Olivia beats the drum for a musical career

TEENAGER Olivia Eksioglu is beating the drum after winning a place to study at a specialist music college.

The 15-year-old, who has lessons at Stalybridge Music Academy, has landed a place at Manchester’s BIMM Institute whose alumni includes George Ezra, Fontaines D.C. and Natasha Bent.

It is described as Europe’s leading and largest music education provider with Manchester one of eight colleges in the UK, Ireland and Germany.Olivia, who takes her GCSE exams this year, is taught at Melbourne Street music academy by Wes Caton-Greasley who described it as a “fantastic opportunity” for her.

And she cannot wait to begin her two-year course for a diploma in music, declaring: “I am really excited and happy to have the opportunity to go there.

“I definitely want this to be my career which is the reason why I am going.

“There are lots of options. Maybe I will find a band but, if not, I could do session drumming while there is also teaching.

“And when you look at what some of the former students have go on to achieve, it shows what they can do and how far they can go.”

Normally potential students have to audition for the BIMM Institute, but it was different because of Covid-19.

“I had an interview about why I wanted to go and also had to send a video or two performances,” Olivia explained.

Indeed, Olivia, who passed her grade one and two drum exams with distinctions, is also about to start teaching at Stalybridge Music Academy with a focus on youngsters who may feel intimidated by being instructed by an adult.

Mum Amanda said Olivia began playing drums aged seven and recalled buying her a first full set of drums.

“They cost a bargain £50 and they were bigger than Olivia,” she explained.

It was when Amanda went to Stalybridge Music Academy to buy books on drumming, she learned from owner Chris Caton-Greasley they did lessons.

Olivia received tuition intermittently initially but for the last three years it has become a serious passion.

To begin with, Olivia had the drum kit in the spare room but has since been relocated to the garage of her home in Dukinfield which has been converted into a music studio which also has decks so she can mix and record music as she does not solely play the drums.

Olivia said: “I am really grateful to have the studio as I can go in any time and record.

“Sometimes I play a tune on the bass guitar and put in drums and maybe even dabble with the piano and saxophone.”

It is no surprise Olivia has inherited a music gene which runs through her family as she is the fourth generation.

Amanda plays the saxophone, father Volkan a Turkish drum while her grandfather was head chorister at St Chad’s, Ladybarn, and great-grandfather was also a musician.

And Amanda’s partner Andy Littler is also learning to play the acoustic guitar.

“For those of you old enough to remember, we get called the Partridge Family (1970s sitcom featuring a musical family),” she joked.

It is hardly surprising the family home is filled with music as the sound proofed music studio includes the drum kit, 10 guitars, saxophone, flute and piano.

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