SHE had passed the highest music examinations, taught hundreds of children at schools across the area but was constantly asked why she never performed live.
Elaine Jones, 24, of Queens Walk, Stamford, always took the view that if you excelled as a sheet music musician, you could not improvise and play by ear for live shows.
That was until she took the plunge and took to the stage with her saxophone in hand and performed to a packed-out pub, her fears and nerves abandoning her in an instant.
“Even though I had such a strong passion for music, I never had the confidence to perform in front of people, which seemed very hypocritical since I encouraged all my pupils to do exactly that,” said Elaine.
“People kept saying, ‘you always tell us to perform but I’ve never seen you play’ and that’s when I thought I need to do it.
“Promoter and DJ Steve McGurk had been asking me to play with him for years so I thought why not just give it a go.
“I performed my first gig at the Pear Tree pub in Stamford and it was so scary but so exhilarating. Everyone was so friendly and supportive.
“The whole experience was really good and made me realise I can do it.”
Elaine first picked up the flute when she was nine years old. By 17, she had completed all flute and saxophone grades and went on to study an NCFE in sound recording and music technology, alongside four A-levels.
Elaine furthered her experience at AMS Music in Peterborough, working as a photographer, artist promoter and band manager.
That was all before she found her feet as a music and performing arts teacher for primary schools across Lincolnshire.
She now performs alongside Steve and other DJs at Stamford’s popular summer music event Rock the Garden at the Millstone Inn, Stamford.
The annual event was held for the third time earlier this month, attracting hundreds of music fans.
In her shows, Elaine improvises with her saxophone over the top of local DJs mixing house music, with no structured set list and no sheet music in sight.
Elaine added: “It really is unique and very different but I love playing it.
“The crowd are extremely friendly and all there for a good time.”
Elaine is looking to take on more pupils for her private music tuition, as well as hoping to set up her own music nights in the theme of new genre ‘electro-swing’ in Stamford.
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