June Feature Musician – Melanie Baker
Melanie has lived in Cumbria all her life. She recently visited Ullswater Community College with BBC Radio Cumbria presenter Tom Salmon to present a workshop in partnership with Cumbria Music Hub and BBC Introducing
What’s your job? Singer-Songwriter
What instruments do you play? I’m self-taught at playing guitar and piano but you could say my main instrument is my voice!
How and when did you first become interested in music? I’ve always loved to sing and perform – it is something that has been a passion from a young. I started to play piano and write my own songs when I was 9 years old. It wasn’t until I was about 16 when I began to learn how to play guitar and started building up a repertoire of original songs. Since then, music has been at the forefront of my life: writing, gigging, recording and building up an online following.
What’s the best thing about being involved with music? The best thing is the connections you make with people through music. Not only writing songs and collaborating with other musicians but also the people who listen to my music and tell me my songs mean something to them.
What’s your most memorable musical experience? Performing to over 1200 people in Newcastle and the whole audience put their phone torches on and swayed a long and joined in on the chorus. Best gig ever.
Do you have any other interests? I love to dance, I’ve been doing ballet since I was 3 years old and I still take dance classes now. I also love yoga because it allows my mind to feel in sync with my body which is such an important priority in my life.
What are your top tips for young musicians? Learn as much as possible – you can teach yourself like I did using YouTube or take music lessons and never stop learning! But also, remember to have fun and enjoy it – write songs about what you believe in and truly feel and play with passion!