PMZ Special Adviser
Lecturer in Performance Psychology – a member of the Centre of Performance Science, a collaboration between the Royal College of Music and the Imperial College, London
What do you do for PMZ?
I’m a Special Advisor, looking for opportunities to support the charity in any health and wellbeing-related matter.
Do you play any instruments?
I’m a classically trained flautist with a BA and an MA and I’m still an active player (while lecturing in performance psychology and musicians’ health at the Royal College of Music) so I’m spending quite a lot of time in the practice room! I also play the piano – it was my first instrument which I started when I was 5 years old. These days, I don’t play as frequently as I wish to, but I’m happy to play the 3-4 pieces I still remember at dinner parties! During lockdown, I took up the recorder to play duets with my flatmate for fun – we went through every single piece of sheet music we could find on the internet in our daily practice sessions.
What musical instrument would best describe you as a person?
I will have to stick with the flute – it played a central role in my life (pun intended)! Its sound can be shiny and sparkly but also gentle and soft, and it fits in a variety of genres from classical to jazz, similar to the broad variety of my interests and activities.
What has music done for you in your life?
Music gave me meaning. I think I was about 9 years old when I told my mother that I’d become a musician and, while it has sometimes been a rocky road, I’m still convinced that it was the smartest decision of my life.
What’s the best bit about working at PMZ?
I met the Chief Executive of Plymouth Music Zone, Debbie Geraghty, at a national Think Tank on Musician Wellbeing organised by Britten Pears Arts and was deeply impressed by the charity’s inclusive and musician-centred practices – this is something we all could learn from! I’m hoping that by collaborating with and advising this wonderful organisation, I can bring some awareness of the importance of community music to our students at the Royal College of Music.
What’s the first record/CD you ever bought?
That’s a tricky one because I was surrounded by a steadily growing number of records and CDs from a young age (my family really appreciated music and kept buying new ones) and I’m not sure which was the first one I actually got myself. My guess is Jean-Pierre Rampal’s recordings of baroque flute concertos, but it might have been a birthday gift… nevertheless, those three CDs were played so many times that after a while my family begged me to put on something else!