Creative Learning Intern
Britten Sinfonia

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Amy W

00:00:01 (SINGS)

00:00:16 My name’s Amy W and I work at Britten Sinfonia, I’m the new Creative Learning Intern. The point of the job, I think, is to bring Britten Sinfonia’s work as a professional orchestra, to as many people who wouldn’t necessarily have thought of going to an orchestral concert, as possible. We offer free concert tickets to disadvantaged families, or people in disadvantaged areas, to nurses, to primary workers, to school teachers, to try and encourage as many people as possible to come to concerts, and to come to special events that we hold for such people.

00:00:52 Well I started off, when I was much younger, wanting to do a whole different range of things. I wanted to be a Marine Biologist, I wanted to work for the RSPCA, I wanted to be an astronaut. And then eventually I wanted to be a midwife, and then a doctor. So I did Chemistry and Biology, and I worked and worked and worked, and I applied, and I went on all these medical courses, and it was great. And while I was working towards those things I was having singing lessons with my singing teacher, and she was heavily pregnant at the time, and she said I’m not ever going to stop teaching, but I am going to teach at a specialist music school. So if you would like to come along to that perhaps, maybe I could carry on teaching you.

00:01:30 And I thought specialist music school, that sounds – that’s crazy, you know, maybe, maybe that’s not so crazy, maybe that’s something I want to do. So I applied, and somehow I got into this special – special music school, the Royal College of Music Junior Department. And I was there for a year, and at the end of that I wanted to be an international opera star, of course.

00:01:55 It was like embracing something that I’d wanted to do, but not knowing that I’d wanted to do it. Medicine seemed like such hard work for something that, in the end, I wasn’t sure that I wanted to do. And music just seemed like the natural choice. You know, it’s suddenly when you switch on to a subject that you hadn’t really thought about, it just opens up a whole world of ambition, and drive, that I never knew I had.

00:02:23 I think for me it’s about being up on stage and feeling that immeasurable joy at performing – any performer will tell you this – the incredible joy of giving everything you have into the ether for people to appreciate. It’s terrifying, knowing that I’m throwing myself out to be judged by people who might not know anything about singing. But it’s so worth it. I mean I’ve done five or six operas, even now at 21, and it’s so – the feeling is so worthwhile, it’s absolutely magic.

00:02:56 I’ll listen to opera on my iPod when I go home, I’ll sing constantly around the house even though, you know, much to the disgust of any housemates that I happen to have. I’ll having singing lessons. I’ll come home in the evenings and play the piano. I think about it when I fall asleep, I think about it when I wake up. It’s everything, it’s all-consuming.

00:03:16 I suppose you need to devote yourself to it, but I do often think about what would happen if I didn’t make it as a professional singer. Which is why I’m doing the Internship I am now, so that if that should happen, I’ve still got a good kind of four or five years of Arts Administration. I could easily slip back into a career that pays reasonably well, because I’ll have that experience first.

00:03:41 My family were always quietly supportive, they come to my concerts, they’ll hand out flyers if need be, and of course they’ll tell their friends. They have a CD of my final recital that they copy and hand out to people, which is quite embarrassing. But it’s nice to know that they’re there.

00:04:01 I’d like to sing Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier by Richard Strauss at a major opera house somewhere – anywhere – and have another potential role lined up somewhere else. That would be it, that’s the ball rolling there. That is critical acclaim in one of the most beautiful operas, one of the most fantastic parts, and being in demand somewhere else. That would be it for me. And that’s it, that’s success.

00:04:31 ENDS


Amy’s job is to bring music to people who are not typical concert-goers. Her inspirational singing teacher led her to apply to the Royal College of Music rather than following a route into medicine. She talks of “the incredible joy of giving everything you have into the ether for people to appreciate”. Her ambition is to sing the part of Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier.

More information about Musicians

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

62%  male 
38%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Musicians write, arrange, orchestrate, conduct and perform musical compositions.
There are no formal academic entry requirements although many possess a degree and/or diploma. Entry to a degree or graduate diploma course requires A levels/H grades. Entrants to the performers’ diploma course generally possess GCSEs/S grades and Associated Board Graded Examination passes in their chosen instrument(s) and will be required to audition. Apprenticeships at NVQ Levels 2 and 3 are available in some areas.
  • Conceives and writes original music;
  • Tunes instrument and studies and rehearses score;
  • Plays instrument as a soloist or as a member of a group or orchestra;
  • Scores music for different combinations of voices and instruments to produce desired effect;
  • Auditions and selects performers and rehearses and conducts them in the performance of the composition.
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