International superstar John Legend delivers music masterclass to young Londoners

  30 May, 2022

John Legend

International superstar John Legend delivers music masterclass to young Londoners

During a visit to London, famed singer John Legend took some time to deliver a masterclass to a group of secondary school students who are passionate about creating music.

The 15 students were selected from a range of Ormiston Academies Trust’s alternative provision academies and managed intervention centres in London, as well as students from the Complete Works Independent School who all enjoyed the exciting opportunity to take part in the workshop, which took place at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

The session brought together young people aged 11-16, who were all selected due to their love of music, poetry and lyric writing. They were given the chance to work collaboratively and learn about how to create a hit song from a world famous professional.

During the visit, students worked with Mr Legend to create a song that was inspired by their own unique life experiences with the theme of “where do I come from?”, which they then performed for the Royal Albert Hall’s staff, while Mr Legend accompanied them on the piano.

As a parting gift and a way to say thank you for his time, the students gifted Mr Legend a copy of a book of poetry the Ormiston Beachcroft Academy learners had published last year. Mr Legend was incredibly touched by the gift and even requested that all the kids signed the book and write a message on the inside cover.

Mr Legend had organised the workshop as part of his commitment to inspiring a love of music in children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Deena, a student from Ormiston Beachcroft Academy, said about her experience at the workshop: “Thank you so much for bringing this into our lives. It was so fun. I really enjoyed it. It was so uplifting to hear John Legend sing my lyrics and say that he loved them. I generally loved listening to myself sing but now with that stamp of approval I love it even more. Creative writing is always an amazing part of my school life. I enjoy it a lot. It’s one of the best ways to express myself.”

Jamai, a student from Westminster Education Centre, also commented: “It was fantastic. I got to perform with a famous person. I learnt a lot from his manager too about all the different jobs there are in his group”.

Rayan, a student from Westminster Education Centre, said: “The best thing ever was to meet him first of all, and then to perform with him. I love the way he plays the piano, and now I have seen him live and so close.”

Jo Sennitt, operations manager for London Academies at Ormiston Academies Trust, said: “I want to say a huge thank you to John Legend and his team for a truly fantastic and inspiring workshop. The students all had an amazing time, and we are able to learn so much.

“At Ormiston Academies Trust, we believe it is extremely important that we are creating opportunities and encouraging students from all backgrounds to reach their full potential, while also empowering them to dream big. 

“By providing these unique and inspiring opportunities we have been able to transform the way our students learn and engage with their education.”

Paul Munday, senior engagement executive at the Royal Albert Hall, said: “This was one of the most exciting and inspiring workshops we’ve ever held at the Hall. The aim of our engagement programme is to change lives through music, and the reactions from the young people show just how much the experience of working with John Legend meant to them. It was such a special day.”

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