What happens when you've grown up at Real School for the past seven years? You're a part of it and it's a part of you.
For guitarist and vocalist Elizabeth Bond, the experience has ranged from being a member of a Real School a cappella ensemble in her early years to playing with a RealJams Academy band at the Hard Rock Cafe to taking the stage at Chick Singer Night.The following article is part of our Student Spotlight series, which highlights the stories and experiences of Real School students and their families.
Vocalist and Guitarist Elizabeth Bond
When Elizabeth Bond talks about Real School, she knows what she's talking about.
The Burlington High School (MA) junior and her family have been a part of the school since its earliest days in 2009. In fact, as of early June 2016, Elizabeth may hold the record for the most visits to Real School at 897 for a whopping total of 504.5 hours of instruction. And, that doesn't even include the many weeks of attending RealJams Academy in the summer (we may have to rename one of the lesson rooms after her!)
Elizabeth's voice teacher, Vykki Vox, says, "Elizabeth has been a loyal, long-term member that has been a champion promoter of Real School over the years, along with her parents. She has grown as a musician/performer because of her willingness to build her rep and support us in MANY events over the years. She is a pleasure to work with and someone worthy of recognition."
April Holland, Real School's Director of Marketing, has had the pleasure of working with Elizabeth and seeing her grow over the years. April said, "Elizabeth has been such an enthusiastic student from day 1. As the former events coordinator for Real School, I can't name how many times Elizabeth has taken the opportunity to perform in local coffee shops, town wide events, and special offsite performances. For the staff, that is what it's all about. Watching a student grow from picking up an instrument for the first time to having a successful and confident moment on stage is simply the best outcome we can hope for our students. I can't wait to see Elizabeth continue to expand her musical horizons through songwriting and advanced opportunities to work with her peers to collaborate and create original music."
We recently asked Elizabeth about her musical journey from elementary through high school age...
At what age did you start with music lessons, where did you take lessons, and what do you like best about Real School?
Elizabeth: Prior to the Real School of Music, I took piano lessons from the ages 4 to 7. I was in the Burlington Children's Chorus at the same time. I took private vocal lessons from Margaret Corsino who was one of the instructors of the chorus. I then learned flute in fourth and fifth grade. I decided to take lessons at the Real School of music from Vykki Vox when I was 10 and then learned guitar when I was 11.
Elizabeth: Currently, I’m in an ensemble that mostly plays alternative and grunge. I was a part of a Beatles ensemble, and I also used to be in the school’s a cappella group. I’ve attended RealJams since I was 11; I was a part of the advanced camp the last two years. My band names were Fight the Ö and The Umbrella Project.
What are some of your favorite subjects in school?
Elizabeth: I really enjoy science and think it is the coolest subject that I learn in school. I find it fun and interesting, and it always surprises me. English is one of my favorite subjects as well. I like to dissect works of literature to discover the meaning and significance characters, symbols, and phrases; finding connections always makes me happy. Also, music, of course! It’s fun to learn and never gets boring!
What are some of your favorite things to do outside of school?
How has playing music made a positive impact on your life?
Elizabeth: Music helps me relax. When I’m lucky enough to find free time, music is always my go-to pastime. Whether I’m playing music or listening to music, it never fails to make me happy.
You've worked hard to improve as a musician. What do you attribute to your growth and development?
Elizabeth: The opportunities Real School has provided for me to perform, gain confidence, and improve my skills have absolutely contributed to my development. Each time I have a lesson or perform, I leave having learned new information to better myself. Of course, finding time to practice was important as well, but having so many talented musicians from the school at my disposal helped me in the learning process.
What has been some of your most memorable experiences in music so far?
Elizabeth: One of my most memorable experiences was being selected as a featured performer at Chick Singer Night at Johnny D’s and singing three original songs. Playing along with so many unbelievable musicians was an incredible honor, and I had a lot of fun! Also, performing at The Hard Rock Cafe is always awesome! Touring the Berklee College of Music and the Zildjian factory during Real Jams Academy summer program was pretty awesome as well.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians who are looking to develop their skills?
Elizabeth: Some advice I would give is to never give up because the hard work is worth it! Also, try to expand your knowledge of music as much as you can and HAVE FUN while doing it. Broaden your horizons and listen to a surfeit of music. Find what you enjoy playing and just have a good time!
Skills come with plenty of practice and playing won’t be easy at first. I remember, when I first started guitar, I was getting so frustrated because the strings hurt my fingers and my chords never sounded how they should. Looking back, I’m so glad that I kept at it because playing guitar has become one of my favorite hobbies and I have a sense of pride about coming so far. Remembering to never give up is a key to find success in whatever instrument you practice.
The final question is for Elizabeth mom, Katherine. What advice do you have for other parents to help support their child's musical growth?
Katherine: Let them have fun, try new things and do what they are passionate about. Take advantage of all The Real School of Music has to offer. The school offers a unique way to experience all aspects of making music whether they sing, play an instrument or want to learn about the production of music.
Final thoughts or anything else you'd like to share?
Elizabeth: I could never thank the Real School enough for everything they've done for me! They rock!
Like this article? Here are some others that you may enjoy:
- Student Spotlight Series: Dylan Walsh
- Adult Student Spotlight Series: Cindy Walsh
- Student Spotlight Series: Joline Maher
- Student Spotlight Series: Ashley Koman
- Faculty Spotlight Series: Matthew Condon-Rivera