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ABRSM scholar profile: Philip Nelson

2 years ago


Philip NelsonEvery year we provide more than 70 scholarships for talented British and international musicians to study at the four Royal Schools of Music in the UK, in addition to our core donation to each of the Schools.

Our latest article in a series of features about our scholars focuses on Philip Nelson, who was born into an American musical family living in Germany. His father plays double bass in an orchestra there and his mother and two sisters are musicians too.

The early years

After starting to learn the piano, Philip moved on to the double bass and was taught by his father. At the age of 14 he auditioned for the Yehudi Menuhin School in the UK, got a place and described his time there as “an incredible experience“. He is now a second year undergraduate double-bassist at the Royal College of Music (RCM).

The joy of teaching

Philip believes teaching is likely to be an important part of his musical life.

He has really enjoyed the teaching experiences he has had so far, such as helping students at schools in Surrey with the fundamentals of string technique and musicianship.

At the RCM, he’s been introduced to different teaching skills and his teacher, Caroline Emery, has focused a lot of time introducing him to her teaching approach.

Philip said:

“Music is a form of communication and as an instrumentalist I often find myself communicating much more easily when playing my bass than speaking with words.

“I am so thankful for the support ABRSM provides, and as a non-EU student it would be very unlikely that I could pursue my studies in the UK without this help. ABRSM’s support has made me feel more confident in my music making.

“I have seen careers begin very successfully thanks to ABRSM’s support and I hope to incorporate them into my career for as long as possible.“

Find out more

  • Find out more about ABRSM's scholarships
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