“Without music, life would be a mistake…”

I count myself lucky to have been brought up in a family where music was a part of every day life and musicianship was not only allowed, it was encouraged.

Every member of my family is a musician. My mum, with her beautiful voice, used to do the ‘folk’ rounds in pubs with her guitar when she was young. Following that, when she became a minister, she used her voice as an instrument of worship within church.

My dad, having grown up in a musical family, learned a host of brass instruments in his youth. Combined with his ability on guitar, attuned ear, and beautiful tenor voice, he and mum used to sing together all the time. Every so often they still do!

Music was a part of my upbringing. We sang in the car, at the dinner table, together round the fireplace at family gatherings…was it any wonder that myself and my sisters ended up continuing the legacy?

My sister, Bethany, became a music teacher. A talented musician who won music scholarships for university – it was clear that this would be her career choice. From her effortless piano playing and beautiful skills on the violin to her soaring soprano not to mention her songwriting ability – music runs through Bethany’s veins.

My sister, Laura, took a while to find the musical instrument that worked for her. After trying flute, piano, and horn, she stepped away for a while before deciding to teach herself guitar. As an entirely self-taught player, she plays guitar, ukelele, and is now teaching herself banjo – all down to her natural talent and sheer determination. She has a beautiful alto voice and, while shy of her vocal abilities, is a joy to hear her sing!

I, myself, picked up the flute around the age of 8 and haven’t stopped since! Every orchestra, band, choir or show that I could be involved in, I was. After a brief foray into the percussion world,  I then learned piano and delighted in singing both by myself and in groups. Making music was, and is, a joy and a much needed creative outlet for my schoolgirl academic brain!

One of the most wonderful things about growing up in a musical family is the times we make music together.

I delight in making music with my family and, because it is so rare that we are all together in one place, we make the most of opportunities to make musical memories!

This video was recorded at the wedding of my cousin, John, who passed away only a couple of years later. We adapted the lyrics of ‘For Good’ to fit the wedding, and ‘Moon River’ will forever remind me of John! We love this video because it not only captures the joy of performing with my sisters, it also has John’s laughter in the background as he and his new wife were getting their photos taken.

Over the past couple of weeks I have been able to start making music with my friends here in Tanzania and it feels like I am entering a whole new fun world of music – and I’m so very grateful for it all! 

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