I was not diagnosed with Dyslexia until my thirties, when I was looking to change my career from a television location sound recordist to something more creative and music-related. Although I suspected there might be an issue, it hadn’t occurred to me that the reason I did such little reading and hadn’t been able to progress with music in any conventional way could be so simple.
Following my dyslexia diagnosis (three years ago now), I decided to return to education with the aim of seeing what my capabilities really might be and how fulfilling my life could become. I am immensely proud of my achievements since then and have made rapid academic progress. A big factor in this has been the incredible amount of support and encouragement I have been given along the way. My ‘new’ understandings of music and learning are now a central part of my research interests, leading me through my masters degree (despite no undergraduate degree) and to the acceptance of my PhD proposal on music, learning and disability in Mozambique.
I have had to discover my own learning strategies time and again throughout my own educational, professional and musical life. Teaching myself several instruments has been an incredible (and often difficult!) journey and I’ve welcomed the opportunity to be exposed to a multitude of different musical cultures and ‘systems of knowledge’. I feel this has been central to my own development and I am looking forward to working with the music students – not just sharing the things I have learned, but the students sharing their own ‘systems of knowledge’ with me.
School of Oriental & African Studies, 2014,Music and Development
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