Dame Evelyn Glennie

photo: Philipp Rathmer

Multi-percussionist

What did you like to do at weekends when you were 10?
I am a farmer’s daughter and I grew up on a farm. We didn’t go away on holiday so most of the time was spent on the farm. We were always given jobs of one sort or another. Sometimes my job would be to look after lambs in the springtime, to make sure they were fed and that kind of thing. I would also have been practising the piano at that age. I loved to practise the piano.

What has been your favourite performance and why?
I think one performance that was so important was the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. There were so many volunteers and people who had never played an instrument before, or never danced before, or never acted before, or did so many things for the first time, and that really changed their lives in many ways. That combination, the teamwork, to have so many people having the same goal was amazing.

What advice would you give children with a hearing impairment like you to encourage them?
I think it’s so important for all children, whether you’re hearing impaired or otherwise, to believe in yourself and to try as many things as possible. If you listen to other people, well they might say no, you can’t do this, you can’t do that … You have to listen to yourself and say well, hold on a second, I want to try this. So, it’s about believing you should have those opportunities, and that you’re like anyone else.

 

DAME EVELYN GLENNIE was interviewed by Yahya, Aqilah, Jubayra and Miski for issue 10.