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Artist-in-Resident Spotlight - Jessie Grimes

Jessie Grimes is many things: a musician, presenter, teacher, workshop leader, all-round enthusiast for music-making, and now Artist-in-Residence with the National Concert Hall’s Learning & Participation Programme.

The two are a perfect fit. Both are committed to removing barriers, making music accessible to all ages and abilities, sharing the benefits that being involved with music brings in self-development, health and wellbeing, and building lasting bonds between families, neighbours and strangers who become friends.

The department’s reach is nationwide. 1,500 events last year in the National Concert Hall, in schools, children’s hospitals, dementia day centres, and mental health associations saw more than 44,000 people engage nationwide with the programme.

For Grimes, it’s about ‘sharing, having fun, unlocking talent and building confidence. It’s thrilling to hear a symphony orchestra live. Even more exciting to find yourself, whatever your experience or talent, involved in making music’.

This season’s Family Concerts, Symphony Shorts and Music in the Classroom strands underline there is more to classical music than just sitting back and listening.

‘Everyone has a talent that just needs encouragement. Helping others to find their creativity and build their confidence is what the Learning & Participation Department does.’

‘Everyone who comes to one of our concerts or sessions is already a musician,’ says Grimes. ‘Given
the opportunity and permission to be involved, they discover so much about music and about themselves.