When I first started playing the viola in Grade 6 at the Junior School, I wasn’t very good, but my teachers encouraged me to keep at it. It didn’t matter what my skill level was, as long as I was making small improvements. I kept practising in Strings class, in the Senior School Orchestra and at home, and eventually, my persistence paid off. In Grade 9, when I had to decide whether I wanted to choose Strings as an elective, I realized the impact music had on my life and how different I would be without it. I did not see change instantaneously, but the end result was worth it. There isn’t a ‘right’ answer when playing an instrument; it helps you to think outside of the box and improve your ability to problem-solve.
Playing in the Senior School Orchestra and participating in Music Connects—a program where students play music for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients—has shown me how music can bring people together, creating a sense of community. When you are performing, everyone is working together towards a common goal. It also requires a lot of concentration, which has helped me to stay focused on the present moment.
Traditions like Carol Service and Prayers have made music an important part of Havergal's history and I am honoured to be a Music ambassador. My favourite part of Havergal’s Music program is the teachers; their enthusiasm and appreciation for music is contagious. I think the new Junior School music wing will create even more opportunities for students, instilling an appreciation of music from a young age.