Professional singer Emi Hall graduated from Leeds Trinity University last year with a degree in Media and a passion for singing. She'd taken part in open mic nights, recorded an album, won songwriting awards and made it to the semi-finals of a national songwriting competition – but her ultimate ambition was to set up her own business to inspire others to sing.
In 2017, Emi was awarded a £500 bursary through the Enterprise Fund of Leeds Trinity's Inspiring Futures Programme. She used the money to complete a Higher Certification of Teaching Contemporary Singing course through The Voice College, which enables her to teach others.
23-year old Emi from Bingley in Bradford, said: "I learnt about breathing techniques, different vocal registers and how the whole body contributes to the vocals – which was useful for improving my own singing, as well as teaching others. I had to teach a live lesson in front of a tutor and prepare for delivering lessons to groups and individuals."
Emi completed her training course last month and is now pursuing her dream to teach singing lessons in schools, at home and to groups. She runs a weekly choir, is making a summer house dance track with local music producer Jorge Wray and has a number of gigs with her band Bittersweet, in which she's one of three singers. Her song, 'Why' has also just been released online by Lux Capital Records in the USA.
"I want to help people to become better singers, but I also want them to improve their confidence," said Emi. "I was always a very shy singer, and still struggle now, but singing can help self-confidence and I really want to encourage my students, as well as just teaching them how to do something."
Emi was eight when she started singing, but it wasn't until she attended Parkside Secondary School in Cullingworth that she started having singing lessons, and only attended her first open mic night three years ago at The Villager Pub in Wilsden, West Yorkshire. Since then, she's been developing her singing and entrepreneurial skills with the support of the Enterprise Centre at Leeds Trinity.
Phil Williams, Start-Up Business Advisor at Leeds Trinity University, said:
"Our Inspiring Futures programme aims to help our graduates achieve their dreams. Emi's story is indeed inspiring as she is consistently and determinedly following her dreams of a career in music and has used the skills developed within her Media degree to help her with this. We are really proud to support her through the Inspiring Futures Enterprise Fund."
Emi is one of six students to have received £500 funding through Inspiring Futures in 2017 – and the deadline for round two is now open. If you've graduated from Leeds Trinity in the last three years and would like to apply for an Inspiring Futures bursary, click here and submit your application by Friday 8 June.