Music Learning Collective

International Women’s Day 2021: Amber Durant

In support of International Women’s Day 2021, we caught up with one of our newest teachers, Amber, who has just started teaching at MLC Derby.

How old were you when you started learning to play an instrument?

I started piano lessons aged 7, mainly because I liked listening to Classic FM in the car when my grandad used to take me to my ballet lessons and I wanted to learn an instrument.
Plus I was playing way too much playstation at the time so I needed a hobby!

Where did composition come in?

I actually started composing little piano pieces when I was very young aged 10 and by the age of 11 I was performing classical piano pieces at school.

What kind of music inspires you?

I’ve always loved Classical music, then, growing up watching lots of films I was always fascinated by the music that featured in them. That’s when I fell in love with film music. I also loved to listen to solo piano pieces, especially Debussy.

How did you develop your craft?

At 6th form I would teach younger students piano and perform at weddings and events.

What challenges did you overcome?

I was met with prejudice when applying for conservatoires, on an open day I was told “you don’t look like a composer or musician”. That definitely influenced my opinion on where to study, and, although I shouldn’t have been treated any differently as a female composer it just encouraged me to work even harder to prove those people wrong!

Where did you study?

I opted for a university instead of a more intense environment such as a conservatoire, and attended the University of Hertfordshire where I studied ‘Music Composition Technology for Film and Games’. Here I began to compose orchestral pieces and composed lots of different styles of music. I went on to graduate with a First Class Honours Degree in my course in 2019, and I went on to study a Masters in ‘Sound and Music for Film and Games’, where I graduated with a Distinction.

What does the future hold?

I love teaching piano and inspiring pupils to embrace their passion for music. But i’m also still composing soundtracks for projects and have a piano album that is due to be released on Spotify later this month.

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