At Dallam, we encourage the ambitions and talents of every member of our school community. Extra-curricular activities provide great ways to do more of what they love, whether it’s sports-, science-, technology- or arts-based. In this student profile we interviewed Sarah Harris in Year 10, who is an avid flautist, to find out why the flute is the instrument for her.
Tell us how your musical interest all began.
I started playing flute when I was eight years old. My mum plays the flute, so I think that’s what made me want to do it.
Is flute the only instrument for you?
I’m also learning to play the piano because it helps with composing and learning other instruments. I’d also like to learn the oboe in Year 11.
Being able to play three instruments would be fantastic. Why do you like playing musical instruments?
I enjoy playing music because it’s a good way to meet people and I really like playing in a big band.
So it’s obvious you chose to do GCSE Music. How will your flute playing contribute towards your course?
I’ll need to do both a solo flute performance and as part of a group performance which will count towards 30% of my final grade.
That must mean you do quite a lot of practise to make sure your performances will be the best they can be?
Yes, I practice every day after school and on Fridays I have my music lesson in school then after school I have music theory lessons. Then after that, I have 2.5 hours of orchestra practise. It’s a very musical day!
You’re part of the Westmorland Youth Orchestra which has musicians in it from all over Cumbria and north Lancashire. How did you become part of the Westmorland Youth Orchestra?
I started out in The Wind Band, which is for younger or less-experienced players. Then once I got my Grade 4 I could move up to the Youth Orchestra (I call it Big Band). There’s about 30 people in Big Band; lots of people playing wind instruments, strings and some percussion players. We could do with a few more brass instrument players if anyone is interested in joining.
And do you perform concerts?
Yes, I love being part of the Big Band and we do concerts in churches and community spaces. I’m also part of Flutes & Co. which is a band of just flute players and we sometimes do concerts outdoors which is really different and fun.
What do you think you’ll do after your GCSEs?
I am hoping to stay at Dallam for Sixth Form. The subjects that I definitely want to take are Music and Media. I am not sure about my third choice yet.
And any thoughts about what you’d like to do as a career yet?
At the moment, I think maybe a primary school teacher who teaches music, or a film composer because my favourite type of music is film soundtracks.
Give us your top three film soundtracks.
Harry Potter, How to Train Your Dragon and Star Wars.
Students at Dallam can learn lots of different musical instruments. What advice would you give to a fellow student on which instrument to choose and why they should do it?
I would definitely recommend the flute. It’s fun to play and it has a nice sound quality. Playing a musical instrument can also help you develop your coordination, it’s a brilliant new skill to learn and it’s a great way to make friends. I would say “do it!” It would be great to have more people playing instruments in bands in school.
Thank you Sarah, we hope your passion for flute playing will contribute towards an excellent grade in your GCSE Music…as well as all the others!
It’s never too late to sign up to learning a musical instrument. Dallam offers a variety of instruments that students can learn, find out more and fill in the booking form here.