Global Music Foundation volunteer Melody McLaren highlights how GMF reawakened her love of music
Global Music Foundation volunteer, photographer and piano student Melody McLaren has described how her GMF experience reawakened her love of music and inspired her journey into jazz as part of the celebrations for 2016 International Women's Day.
In an interview with London Jazz News correspondent Matt Pannell, Melody noted that after an acrimonious split from classical music at age fifteen, she rediscovered music almost 35 years later when husband Ian 'took me to a jazz workshop run by the Global Music Foundation. The leader, Stephen Keogh, sat me down and said: “You’ve always been focused and hard-working. Forget about that. This is about relaxing, listening, and having a conversation with music. Stop over-thinking it.” I finally got it. I started playing again…started hearing other people.'
She added that 'at a later GMF event, I can remember Jason Rebello telling me to play with my eyes shut, to “let ideas go straight from the mind to the piano.” He encouraged me to “pull down the wall” between jazz and classical music. It made me realise how tightly-controlled my childhood piano training had been'. GMF also helped her face serious health challenges in 2014: 'Doctors were alarmed at my plans to attend the GMF summer jazz festival – and a gig at Pizza Express – during cancer treatment. Being able to play and go to gigs at that time was a huge thing. It helped my recovery. Really, it was my lifeline.'
Read the full interview here.