Hi, my name is Teddy, and I’m an aspiring classical pianist from Nairobi in Kenya. I recently received an offer to do an undergraduate degree in piano performance at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (RBC). If I am able to take up my place, I will be the first Kenyan ever to study piano at a European conservatoire.
It has not been easy learning the piano in Kenya as classical music is almost unheard of here, but I was fortunate to come across a piano with the help of Ghetto Classics and Art of Music Foundation. For four years I taught myself to play the piano with no regular support or direction from a teacher, mostly using the internet to help me.
I would really like someday to be invited to perform in Europe just like the professional pianists who come to Kenya to perform have inspired me to chase my dreams. I believe studying at RBC would enable me to achieve this and I am committed to working hard on my technique and training.
Once I have graduated, I would like to share my knowledge of and passion for the piano, increase awareness of classical music within my community, and change the narrative in Kenya by supporting other young pianists to realise their ambitions too.
However, my biggest challenge right now is raising the funds needed to cover my international tuition fees and living costs for four years. Unfortunately, coming from humble beginnings, my family cannot afford to support my studies.
I am so happy that I have been awarded a scholarship of £28,000 from RBC as well as a £4,000 bursary from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Association. I am also extremely grateful for several generous donations, bringing my total raised so far up to £80,000 – two thirds of the way towards my overall goal of £120,000. Now, I just need the final £40,000 to cover the rest of my fees and living expenses.
So, please help me continue my musical journey. Any donations, big or small, will make a difference. Thank you!
The money raised is being held in trust by the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, to keep it safe for each of the four years of the degree.
Finally, as a thank you for your donation I’d like to invite you to a concert in July, livestreamed from Nairobi. There will also be a follow-up concert after each year of studying to keep you updated of my progress. Invitations will be sent at the beginning of July.
PS: You can see me in this documentary-film on 'Being a Pianist in Kenya’, showing my musical journey so far:
Please also see me playing Debussy ‘The Girl with the Flaxen Hair'