HELLO THERE! Welcome to our site!
I’m Abi Smith, well, Abigail officially, but Abi by preference! I am the founder of Smiths Academy! I’m hoping as you read this, you will feel like you have met me in person … and get an idea of who I am, my heart and vision for why I launched Smiths Academy, for why I feel SO passionate about it and where I hope it will lead in the future!
You see, Smiths Academy is the realisation of a dream I’ve had since I was 14 years of age; for years, I dream’t of bringing people together, of all ages, abilities, ethnicities, political and social experiences – to simply enjoy making music together, with the option of furthering their skills individually too – although, somehow, I never felt old enough, qualified enough, strong enough, or knew how to make this dream a reality, until December 2012, when I registered the company name with Companies House.
It wasn’t until the following September 2013 that we started trading – I knew I wanted Smiths Academy to inspire and enrich the lives of SO many people but found actually starting the Academy a scary concept. So to get the ball rolling, I launched something that I’d had so much experience with in the past – teaching, but in the form of a Choir. We went from just 8 people on our first night, to now over 46 people being part of our weekly sessions.
Whether you’re one or 101 years old, music plays a part in all of our lives. Smith’s Academy is founded upon having lots of fun, making new friends and sharing experiences, through participating in activities, which can inspire and enrich us all. We want to bring people together socially, give them a hope, something to work towards, a common goal, supply a way to make new friendships, to reach different people groups, ultimately ‘inspire and enrich lives’. Over the few years we’ve been running, we have ran a large variety of sessions, in addition to our choir, which have included toddler music sessions, schools projects, summer schools, market stalls, events, concerts and much more; I now also coach Riverside Harmony Chorus too, a 4-part harmony, ladies barbershop choir, who have been running for over 20 years.
I have almost 20 years of teaching experience – teaching privately, examining for an Exam Board and was a High School Music Teacher at St. Peter’s Catholic School, Orrell for 7 years. I graduated from Salford University in 2003 with a BA Hons in Music, then completed my degree with a PGCE in 2004, at Edge Hill University. Even from an early age, I’ve been massively involved with many music groups, choirs and performances, either teaching or using my skills in playing piano, keyboard, flute and singing. I’ve since then continued with my learning – graduating from the Lloyds Bank, School of Social Entrepreneurs scheme and am currently studying End of Life Therapy!
I consider myself to be an enthusiastic, caring, creative lady, who has a strong love of music, but more recently have realised that my main desire and passion in life is to inspire and enrich the lives of others around me, in whatever, however way I can – music is the training/skills set I have, so the vehicle I have used to get Smiths Academy up and running.
For me – I really believe Smiths Academy’s journey has only just begun – all I know is that deep down in my heart of hearts, I want to provide a bit of sunshine in the darkest of situations; to help people get on a more positive, path in life; to discover who they are and realise they can make a difference, be the difference in life! If this is achieved through music, then great, but if not, I honestly don’t mind – as I feel so strongly, we only get one life – we mustn’t waste a single moment; I want to help people maximise and make the most of each moment of their lives! I can’t wait to see all that our new project ‘Living With Life’ brings and all the future projects and opportunities that will come, grow and develop from this .. Keep watching this space 🙂
If you’d like to know how you can get involved with Smiths Academy or Living With Life – through activities, events, donations, sponsorship or anything else – please get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!
Imagine what would happen if you lived each day as if it were your last?
Make each moment count!