10-year-old violinist from Lewisham is celebrated by music charity

A 10-year-old violinist from Lewisham has been named ‘scholar of the month’ by a City Hall based charity that funds music lessons for some of the poorest children in the capital.

Jedida Godwin was picked from The London Music Fund’s 400 young recipients to feature as its January scholar on its website.

Jedida at Awards Day. Pic: London Music Fund

The charity, which has Mayor Sadiq Khan as its patron, launched in 2011 to give scholarships to talented young London musicians who cannot afford to pay for music lessons. It raises money from individual donors, companies, trusts and foundations.

Scholars receive weekly music lessons and their instrument, a mentor who liases between the child, family and music teacher as well as trips to professional concerts and opportunities to perform regularly.

Jedida, who is also learning the piano, was granted a five-year scholarship by the charity in 2015. She told ELL :“Practice makes perfect, so I don’t mess up on the stage.”

She admits, however, she is not always perfect. “Making mistakes and then continuing is the essence of being professional.”

Jedida playing piano. Pic: Blair Jiang

Jedida’s mother, Ngozi Umeh, told ELL that the charity’s scholarship has enabled her daughter to continue with violin lessons. Before Jedida was awarded the grant, Umeh was about to stop Jedida’s lessons because she could no longer afford the fees after they were raised.

“Anything to help my child, I’ll be interested in it,” Ngozi said. Jedida has not only benefited from the financial support, but has been provided opportunities to perform in some of the capital’s most famous music venue including the Royal Festival Hall and City Hall.

Jedida is interested in several music genres, including classical and jazz. Her ambition is to perform with her idol, Beyonce. “She is a legend,” she said.

Jedida playing violin. Pic: Blair Jiang

Her violin teacher, Sam McCartney said: “Jedida is a really fast learner and she’s got a lot of music ability.” McCartney said Jedida has talent, not only because she is hard working, but also because “she has an energy about herself”.

Jedida enjoys performing in public. “Sometimes I feel nervous while playing but I’m happy because music is heaven to my ears,” she said. “Before, I didn’t really know what to do. But now I like playing instruments and want to keep on playing.”

For more information https://www.londonmusicfund.org/

For more on this young talent see our news programme on our ELL+ Newsday programme.

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