RSNO Work Experience: Alison Hedley, Gryffe High School

Every year, our school gives S4s [fourth-year pupils] a week of work experience to go wherever we want. I chose to go to the RSNO because I am very interested in carrying music into my career and I wanted to have a taster of what it would be like. The first day I came in, the staff were extremely welcoming and nice, they gave me a tour of the building and I met all the staff. I then settled down into a computer and started with some tasks that needed completing which involved making spreadsheets, typing up information and doing errands. This was definitely a new experience for me, working long hours and in a desk the whole day.
The second day I came in, I settled into preparing booklets for going out into schools which took up most of my morning but it paid off as I was allowed to have a large lunch break. In the afternoon, I carried on with this task then once I had finally finished I started preparing and checking flutes and clarinets that were going to be used in a workshop later that week. This is an essential job, if one instrument has a missing part then it means it can’t be used and one person is missing out on using it. The highlight of my day was looking at all the instruments, as I don’t play the clarinet or flute it was nice to get a close up look at them and see how they work.
The third day I was invited to go and watch the orchestra play as it was one of their rehearsal days. I got to watch them the whole morning and it was amazing to watch them rehearse and hear them play and hear how the conductor interprets the pieces, how it affects the orchestra’s playing. I could have watched them the whole day, but I had other jobs to complete! The afternoon was kept very busy, I cleaned the trombones which sounds really boring, but was actually a lot of fun surprisingly. I then scanned a folder full of important pages which needed to be completed very quickly, and then I worked out how to ‘bind’ music booklets together so I wasn’t in my desk the whole day! The highlight of my day was without a doubt watching the orchestra rehearse; you don’t see it every day!
The fourth day I was invited to assist a workshop in Perth which was a great opportunity. Katherine Wren, who is a member of the orchestra, was running a viola workshop in the Concert Hall in Perth. The students who came were Grade 4/5 violin players but were very interested in playing the viola as well. As a keen violin player myself, this would have been a great opportunity to go to which I would definitely have signed up for if I had the chance. It was great to watch them learn a new instrument as the viola produced a lovely sound. The Perth Concert Hall is an amazing building which I looked around for a while; when the workshop finished, Katherine then popped off to a rehearsal for a concert with the RSNO which she was playing in that evening. The highlight of my day was definitely seeing Perth which is a very pretty place and being at the Perth Concert Hall which is an amazing building and being out of the office was fun as well.
This is the last day and I am writing up this blog post and then I am going to carry on with some documents which I didn’t finish on Wednesday. The highlight of my week was definitely watching the orchestra and also going to Perth. I am really glad that I chose the RSNO to do my work experience with as it is a great place to do your work experience if you are wanting to do your career in music and hopefully this won’t be the last time I see the RSNO as I look forward to coming back here and doing lots of their courses.