Saturday, 25 August 2012


When I was younger I had ambition – I thought.

When I grew up I wanted to be famous…the most famous saxophonist ever, and indeed one of very few classical saxophonists rather than those of the jazz persuasion.

I started playing alto saxophone when I was about 11 or 12, and a few years later also took up the soprano saxophone. I was good. I competed locally and regionally, winning most of the competitions I entered. I even came joint first one year – with myself that is…as I’d entered the same class on both saxophones! I reached the final of our regional young musician of the year, and as a result was invited by an American scout to apply for the music programme at Harvard University. And, much to the surprise of myself, my teacher and my parents, I achieved my Grade 8 with distinction - despite not practising properly – just 5 years after taking up the instrument, and whilst also learning Piano to Grade 5, and taking my Music Theory examinations too. I went to university (not Harvard because I didn’t want to go to the USA) to study music, and was happiest when on a stage holding a saxophone. I met my saxophonist idol. I went to Ronnie Scott’s and the Jazz CafĂ©, and various other concerts and gigs just taking it all in, learning, listening and wanting to be up there too.

Except, I now know that I didn’t want to be famous enough. I didn’t have enough ambition.
Because actually what I think I really wanted was to be a mum.

And now that I’m here, with two lovely children, I know that this is the thing for me. It’s hard. It’s harder than hard. There are times when I wish all the bad stuff would do one and let me concentrate on just having fun with them. But I love my children and despite all the crap times, the boy's behaviour, the worry, the negativity; I’m doing what I was meant to do – loving my two little people and bringing them up the best I can.

I still play, don't get me wrong...but now it's a hobby, and one that I enjoy with the children, who both like to have a go every now and then.

I hope I can still instil a sense of ambition in my children, and encourage them to dream and reach as high as they can. Some dreams don’t come true, but the best ones can if we really do want them enough…


  1. Love your honesty Vicki, and you're also a really brilliant writer.

  2. What a lovely post! It's great to have hobbies and ambitions and dreams, but being a mum beats pretty much all of them! You must still feel a great sense of achievement about your music though :)

  3. Thanks Sarah. I am proud of my musical achievements...even proud of my babies though :-)

  4. This is such a lovely post. It's riveting and then ends with you saying that your greatest ambition was to be a 'mum' - love it! But, what an achievement! Grade 8 in 5 years?! My daughter plays piano and flute and would love to learn the saxophone too but whilst she definitely has natural talent, I think that 2 instruments are enough for now! Thanks for linking up to #oldiesbutgoodies this month :)

  5. I'm so envious that you are musical, I would love to be. I hope that you are able to find time to still enjoy your talent.xx