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Story | Community
16 September 2021

QF member inspires young people to choose music as a career

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A Qatar Music Academy student talks about how it encouraged her to pursue her passion at university

Some people might think that music is just a hobby, but it is more than that – it is a science, according to Carolyne Lee, a Qatar Music Academy graduate

Lee began learning to play piano when she was just seven years old. And when she moved to Doha in her parents immediately enrolled her in Qatar Music Academy (QMA) – part of Qatar Foundation's Pre-University Education – to continue her piano lessons.

When I first joined QMA, I had a problem with time management and finding a balance between school and music. But my teachers were very supportive and helped me learn how to manage my time and how to practice efficiently in a short period

Carolyne Lee

“When I first joined QMA, I had a problem with time management and finding a balance between school and music. But my teachers were very supportive and helped me learn how to manage my time and how to practice efficiently in a short period,” said Lee.

Carolyne Lee performing the first movement of the Grieg Concerto with the QMA Youth Orchestra.

Then, in her final year at school, a family friend told her she should spend her life doing something she enjoys, and she decided to make a career out of her passion for music. “Life is not about getting money, my worst nightmare would be to wake up every morning and remember that you have to do something you don't like,” she said.

“When I was young, I never thought that I would go to university to get a degree in music, due to the stereotypes surrounding music as a profession at the time. But after I joined QMA, I saw how dedicated the music teachers were to their work and how much they enjoyed what they did. And this encouraged me to complete my university studies in the field of music.

QMA helped me realize the huge opportunities and careers in the music industry, and I discovered that music is not only a hobby but also a form of therapy for both the performer and the audience

Carolyne Lee

“QMA helped me realize the huge opportunities and careers in the music industry, and I discovered that music is not only a hobby but also a form of therapy for both the performer and the audience."

“I am very grateful to the teachers at QMA. During my time as the school, I learned that music is a universal language for conveying feelings and expressions between a performer and his audience, and seeing the teachers’ passion in music was a constant inspiration to me on my journey towards a musical career.”

Carolyne Lee performing during Trinity Western University's annual concert.

Lee hopes to one day follow in the footsteps of her QMA teacher. “I hope to teach piano and music in a studio or music school for children, and I look forward to being a source of inspiration for the students I teach,” she said.

“And maybe one day obtain a Master's degree in ethnomusicology, the study of music and culture.”

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