01 Dec 2020

Guest Blog: Steph Halsey-NYMAZ Intern

Hi! My name is Steph and I’m currently working towards a Masters in Music at the University of Hull. After graduating from the Royal Northern College of Music, I explored a range of careers including marketing, venue management, and even became a campaigns and democracy coordinator! Whilst these were great careers, I felt myself drawn back to music and decided to apply for a Masters focusing on the exploration of jazz on the harp. Alongside my masters, I was building my freelance portfolio with teaching, weddings, and orchestral playing. At the start of the year I saw the advertisement for an internship with NYMAZ and jumped at the opportunity. It looked like the perfect way to explore a range of career options within music and, spoiler alert, it was!

I was supported by a welcoming team made up of Sarah, Grace and Alysha. Their dedication to creating musical opportunities for young people in North Yorkshire was inspiring. They organised for me to observe workshops and interactive performances led by practitioners from Live Music Now, The Hallé, Manchester Camerata and Orchestras Live.

There are particular highlights from the internship including an early year’s session at the Catterick Garrison run by The Hallé and Orchestras Live. Even though I have experience in assisting early years workshops, I hadn’t considered them as an option for my portfolio career. I loved watching the story of the magic box unfold with nursery rhymes and key classical repertoire played by members of The Hallé. It was incredible to be a part of the babies’ and toddlers’ first experience of live music.

Another unforgettable experience I had was assisting as a camera person for the livestream of a concert by Orchestras Live and The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. The performance was watched by a live and virtual audience. It included singing, costumes and plenty of audience participation! It demonstrated how technology can provide rural communities with high quality musical experiences.
Another memorable experience was assisting Tom from Live Music Now at the Knaresborough Forrest School. I had experience working within a SEND setting, however, I’d forgotten how rewarding it could be. For the second session, I took my clarsach in for everyone to play and the reactions were amazing.

The internship also provided me with the valuable opportunity of speaking to an ensemble from Live Music Now called Matfen. They were so friendly and talked me through some of the different experiences they’ve had on the scheme and shared some valuable audition tips!

NYMAZ is a progressive organisation, pioneering in the use of digital technologies within an educational setting. This enabled me to carry on with the internship throughout the pandemic. I spent time researching all of the ensembles within North Yorkshire to update their online map. I also led on a youth voice consultation. This involved creating a marketing plan and leading a video conference with young people from across North Yorkshire, discovering the types of opportunities they would like NYMAZ to organise next year.

I have loved taking part in the NYMAZ internship. It has opened my eyes to different career paths within music and has inspired me to become a full-time musician. In the future, I plan to audition for Live Music Now and look forward to working in a range of educational settings. I am also considering starting my own early years and music and mediation classes following my Masters. This internship has built confidence in my abilities to be able to deliver high quality and transformative experiences for young people.

I’d like to thank Sarah, Grace and Alysha for their support throughout the placement. I’d highly recommend this internship to anyone considering a career in music! 

Tags | Advocacy | Early Years | Music projects | Special Educational Needs/Disabilities | Training & CPD

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