Location: United Kingdom
Trinity qualification: Grade 8 Piano
Melissa is a young, British musician who has achieved incredible things with the piano since she started playing in 2018. She can remember being interested in the piano from a young age, but it wasn’t until her late teens that Melissa started taking the first steps in her musical journey.
“When I was in year 8 in music lessons, there used to be these two people in my class, Esther, and Oscar, and they played piano really well, and I always used to sit there and think wow, I wish I could do something like that! I don’t think I would be playing today if I hadn’t heard them, so they really inspired me!”
A few years later, Melissa started learning how to play songs she liked from Anime and games by watching YouTube videos.
“I watched this anime, and it had a classical piece in it, I think it was the Minute Waltz by Chopin, and that was my first classical piece. It was in my first six months of playing and I had no technique or anything”
Her parents noticed she had an innate talent and encouraged her to start taking piano lessons in 2018.
“From that, my parents decided I should have piano lessons, and I had two amazing teachers who got me to grade 8 in 3 years.”
Having taught herself everything she knew, Melissa found that the focus of preparing for graded exams with her teacher helped her notice the gaps in her skills and identify areas where she could really improve.
“When I was playing, all my finger positions were all wrong, and it was really hard to play some notes as a self-taught pianist, so I feel like having a teacher really pushed me”
Melissa is really happy with her decision to take Trinity’s graded music exams.
“I like the pieces in the Trinity books, especially the grade 7 ones. You have more of a variety of pieces and there’s a range of different styles.”
The feedback Melissa got from her exams has really helped her develop her technique.
“I know now that when I learn a new piece, I have to make sure I learn the articulation and dynamics straight away and express myself when I’m playing more – that’s what some of my feedback was.”
Melissa has big plans for the future. She’s hoping to study music at university next year and is keen to move away from classical pieces.
“I want to do more contemporary based things, like making my own compositions in a more neoclassical style – that’s what I’m in to now. I also really want to learn other instruments, maybe the drum – that would be cool! I’m learning music production too.”
Melissa had this advice for any budding young musicians out there who’d like to follow in her footsteps.
“Never give up or doubt yourself. There have been times I’ve been playing, and it sounds awful, but you just have to believe in yourself and remember to take little breaks when you can.”