Okay – so I’m going to get the ball rolling and interview myself! Bit strange – I kept having to swap chairs and ended up getting a little bit dizzy, but I got there in the end!
Paul Emmett – Introduction
Paul Emmett is a professional musician living in Grantham, Lincolnshire, UK. Having just turned 25 he has recently started to work as a freelance musician and teacher and now in his second year things are starting to settle down and moving in the right direction.
Paul Emmett – The Instrument
What instrument do you play?
What make and model trombone do you play?
Primarily I use a Conn 88H trombone, but I also have a few others to pick from including a Yamaha YSL354.
How old were you when you started to play the trombone?
I started to play the trombone in primary school when I was 10. A letter was sent home from the music department saying that all the instruments had been selected apart from a flute, a ‘cello and a trombone and if anyone wanted to try any of them then they could. Out of the three, I really fancied giving the trombone a try!
Do you play any other instruments?
I do. I play the trumpet fairly well, and most other brass instruments quite well. I also play the piano and sing, as well as direct some choirs and ensembles too.
Paul Emmett – The Person
When you were a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a doctor or a surgeon. I don’t know where the fascination came from and there is no way I could have possibly become a doctor… I’m not squeamish when it comes to myself, but any blood or injury on anyone else is enough to make me want to faint! Not a good trait in your MD.
If you could have any other job in the world, what would you pick?
I would love to be an archaeologist. History has always been interesting and there is something unexplainably exciting about finding a small chipped bit of pottery in a cold and windy field that excites me!
Do you have a family?
I got married to Amie last August and we live in the same town as both of our parents. We’re a close family and will visit them once or twice a week.
What was the last book you read?
I read both of Chris Evan’s autobiographies which I was given as a Christmas present. I love autobiographies – I find it much more interesting to read about real people and their experiences than made up people and fictional events in novels.
Paul Emmett – The Musician
What is an average day for you like?
I will normally spend most of the day travelling from school to school around Lincolnshire giving instrumental lessons, or doing a Wider Opportunities project for schools. When I get back home I will often have a few private pupils to teach.
When it comes to the evening I might have rehearsals for different bands or choirs that I play or sing in, but after that I really like to come home to Amie and just chill out!
How much do you practice the trombone?
Not enough! The less said here the better! I know I need to do more practice to make sure I stay at the top of my game.
What musical education did you have?
I studied music for A-Level and was planning on going to the Leeds College of Music after school, but ended up working instead. A lot of the stuff I have learnt musically has been ‘on the job’ and I’ve picked things up as I’ve done them.
What was your first paid performance?
It was one Christmas when I played some solo trombone music at Belvoir Castle – a selection of popular tunes with some Christmassy tunes thrown into the mix. I was only 16 at the time and I did two 30 minute sets and was paid £50. I remember thinking to myself that that was nearly £1 per minute and I was over the moon!
How often do you perform?
Not as much as I would like. The thing about being a musician is that you want to get our there and play to people who want to listen. Rehearsing is all good fun, but not what it’s about to me.
What are you currently working on?
I am looking at setting up a Community Choir in September, and am also working towards taking my Diploma in performance on the Trombone as well. Two fairly large projects, but ones that I think will be well worth the effort.
What is your favourite style of music?
I love Jazz, and have always had a passion for it. I’ve never had a huge amount of confidence however when it comes to improvisation and that puts me off a little unfortunately. I think though I am into almost any style of music and am open to trying most things too!
Of all the places you have performed, which was your favourite?
I think my favourite performance was when I played with the Lincolnshire Youth Symphonic Wind Band and I played the solo trombone for Rimsky-Korsakov’s trombone concerto at Boston Stump. It was an astounding experience and one I’ve not yet been able to re-create yet.
Is there anyone you would like to collaborate with on a musical project?
There isn’t anything or anyone in mind, but I have always fancied the idea of doing some sort of trombone/vocal duet with Lily Allen! I don’t know why, but there you go!
What is the worst bit about being a musician?
I don’t like the travel. If I can come home on the same night as a gig then I am happy. I don’t like to spend a night in a hotel or B&B.
Paul Emmett – Extra Bits
If you won £10,000,000 on the lottery, what would you do with the money?
I would design my own house and have it built and next door I would build a music studio filled with a variety of instruments and centre stage would be a Yamaha Grand Piano!
If you had one super power, what would it be and why?
I would like to be able to fly – it would be so handy to be able to just get from place to place without having to sit in traffic!
What would the title of your autobiography be?
The title of my autobiography IS “Local Celebrity; National Who?”. I’ve started writing it! Not sure anyone will read it though!
If you had one tip to give to an aspiring musician, what would it be?
Be yourself. Don’t try to be who you think people want you to be. Honesty is the best way to get anywhere and if you try to put on an act then you will end up becoming unstuck one day which could seriously damage any work you have done up to that point.