Music case study – Imogen Welch, 6.2

How old were you when you joined Bedales Schools?
I was two years old when I started at Dunannie (I repeated Year 3 in Dunannie because I was young for my year).

What are your preferred instrument(s)?
Voice, Flute and Piano.

What do you consider to be your best musical achievements to date?
Doing two tours of Italy with the Bedales choir, which were unforgettable experiences because I could get more of an idea of how music concerts work on a range of levels and in some cases, I was able to engage more with the meaning in music. I recently achieved 145 in my grade 8 singing exam, which encouraged me to pursue singing further.

How has Bedales helped the development of your music?
In Dunannie, I was taught to read music pretty much as soon as I could read English well, so I have been accustomed to understanding it for a long time and it soon became natural: something that has been indispensable during my time at Bedales. Being able to focus my attention and time on music, has allowed me to develop my interest and having so much support to allow me to do so.

Who or what is your greatest musical inspiration?
I’m not really sure yet, although Bach is remarkable and the grace of Mozart is admirable (and fiendish to sing), similarly the way Tchaikovsky is able to express emotions in some of his symphonies and operatic areas is outstanding.

Any musical interests outside of lessons (orchestras/ societies/ bands)?
I am part of choirs, orchestras and groups in School and a musical theatre group outside of school. By having this wider experience of different conductors or leaders, it means that I have a more versatile and rounded education of music. I also like to read about any extra areas of curiosity if something catches my interest in class.

What do you hope to achieve in your music over the next few years at Bedales and beyond?
I hope to gain more experience as a performer and also to employ some of the skills I learn through reading in to my performance, by gaining a better understanding of a certain style of music. Also, I wish to develop my keyboard skills, enabling me to discover more methods of expression through music or techniques used by composers. I also have a particular interest in the history of opera, so I wish to extend my knowledge of the beginnings of opera in Italy and subsequently France. After Bedales, I would like to study music as an academic subject and later go on to do a post-graduate degree in singing (at least that is the plan). I hope to have the opportunity to sing in choirs before I do a post-graduate course to get a good understanding of choral music, and to get used to working in a group of singers, which means that diction must be clear: something very important for a singer, I think.

What do you like best about Music at Bedales?
The professional way in which we are treated; the fact that if the leaders or conductors know that we can do better and improve, they will not settle for a second rate performance. In this way, we quickly learn the importance of certain precisions and we also get to know more about the reason or context behind the music. This broader understanding has also been helped by the fact that the music BAC gave me a base knowledge of what is relevant, so learning music has been pleasant and interesting, and fervent.

Immy Welch

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Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

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