Hi! I'm Ethan Mumby-Green and I'm 16. I have been playing guitar and bass guitar for roughly six years now. I have had a passion in music for as long as I can remember. I'm a huge fan of blues, to jazz, to funk and its alternatives, as well as having a big love for electronic music, rock and alternative rock and metal music. I was introduced to a huge spectrum of music from a very early age, from muddy festivals with Mum, to my Dad's seemingly endless library of vinyl and inspiring guitar playing (still to this day), which led me to want to give it a try all those years ago.
Then was the beginning of a truly incredible musical adventure - starting at Saturday Music School four years ago. I know I am still only at the start of my adventure, as I have recently been given a conditional place to study on BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Music at LCoM in September.
I wouldn't be where I am today without SMS. Every Saturday morning has been better than the last, and knowing that SMS has put me in a position to say that the amazing conservatoire will be the future of my education makes me so grateful, and I feel lucky to have been given this opportunity.
A Typical Morning at SMS
A typical morning at Saturday Music School begins with a warm greeting from the members of staff, which I have always loved as over the years I have really felt a part of the community. If I arrive before 9:00 (which is incredibly unlike me, and therefore a very none-typical and unusual day!), I might bump into a few friends and catch up on the past week. If not then I head straight up to the first class which is ensemble.
Of course, it is my favourite time of the morning, being able enjoy playing music with one of my best friends and two good friends I have met at SMS. Ensemble has really improved me not only as a musician but in confidence and as a team member, and being in company of one or more tutors who I can safety call professional and experienced musicians has been some of the best company I have had. Having the opportunity to play in a band with excellent facilities under the watchful guidance of a professional is an opportunity I wouldn't have missed for the world, not to mention the concerts we have played, which have been very fun and a big confidence booster for me and the band. Ensemble also supports every musician, each student is able to switch ensemble upon a change of musical interest, and there is a wide variety of different bands. Writing music is something that is encouraged and taught very well in ensemble too.
There are two breaks in an SMS morning, one before and after the middle class where we are open to relax in the cafeteria and spend time with friends. I have made a lot of friends in SMS and making friends is one thing that they definitely encourage. Every kid is there because of a love for music, no matter the age or genre or speciality, and that vibe can be seen and felt so strongly.
The two other classes throughout the morning are music theory, which has taught me a huge amount about written music, and workshop, which varies each week or fortnight. I wouldn't have passed the exam needed for my conditional place at the conservatoire, nor my current knowledge of music without the weekly theory classes, and I wouldn't have some vital skills I will use in the future of my musical career if it wasn't for the variety the workshops SMS has to offer.
My Favourite Things
I have a few favourite things about SMS. The brilliant building it is hosted in, the facilities accessible, the freedom offered, but the one thing I love most about Saturday Music School and Leeds College of Music as a whole is the staff. They respect each student individually, and offer a relaxed environment as well as a professional, serious side of the education given, creating a perfect balance which everyone enjoys. From warm smiles and friendly conversations to the best advice, lessons and opportunities, they are a great group of people. I cannot wait to meet more of the staff when I start on the BTEC course.
SMS has changed me as a musician
Saturday Music School has helped me improve and develop, and has changed me as a musician from the very start. I auditioned for SMS on acoustic guitar, playing folk fingerstyle, and it is amazing to me how I have seen myself transition from different styles of playing the acoustic guitar, to electric guitar, to bass guitar, not to mention the huge variety of genres of music SMS has introduced me to and sparked my interests in. I couldn't imagine how much SMS has improved me as a musician, from playing with other musicians, improvising, playing in front of crowds and challenging myself with different techniques and sounds I wouldn't have known existed otherwise.
As I said before, I wouldn't be where I am without SMS. The course was also one of the things that got my band together, four out of five of us having been attending SMS for years. I know for a fact that SMS has helped the other members of the group develop, and we have each grown and developed together, as well as seeing each other every Saturday.
You can hear my band via these links:
Musical Aims and Ambitions
My musical aims and ambitions are varied. I want to dedicate a lot of time and effort to the band and help that develop, as I not only love what we are doing, but I love the four other members as my best friends. We hope to record an EP soon which is very exciting. Further in the future however, I would like to work as a musician. Session work is something that I have always had an interest in. I have considered taking music to a higher level of education after college, and combining it with psychology which is another passion of mine. There are also options such as composing, tutoring, lecturing and tech work which are all options I have.
Just to conclude, I would like to say a huge thank you to the Leeds College of Music team for everything, and this opportunity. I couldn't have wished for a better one.