choosing to learn brass to learn how to play the clarinet. I really don’t know why though but i soon had sense to ask to have brass lessons. My parents where supportive and where glad it was not strings!!!

I started lessons on the tenor horn during year 5 and loved it. I was in the middle school orchestera which was so much fun and i had a nice teacher. After going onto high school, i continued learning and i joined the local youth brass band which was lots of fun. My high school had a great music department where i got fully imersed in the music groups, especially the brass ensemble and brass band and also loved the music lessons we’d have as a class. During year 9, the head of music choose certain good musicians to attend an fast track music group once a week where we would learn stuff and prepare for gcse music which was great fun. When it came to gcse’s, i very nearly choose graphic design because i thought it looked fun because i’ve always loved graphic design instead of music even though i am bad at art and technical stuff but i had sense and choose music in the end. I wouldn’t have got a good mark in it at all had i chosen it. By the end of year 9, I had already achived my grade 5 horn.

GCSE music was the most fun i had for 2 years!!!!! Although we did do work on the theory side and the pratical side with the composing and performance, there was a lot of mucking about due to the pratical natuare of it. We where also very close friends as a group of musicians. In year 11, I had to choose what to do for a levels and as well as applying for the btec music at city college as a backup incase i mucked up badly, i choose to do music and music technology a levels as well as ict at my first choice and photography at my second choice. By the end of year 11, i had achived my grade 6 horn having switched exam boards so i could avoid doing theory >:D (or so i thought)…….

During this time, I left my youth band after getting a invatition to join my first adult band on solo horn. It was a non compeating band who taught me a lot and i am forever grateful for them giving a shy 16 year old the chance to join on solo horn after wanting to join an adult band for a while. I also joined the famous youth band of the worlds most famous colliery band after seeing them live in norwich. I had a fantastic 3 years with them and learnt loads from some legendary players and conductors

I got into my first choice sixth form which was at my high school and i continued with the music a level as well as picking up music technolgy a level. I brought my macbook during this time which went i could get logic and musescore and do far more at home instead of only creating music at school. They where so much fun and my playing and composition technique improved a lot. My two classes where brilliant and i made some brilliant freiends who i am still with contact with. Most of us are studying music of some sort. Although i had to have major thyroid surgery in january 2014 which stopped my playing temporaily as well as bringing on my hypocalcemia starting afterwards, I managed to get my grade 7 horn with distinction by the end of year 13!

After my a levels, due to health stuff happening, i withdrew my uni application for 2014 entry and decided to reapply for 2015 entry to study music. During this time, i focused on improving my musical output by upgrading logic and purchasing sibelius to further my home creative output. I also somehow managed to get my grade 5 theory and also got my grade 8 horn!!! I got into all of my choices and now studying at anglia ruskin which i do not regret at all!

With regards to the performance side I joined my current band after being headhunted to fill a vacancie on first horn before it was even adertised. I however got unexpectdly promoted to cover solo horn for the area and have been there ever since developing a reputation as a good soloist. I’m so glad that i can still play with them now even though i’m studying in cambridge.

I wonder what would have happend if i had not choosen to learn an instrument. Would i have even got a levels or go to university. Proberly not……..

Before i go, i’ll embed a link to my soundcloud and last fm profiles so you can here the music i am making and listening to 🙂

<a class=”embedly-card” href=”http://www.last.fm/user/A_Leveridge”>A_Leveridge’s Music Profile – Users at Last.fm</a>
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Best,

Leveridge