Music has always meant community to me.
Long before it was a career, making music with others gave me joy, connection, support and personal growth. Two decades of experience as a professional performer, teacher and leader of ensembles, and my more recent academic research, give me confidence that these feelings touch the heart of music’s role in our lives.
Evidence confirms that making music together is a vital part of what it means to be human. Our brains are intrinsically, maybe uniquely, evolved to share a beat. The power of music is not just a lucky miracle: it is essential to how our species has come together to survive this far.
My growing understanding of music’s importance has been accompanied by increasing awareness of the barriers to access faced by so many. Sadly, the barriers are often highest for those who have most to gain and most to give by making music, especially with others. My ambition, and my mission, is to help break these barriers down.
Music-making itself is the best way for me to pursue this goal. As a result, I am driven to provide opportunities to play for anyone who wants them, in a manner and setting that supports and embraces our differences to bring us together in what we share.
In my Now Hear This! practical music workshops I provide a range of accessible musical instruments. By learning traditional and well-known tunes, and by using group composition and improvisation, and facilitating flexibility around the rules and formalities that can accompany more standard music training, we will all make music as equals. Everyone is welcome. My formal training and experience allow me to ensure that the skills we develop will continue to provide access to other musical study and collaboration, whether applied in a formal academic setting or to sharing a song with a friend.
Please chat to me about what you need for music-making to be accessible to you or your community. I will do everything I can to help, applying the spirit of flexible, creative and connected cooperation at the heart of music. For group projects, my long experience running a range of ensembles allows me to offer support tailored to meeting your community’s priorities and needs.
Laura Porter graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama as a clarinet specialist. She also performs on bass clarinet, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones. As well as her B.Mus Performance degree, Laura holds a Masters in Music (Musicology) from The Open University and the DipABRSM Teaching qualification.
Laura has worked for county music services, music hubs, state and private schools, ensemble leadership, and as the woodwind specialist for a senior youth music centre in addition to her extensive experience as a private music teacher. Laura is a founder of Bristol Woodwind Duo and of the Livas Quartet, with whom she organised international composition workshops and playing days, culminating in live performances of a number of original commissions at Bristol Beacon (formerly Colston Hall).
Laura Porter is a full member of the Incorporated Society of Musicians
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Phone: 07746 785726