Music – The freedom of expression

I often get asked why I work in the music industry. The reality is, it can be a depressing, soul destroying, lonely thing to do. The pay is terrible, the hours are appalling and it is seriously hard work. Despite this, I wouldn’t change it for the world. Having worked as a teacher from primary school up to GCSE, a session musician, a gigging artist and a dep musician, music always circles back around to one thing – having the freedom of expression to be who you are.

As funding for the arts continues to be cut in our education system, I find more and more young people, who have a thriving passion for music, are excluded from having a chance to shine. One of the things we look to offer with our ‘Bring the Band’ course is a chance for our young people to look at themselves as artists. For me personally, exploring subjects that are important to me through song writing has been a pivotal part of my development as a person. 

We live in a society that stagnates the fantastic, creative minds of our next generation. We are discouraged from pursuing careers in the arts, as they aren’t deemed ‘real’ professions. This isn’t to say that you can’t achieve a successful career and still be a musician; I juggle studying medicine with music work! More than anything, I take issue with the idea that traditional academics are the most important thing to our young people. Granted, they are important, but they only make up a part of a complete education.

Part of the Duke of Edinburgh award is about growing as a person, and I try to remember that before going out and teaching a course. Learning a skill is an amazing and rewarding thing. But that’s not to say learning about yourself is any less important in growing up. As I teach a ‘creative’ course, a huge amount of what I teach involves our young people thinking. Not the textbook thinking that you need to pass GCSEs or A levels, more the level of thinking that helps make us all individuals.

If you’re to take anything away from this, let it be this. When you’re next sat in a classroom, or an office, or on the bus, just remember that you have the right to be yourself, and you are capable of doing anything you want to in life. This doesn’t just apply to musicians. If you want to be a doctor, a builder, an accountant, or anything else that you might want to be, with hard work and utilising your freedom of expression, you can achieve any goal you strive for.

Rowan Thompson

Rowan is an accomplished musician who runs the Bold Adventures Music residential. For more information click here

Music – The freedom of expression