A Sixth Former’s Musical Journey

Posted: 28th January 2016

Learning a musical instrument!

Rhiannon Phillips, Upper VI, is an enthusiastic flautist of great ability.  And, as she writes below, taking up a musical instrument is something she would recommend to everybody:

‘I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow you all away with my 24 note chromatic scale in the key of G! Many think playing an instrument is simply not their ‘forte’ and that only those born with musical talent can achieve high grades. However, this is not the case. Learning an instrument is not easy for anyone. It takes time and dedication to achieve music grades, just as it takes the same amount of time to learn all your times tables or to shoot more accurately when playing netball.


Although, like many, I was very eager to begin playing the flute when I was younger, the older I became and the more responsibilities I gained began to turn me against it.  It felt like the world was ending when I had braces when I was 13 and keeping on top of coursework and the quick succession of GCSE and A Levels proved even more challenging to managing my time and fitting in music practice.

Without my parents’ stubbornness I may have ended my lessons and flute playing. Yet, at the time, I never fully appreciated or realised what I was truly considering giving up. I am glad I carried on playing!


The wacky and wonderful relationships I have formed with girls of different years have enabled me to connect with new and old girls, as well as teachers. The opportunities I have been offered owing to this developed skill are endless. Not only does it act as a qualification on your UCAS application but it establishes a new social group for you to associate with.


Playing the flute has enabled me to audition to be a member of the Ealing Youth Orchestra, perform at Light Up the Lane in Pitshanger Lane, and at a local art exhibition, play for the school orchestra for around 10 years and even tour and perform in Malta with the school’s musical company.

Without the flute, I wouldn’t have the opportunity of making new friends at my soon-to-be University and potentially receive a thousand pound scholarship for being an advanced musician. Although playing the flute may have given me ‘treble’-s at points and moments of uncertainty, I am so grateful I did not give it a ‘rest’.


If I could, I would urge everyone to take up an instrument and unveil a skill they have not yet developed. Achieving Grade 7 in flute is a claim not many of my peers can make and I cannot wait for more opportunities to reveal themselves in the near and far future.’

If anyone would like to find out about learning a musical instrument at St Augustine’s Priory, please see Mr Martin, our Director of Music, for details of the range of instrumental lessons we have on offer directorofmusic@sapriory.com



Categories: Junior Nursery Prep Senior Sixth Form Whole School