Rosie has completed her challenge: 437 miles cycled and £580 raised for SMART! And that is the topic of this week's blog catch up with Rosie, the last in our series. We sat down with Rosie and asked her about what SMART means to her and why it was important.
When asked what SMART means to her, Rosie said, "Put simply, SMART could make the difference between a young person being able to access good music education or not. Simple as that. It's a real game changer for young musicians."
As a music teacher, Rosie is passionate about young people accessing music and the arts: "SMART is making musical opportunities and education accessible. At this time especially, when the arts are in serious crisis, it is vitally important to make sure that the next generation of musicians is still able to access the best opportunities, but that requires funding. That's where SMART can come in.
Rosie understands first-hand the benefits that music can bring to people. She sees this in her pupils and her own children. "Music can give the listener and performer great pleasure and can be an emotional and creative release for young people. It brings people together, builds teamwork and friendships and can provide comfort and healing. Music is proven to boost learning (and IQ!) and improve mental health."
As an active member, we asked Rosie to reminisce on her favourite memories of SMART. She said, "Latitude was amazing. It was almost like being on tour again, just without the epic coach journey and slightly suspicious hotel. However, my favourite moment has to be just before Philip Shaw’s Valedictory Concert in December 2017, the concert to mark Philip Shaw's retirement and the event that led to SMART's founding. Some of us joined him and his family on the 'Clapham Omnibus' improvising and singing carols while attempting to remain standing on an Ipswich bus driving around the town. As we pulled up at Sidegate Lane Primary School, a bagpiper serenaded him into the school hall for the concert, while we legged it as fast as we could to our places and donned our Philip masks (I still have mine)!"
She continued, "In his speech, Philip challenged us to continue where he left off, keeping music alive and available to future generations. As a music teacher and as someone who had massively benefitted from a wonderful musical education this really hit home, and so I knew that I wanted to play my part and do my bit. SMART will make an enormous difference to all those it supports, and I know that in a different time or place that could have been me, or my children."
Rosie reflected on the support she received from trusts and foundations like SMART when she was younger: "I couldn't have stayed in SYO or even afforded my music lessons without getting a part-time job in the evenings and weekends while I was at school and by applying for (and thankfully getting) a number of grants from various charities and trusts. Many of those have gone now, or the fund only available for a short time."
SMART supports the young people of Suffolk to access music and arts opportunities. Our next round of grant applications is open until 11th October. If you or someone you know would benefit from a grant, the application form and further information can be found on our website: https://www.suffolksmart.org/apply-for-funding
We hope you have enjoyed getting to know Rosie through these blogs! If you are taking part in a challenge and are interested in raising money for SMART, contact us via email: email@example.com