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Archive for January, 2014

Usman Amin

BSc (Hons) Psychology

Ellie Goulding – Burn (Cover)

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

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Hey again. I was surfing the web and I found an awesome instrumental by a guy that makes backing tracks. It inspired me to make this cover of the song. It’s a little different to the original but hope you guys like it!!

My Journey

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

The University of Sunderland Choir has always been very close to my heart. I want to post a short video clip of one of their performances which was back at Christmas Time. Alongside this, I’ve written about my journey over the past few years whilst being here in Sunderland. I hope you all find it useful and insightful!

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I wasn’t always a confident person. In fact if you had asked me five years ago if I would be studying Drama pursuing a career in the arts I would have looked confused. From a young age, I was extremely shy. I loved to sing but went down a different route. My school didn’t have a fantastic music department and so I feel like I wasn’t really given every opportunity to strive in that area. The Drama department was better but I didn’t really fall in love with that subject until college. Everything happens for a reason though and I strongly believe this. If I hadn’t tried other things then I would never be where I am today.

When I first joined university, I had every intention to focus entirely on Drama. However, what I noticed about the course here in Sunderland is that the broad range of modules on offer is phenomenal. I’m not just talking about Drama modules, I mean across the spectrum. The Performing Arts modules are so rich in content that even if you are just studying single honours Drama, you can still experience the other two disciplines of dance and music in some shape or form.

I decided on taking music in my first year as an elective module and one of the things you have to do as part of this module is become a part of the University of Sunderland Choir. At first, I was really nervous about this and wondered if I’d even take well to it. I had no music reading ability at all and I’d never been in a choir. The first rehearsal was pretty full on but with time, I learnt a whole bunch of skills that I use today. Not only is choir beneficial and good for you, it is also one of the nicest ensembles I have ever had the honour of being a part of. It is directed by nationally renowned opera star Graeme Danby and led by Simon Fidler; accompanist Jenny Martins.

As a child, although I loved music, I didn’t have much chance to embrace those talents. Also coming from a Muslim family meant that I was always sort of expected to go into things like medicine or law. To put it simply I hated science, nothing against the subject, I just couldn’t see myself in career involving it. I saw myself going into a career in acting, however, Graeme Danby saw something in me that even I didn’t see. I can safely say, he dragged me kicking and screaming and asked me to become part of the musical in first year which was Carousel by Rogers and Hammerstein. Never in a million years did I think I would do any musical theatre, but it was great. You really learnt about what it’s like to work within a professional environment as a company. You put on shows to paying audiences in real theatres across the North East, an experience a lot of students don’t gain until after graduation or just outside of their studies. I’ve always loved the fact that this is incorporated within the course at Sunderland.

I don’t regret joining the choir, not one bit. It’s because of this that I now have two of my own that I conduct in the North East and I’m looking to continue with this back at home in Birmingham after graduation. I am also a lot more confident of my singing and I’ve realised my worth. Graeme, Simon and Jenny taught me that I can achieve anything I want to achieve and you know what? They were right!! I have changed so much as a person over the course of the three years and the challenges that lie ahead are very exciting. If I can inspire anyone the way that these lovely mentors have done over my time here, then my passion has been realised. I want to show the young that it’s fine to follow dreams and to dream big. It doesn’t matter if you fall short but if you don’t aim high you’ll never know. Thank you Sunderland University for delivering such a Life Changing experience!!

Aims and Ambitions

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

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Hey everyone. I haven’t posted on here in a while. I mentioned before that I was having an operation during Christmas time but unfortunately this didn’t take place and has been rescheduled for January. Due to all the chaos, I’ve been a little short on video updates but I will try to keep you all updated as best as I can.

Now, as we are already half way through the year, I wanted to talk to you all about my aims and ambitions for the future. Whether you already know what you want to do or perhaps you’re still working it out yet, I’ve tried to give you all some advice. Remember, you can ask me anything. Just post a message on my blog or Facebook page!! I hope you all find this video useful. I’ll also be posting a couple more music covers that I have filmed. They are a bit of a working progress but nevertheless, I thought I’d share them with you. Watch this space!!

  • Name: Usman Amin
  • Age: 21
  • Studying: Drama BA (Hons)
  • Hometown: Birmingham
  • Ambitions: I aim to teach drama - I would love to inspire youngsters to do what I do!

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