By Maddy Shaw Roberts for classicfm.com
We met Sir Elton at his old alma mater to talk music education, his ‘mystical’ song-writing process and how the Royal Academy of Music has changed since 1958…
“It was so intimidating then,” Sir Elton tells Classic FM’s Tim Lihoreau, as they meet in a room behind reception at London’s Royal Academy of Music. “It smelt of fear.”
The great pianist and singer has just hosted a Q&A with students of the Academy, which he attended as a Junior Exhibitioner from the tender age of 11.
But by 16, the young Reggie Dwight had decided to quit his classical roots to pursue a career in rock ‘n roll. And, rather hearteningly, he still puts his enormous success down to those early years spent playing scales in a practice room.
“In those days, the Academy meant classical music and nothing else – certainly no rock ‘n roll. That was the devil’s music. But without my training, I never would’ve been able to write the songs I’ve written.
“I’m so grateful for my classical training. I played Chopin and Mozart and Debussy, and to be part of the choir was incredibly fulfilling. Singing in a choir is such a moving, life-affirming experience.”
Read more here.
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