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Talented musician is ahead of of his time

A 15-year-old Samuel Ward Academy student has letters after his name after he passed a music theory exam usually sat by students at the end of their first year at university.

Lawrence Swain, of Risbridge Drive in Kedington, holds a Diploma in Music Theory from the London College of Music, part of the University of West London.

Lawrence sat the exam at Westley Middle School in Bury St Edmunds on June 16, just six weeks after turning 15, the minimum age at which you can take it and four years ahead of the age at which the exam is usually taken.

The talented musician is also now working towards a grade 8 (the highest possible) in piano, which he has played since he was aged six, and a grade 5 in the flute.

Lawrence, who now has the letters DipMusLCM after his name, has also played in his school orchestra and in a woodwind ensemble at Samuel Ward.

He had to learn to read musical terms in German, French and Italian in order to pass the theory diploma - which he took having already passed music theory exams from grades one to eight.

Lawrence said: “My music theory teacher (Lynn Bond) always refers to me as a genius, which is quite funny. I don’t see myself that way but that’s what she thinks I am.

“In my opinion Lynn is a fantastic teacher. She is very caring towards the students and if you don’t understand something she will always make sure you understand that before you move on to something else.”

Lawrence Swain holds his Diploma in Music Theory. With him is his music theory teacher, Lynn Bond
Lawrence Swain holds his Diploma in Music Theory. With him is his music theory teacher, Lynn Bond

Mrs Bond said of Lawrence: “I’ve found him to be very keen to strive from goal to goal and he has been a real joy to teach.”

Mrs Bond also pointed out that Lawrence passed his grade 8 music theory - equivalent to an A-level - when aged 14.

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