Violinist brings classical music to disadvantaged youth

Thomas Moore teaches at the charity every Saturday. PHOTO | FRED SEARLE

A violinist who trained at The Royal College of Music has put his career on hold to teach underprivileged youngsters for a burgeoning music charity.

Thomas Moore, who grew up in a single-parent home on an estate in Newport, Wales, wants to change the elitist stereotype surrounding classical music.

“Music is something that’s there for the masses and it influences us all,” he said at Tollington Ward Partnership’s Community Day on 23 October.

“I was fortunate to get scholarships to a few music schools, but it wasn’t necessarily the case that the best musicians around were selected.

“Often they were back on the estate where I grew up.”

Having worked as a session musician for 13 years and produced strings for the likes of Ronan Keating, in July the 33-year-old began teaching violin at AmplifYourself, a charity which aims to inspire young people through music.

The charity, with the support of Islington North MP Jeremy Corbyn, has grown steadily since classes began in July and now has 78 young people on its books.

It runs free creative workshops for 8-21-year-olds at The Laundry community centre near Crouch Hill station, serving, among others, youngsters from three nearby estates: Crouch Hall Court, Holly Park and Ilex House.

Tollington, where the centre is based, is London’s fifth-most deprived ward.

Besides trying to open doors for its students in the creative industry, the charity believes strongly in the positive impact that music can have on their overall development.

The organisation’s chairman and main funder, John Fry, said: “Generally, both socially and intellectually, music is extremely beneficial.

“There’s a lot of neurological research going on about music, all of which validates our approach.”

Moore agrees: “The human brain is geared towards music. It impacts our everyday life.

“The more I immersed myself in it from a young age, the less complications I had in other areas of my life.”

As well as violin, the growing charity runs weekly classes in music theory, music production, guitar and vocals.

And Moore, who has worked for the London Session Orchestra in the past, is not the only talented teacher involved. Monty Joseph, a professional producer and the charity’s lead mentor, teaches music production and vocals.

Plan B and N-Dubz are among his former students.

But despite its initial success, the charity is in need of extra support, according to Fry

“We are a gallant little organisation but these are difficult times for charities,” he said.

AmplifYourself is looking for retired social workers, retired music teachers, a treasurer and more trustees to join their team. If you’re interested in one of these positions, contact


Photo: Isis Boundy