A TEENAGE pianist who only discovered his love of music when he started secondary school has secured a place at a prestigious specialist college.
Isaac Cook, 15, will attend Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, in Greenwich, London, on Saturdays from September.
Having impressed with his audition pieces on both piano and clarinet, he has been given a position on Junior Trinity for the next three years.
During that time, Isaac will take individual lessons, classes and chamber music, perform in regular concerts, larger ensembles and choirs.
The musical talents of the Year 10 student were only uncovered during music lessons when he joined Burnt Mill Academy, in Harlow, at the age of 11.
Last year, he achieved a Grade 9 – the top grade available – in a one-year GCSE music course at the school.
He said: “My interest in music came when I was given piano lessons in Year 7. It started from there.
“I was hopeful of securing a place, but it was the first time I had done anything like it and so didn’t expect too much. I was really happy to get a place at Trinity; it’s a beautiful place. Playing in a competitive environment will make me grow more than I could anywhere else.
“The purpose of going to Trinity is to get more musical experience playing with others. But, it will also be important to make connections.
“I’m excited; I just want to get started now.
Isaac, who dreams of becoming a composer or a concert pianist, hopes to secure a place at a conservatoire at the age of 18.
Cristin Casey, director of performing arts for BMAT which looks after Burnt Mill, said: “Isaac is breaking the mould. He has come to music late, but we have done all we could to provide him with opportunities for progression. I have not seen any other student go to that level, that fast. When I speak with him, it’s like talking to a university student, his knowledge of music is so in-depth.
“At BMAT, we do everything we can to break down the barriers to young people’s success. It is my exact vision for the Trust, that we make sure every pupil has the opportunity to be the next Isaac. We want to find that passion and talent as soon as they enter our schools. We want to give access to high quality, creative, cultural opportunities so they can find their niche.
“My message to all of our young people is just to find something you love and do more of it.”
After the three-year course, Isaac will have qualifications in both piano and clarinet.
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