We asked two Nordoff Robbins attendees – Richard Moore, 67 and Tom Pennington-Lee, 68 – to give us their candid opinion of a recent music session.

Q. How did you meet each other?
Richard: In here, part of the session at Nordoff Robbins.
Tom: We met here. We don’t know each other otherwise.

Q. How are you connected to Age UK Islington?
Richard: Well, a lady called Polly came to the Ironmonger Row swimming baths one day as she was organising something there for Age UK – for older people to get together and have tea or coffee and a biscuit after swimming. She asked if anyone wanted to take part in other types of things they were running and that was it really. I said ‘I don’t mind joining things’ and she sent me  information through the post. Basically that’s how I got here.
Tom: I’ve got to that sort of age, I’ve lasted long enough in the world.

Q. Have you learned to play an instrument before?
Richard: I practise guitar, but I haven’t really learned it properly, so I can only play a few chords. I’ve had a guitar since I was about 16. I’ve had a variety of guitars, but I’ve never really mastered guitar, after all that time.
Tom: No, only to play the cello.

Q. What was the most interesting part of today’s class?
Richard: I find it really wonderful to have the opportunity to play a variety of instruments that are actually played in orchestras. Also, its fun to play with two really good musicians – top woman Petra and I include Beryl – but she knows what I mean.
Tom: It’s hard to single anything out.

Q. What was the trickiest part of the class?
Richard: For me, it’s trying to keep in time musically with everybody and them trying to keep in time with me. That’s always the trickiest part; listening and anticipating whats going to go on. And answering these questions!
Tom: Well it’s all difficult and tricky. Just keeping up and keeping time. And keeping in tune with people.

Q. Between the two of you, who’s got the most musical flair?
Richard: We all have!
Tom: Everyone.

Q. Would you recommend this class to someone else? Why?
Richard: Oh, definitely – yeah. It’s not a class where you need to know how to play or read music, even if you can just clap hands in time or not in time. When they come along you can still use all of these lovely instruments and try out things, you never know there might be someone really fantastic.
Tom: I’d recommend it to anyone because it’s unstructured and it’s just fun.

Q. Are you going to eat your dessert now or share it at home with someone?
Richard: I’m forever blowing bubbles.
Tom: I’m not, I’m going to be worrying about the buses.

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