Thoughts can be so very difficult to pin down; and then to use language and words as best I can proves at times to be such a mountainous task! The fear of being misunderstood or even missing the real essence of what I want to write and communicate lingers on every sentence- how to start? How to finish? Images whizz through my head of young learners struggling to make sense of an essay question or trying to finish work before a dead- line. The hours spent writing sentences, hunting through dictionaries and thesaurus’s, visualising scenes only for them to slip from one’s grasp and disappear into the depths of what might have been that better essay. To hand it in and wait for the result like a time-bomb, fear. This was an all too familiar pattern that I became accustomed to. As a Creative Mentor I have an opportunity to share experiences and challenges faced by learners every day in the school environment. I believe that by being honest with oneself and to others about struggles experienced is the first step to opening up all sorts of possibilities. There are many learning strategies that can really make a difference.
I was encouraged to face my fear last year whilst studying at the Royal Academy of Music, I went for an assessment and was diagnosed as being dyslexic. I must say it was quite a relief to understand my difficulties. My lack of phonological awareness became evident when trying to learn French, German and Italian arias and songs. I kept pronouncing words wrong and forgetting whole chucks of lines from verses of songs, this resulted in a severe lack of confidence and the ultimate fear of forgetting words on stage became unbearable. When I received help I learned that there were some very enlightening ways of overcoming some of the difficulties I was having, which in turn proved to be successful. I’m still learning how to approach these barriers and am looking forward to working with students who may be experiencing struggles similar to mine.
Royal Academy of Music, 2013, Voice
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