In September Lydia will begin her studies towards a four-year degree in Songwriting at Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA, a top contemporary music school where some 250 Grammy winning alumni have trained, including John Mayer, Melissa Etheridge and Diana Krall. This is an exciting opportunity for Lydia who came to Hagley for Year 12 in 2017 from St Andrews College. Lydia was attracted to Hagley because of the intensive Music programme that Hagley offers in the School of Music.
From the age of seven or eight Lydia knew that she wanted to pursue a career in Music and, in earlier years, she felt as if she was just going through the motions in studying other subjects like Maths and Science. “I wasn’t able to entirely focus all my energy into Music the way I wanted to because I always had to do extra work on my Maths and Sciences so I could pass. Longer school days also meant that I didn’t have time to work on my music when I got home from school. I think some schools view core subjects like English, Maths and Science as more important than Music. Some teachers viewed Music as just a hobby”.
Lydia is very appreciative of Hagley’s flexible approach to assessment and of the way that Hagley’s teachers have supported her to finish her Year 13 qualifications, Level 3 and University Entrance, by the end of Term 2 this year, thus allowing her to qualify for Berklee’s September intake. “I wouldn’t have been able to do this at other schools. The teachers at Hagley worked with me and really helped me achieve this”.
As well as aspiring to be a songwriter in the pop industry, Lydia also loves to sing Jazz and this has been a strong influence in developing her musical skills. Lydia will be performing at a free concert on 22nd August, 7pm at The Piano (donations gratefully received!) She will be supported and accompanied by her classmates, the Hagley Jazz Band and the All Girls Big Band, which includes our School of Music Programme Leader, Nanako Sato.
While Lydia is sad to be leaving behind her parents and sister, Madi to pursue her dream, she is excited about what lies ahead. Lydia believes that Hagley can help anyone develop their passion into a skill that they can take and use in the real world. We look forward to following Lydia’s progress in the future towards, perhaps, joining those 250 Berklee Grammy winners!