A year ago we held our Music Ministry Day at the Centre for Youth Ministry and, at the end of the activities, launched our Music Scholarship programme, with the excellent Christian music artist Edwin Fawcett.
For the past year, Edwin has been tutoring a group of young people to nurture and develop their musical talents.
With the second year of the Scholarship beginning in January, we decided to chat with the current crop of young musicians to get their feedback on the past year.
Why did you apply for the WYM Music Ministry Scholarship?
Many of the scholars responded that they applied to improve their musical skills, meet new people and grow closer to God through their musical expression. Isobel said, “I heard about [the scholarship programme] at the Music Ministry Day and thought it would help to improve my parish music.” Echoing Isobel’s comments, Bobby said that he “wanted to liven up my parish, as well as explore my relationship with God.”
What has been your favourite moment so far?
For Jimmy, his favourite moments include “learning new skills and developing my confidence and leadership skills; also, making new friends.” Likewise, others have found that learning new skills in various areas have been some of their highlights, including “learning how to play new chords on the piano” for Chisom, and as Bobby succinctly put it, “everything!” Jennifer saved a special comment for her tutor Edwin, saying that being with him was her favourite moment, as well as improvising with her fellow scholars.
In what ways has the WYM Music Ministry Scholarship helped you as a musician?
All of the scholars would agree that their time with Edwin has been of great help to them in their development. For Charles, “it helped me with my sight reading” and learning new songs. Danica has been pushed to “try things I have never tried as a musician, helping me to gain more confidence. It has also taught me a lot more in terms of technique and basis in playing the piano.” From growing in confidence and becoming a better leader in their parish, to widening their knowledge of chords, notes and other technical skills, the scholarship programme has been a great benefit to all.
What is your favourite song/piece of music and why?
Some favourites include, “Lamb of God (Penitential act C)”, “Yet I will praise”, “Receive the Power”, “Shackles (Praise you)” and “Lord I am not worthy”, by Edwin. Of the latter, Jimmy said it is “really calming and meditative and good for communion.”
What is next for you? What do you think you might do with the skills you have gained during this process?
All of the young scholars wish to continue to grow their skills and use them to good effect in the parishes, schools and other aspects of life. Danica says that she’d “like to continue being a part of the music ministry in my parish and hopefully use the skills and knowledge I have learnt here to develop the pieces I play during Mass and in my own time.” Some of them have youth bands or choirs and are hoping to grow these, or even set up new initiatives. “I will continue to help lead the growing youth band at my parish and I’m sure many skills will help me with GCSE music, which I’m taking”, said Jimmy.
Would you recommend the Scholarship to others? What would you say to encourage other young musicians to apply?
Every one of the scholars said they would recommend the WYM Music Ministry Scholarship. Danica said, “The scholarship is a great opportunity to learn and improve your musical ability, from one of the best church music composers in the country. It’s great for any young musician who is part of their church’s music ministry.” Jennifer said she would definitely recommend it, “as the course helps develop new, unknown skills!” Charles said “I enjoy coming and I like Edwin because he helps and is kind.” Another benefit of going, says Chisom, is that “you get free food sometimes!”
If you are interested in applying for next year’s Music Ministry Scholarship programme with Edwin Fawcett, click here and send your application by Friday 4 December!