It may surprise some readers to know that, although I am from the UK, I spent part of my life growing up in the USA. I have fond memories of Rochester, Minnesota which was the place where I learned what “winter” really means (the British view of what constitutes ‘snowfall’ is very different to a Minnesotan’s). I enjoyed learning about the cultural differences, and learned a lot about how quirky British people really are. Being outside of my own national culture made me realise how over-politeness and an obsession with ‘fair play’ and queuing really does typify the British psyche.
It was a fantastic opportunity, and I enjoyed studying at a US school. The curriculum was different and when I moved up to the next grade at an age of ten or eleven years, there was an increased focus on learning music. I remember, vividly, speaking to one of my trusted classmates who told me:
“This year you have to choose an instrument, and get good at it. If you don’t choose an instrument, you have to join the choir”.