#IWD - Musicians who inspired us to pick up an instrument
This International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating some of the musicians who inspired and gave us confidence to play what are often seen as just ‘traditional’ musical instruments.
Encouragement comes from many places, from an approving nod from a stranger (or perhaps a nice comment on social media) to teachers, parents, peers, friends and siblings; those we trust and are closest to us are often our biggest supporters.
However, there’s something about seeing someone popular in the mainstream who you can relate to advocating and endorsing that thing you want to be doing. It makes us feel more assured that what we do will be positively received.
With this in mind, here are some of our favourite musicians who have inspired us and made us feel confident about picking up and playing our instruments.
Lizzo | FLUTE
Lizzo’s flute playing went viral after her iconic performance BET awards. You may not know that she’s a classical trained flautist and she’s inspired so many people that beginner flute sales were boosted by a third in 2019! Her Flute is called Sasha also has it’s on Instagram account #ICONIC
Watch her NPR Tiny Desk Concert here below.
Lisa Simpson | SAXOPHONE 🎷
Not all role models are real life people! Lisa is arguably the best Simpsons character. Summed up: “Her formidable intellect and insatiable thirst for knowledge make her a hero to brainy outcasts everywhere. She’s also been The Simpsons‘ moral compass as well, helping to ground her family’s more outlandish adventures in common sense and decency.”
Here’s Lisa and her idol who gave her his Sax playing together:
Alicia Keys | PIANO 🎹
Alicia Keys is an inspiration in more was then one but those instantly recognisable opening notes in If Ain’t Got You falling down the chord never cease to make you stop and listen.
Did you know Alicia started learning the piano aged 7? Watch below as she is gives a piano lesson and shares the story behind one of her most well known and moving songs. On a more classical side, here’s Alicia playing Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata in honour of Kobe Bryant.
Nicola Benedetti | VIOLIN 🎻
Nicola was born in Scotland and won BBC Young Musician of the year when she was just 16 and has gone on to inspire and encourage music education across the world!
Watch her famous rendition of the Lark Ascending by Ralph Vaughan Williams below. She’s got some great tutorials on YouTube which are soon to be added to.
Shelia Maurice-Grey | TRUMPET 🎺
Shelia aka Ms Grey is bandleader of KOKOROKO and has performed with the likes of Solange, Kano and Little Simz and studied at Trinity Laban. For a long time, brass instruments have been seen as a ‘male’ instrument and we LOVE that Shelia is breaking down that preconception.
In 2018, a Telegraph article reported that Anne McAneney of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, was the only female trumpet player in the world’s top 20 orchestras. This was a couple of years ago but there’s still lots of work to be done in encouraging more women to play brass instruments.
Here’s Shelia playing for Jazz re:freshed in 2018:
Laura Marling | GUITAR 🎸
It’s Laura’s effortless and often stark simplicity of what is most often just her voice accompanied by a guitar that made us want to pick up the guitar.
She has recently shared lots of amazing tutorials recently over on her Instagram. Watch her NPR Tiny ‘Home’ Desk concert below.