At Langley between 2004 and 2008, Seonaid B studied Music, Drama and Psychology at A-Level, before her wonderful music career took off. We find out from Seonaid about that journey.
Did you know what career you wanted to follow when you were at Langley?
Yes – music.
In which extra-curricular activities were you involved?
I spent most of my time in the music department doing as many music activities as I could.
Do you think your involvement in these music activities – and your A-Levels – have been useful within your career and helped to give you transferable skills?
Definitely, I felt my best and gave my best to the music department. I knew that I was going to be involved in the music industry somehow.
Drama gave me the training I needed to present myself confidently during gigs, workshops and in my private vocal coaching sessions.
I’ve always had an interest in the psychology behind learning and performing, and I continuously develop my understanding on the mind, using different techniques in all aspects of my business.
What did you do at university?
I went to Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts where I studied Performing Arts (Song). Then I transferred to The Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford and completed the undergraduate degree in Contemporary Music Performance.
How did your career begin?
Stepping into the real world was a big leap. I gained my first few jobs through contacts made at The Academy of Contemporary Music. I joined a professional choir, function band and worked in an events company. I did all this while working as a shop assistant in Clarks. My manager at the time was very understanding of my music career. I would find myself in his office asking for yet another swap in shifts because of gigs, or quietly memorising lyrics while putting stock away. The lessons I learnt during this time of my life were endless. My can-do attitude forced me to learn smarter, be braver and truly appreciate the generosity of the musicians around me.
Where are you now in your career and what have been the highlights?
Since those initial years, I have been fortunate enough to sing alongside some incredible voices including Beverley Knight, The Shires, Oh Wonder and Ariana Grande. I have also managed to perform at Windsor Castle, Wembley Stadium, Royal Albert Hall and numerous European Stages.
I absolutely love teaching and have done since I graduated. My students have performed on professional films, stage productions and events such as the London Marathon, Sports Relief and The Ideal Home Show. I now run a successful vocal coaching business where I mainly teach one to one lessons.
As you can probably tell, I absolutely love my job. There are tough times, but the fact that I can play a small part in making someone’s day a little easier is the reason I do what I do.
On reflection, did your time at Langley help inform your career choices and your attitude to your career progression?
I am so grateful for those at Langley who encouraged me to go with my heart and create a career that provides me with so much joy, connection and purpose in the world.
Is there any advice you would like to give to students currently considering whether to join Langley?
Throughout my school life I struggled with academia. Langley provided me with the right education and life skills required to build a successful business in one of the most unstable industries.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
The move from Zimbabwe was made a lot easier with the community I found in Langley. I made life-long friends who have helped me through the toughest times in my life.