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Lewis offers young musicians chance to excel

Lewis offers young musicians chance to excel

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Ruth-Ann Lewis, Master of Music (MMUS), has returned to St Vincent and the Grenadines and started a local music studio, which has been running now for two years.{{more}}

“I want to teach potential musicians, young people who are willing to push past the ‘comfortable’ norm here in SVG and excel in music to a professional level. It’s about time we had opportunities for gifted artistic students,” Lewis said.

Her studio, T.h.&.M.e.S. Music Studio, located at Murray Road near to the Girls’ High School and the Venezuelan Embassy, is set up with a curriculum geared towards a music conservatory style programme.

“The goal is to get the students going at a young age with a solid practical, theory, and musicianship foundation. The ideal would be the achievement of ABRSM Grade 8 by age 12; and, a continuance of study with a solo concert and acquirement of the ABRSM Diploma award,” Lewis said.

It is her opinion that with the musical talent we have in SVG we should have great levels of success. 

“It is possible, you know, this level of progress in music. Young people in the UK and China, for example, have been doing this kind of thing for years. We can’t underestimate ourselves,” the musician said.

Although Lewis has had a great degree of success on her primary instrument, the piano, she is also proficient on other instruments. As a musician, she simply loves music in its diversity of forms. As a result, T.h.&.M.e.S. Music Studio offers classes in many instruments, including voice.

T.h.&.M.e.S. Music Studio is proud of the success of its students in the practical exams this year in voice, violin, piano, and harp. T.h.&.M.e.S. Music Studio also offers classes in guitar, flute, and cello. Ensemble classes and theory classes are also the norm. The hope is to expand to other instruments in the near future including African, Chinese, and Indian classical instruments. 

“I care about my students. I don’t buy into the ‘let’s spoon-feed them so they get a good grade on a test to make me as the teacher look good’ nonsense. I would give my students projects and at the top of the instructions I would put the sentence: ‘I love it when my students think!’ You are not going to pass a class at my studio simply by being there every week. I want my students to own the lessons they learn in class. I don’t want copies of me; I want true, newly developed musical minds. It is a common saying that music classes help children to be disciplined; but, that’s not entirely true. It is true, however, that without that discipline it’s impossible to reach to a proficient level in music. In other words, you’re disciplined because you desperately need to be in order to be good at anything in music. That’s why, although I’m big on pushing for getting the work done, I really want the kids to have fun. It is possible to work and have fun at the same time. To a certain extent, I believe I have brought that to T.h.&.M.e.S. Music Studio,” Lewis said.

“Earlier this year, I presented harp music in a church in duet with one of my violin students. My harp is five feet tall and three feet wide; people were so excited seeing a harp for the first time. If given the right opportunities and exposure, there is no reason why the people of St Vincent and the Grenadines will not expand, explore, and greatly develop in the prodigious realm of study called music. It is my hope that T.h.&.M.e.S. Music Studio provides a positive influence for the music culture here in St Vincent and the Grenadines.”

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