My Woodhouse Music technology

Amelia Pellegrino-White
Amelia Pellegrino-White
Amelia Pellegrino-White came to Woodhouse from Lycée Français Charles de Gaulle and lives in Camden. She studied music technology, music and French at A level and graduated in 2018. She is currently at the Academy of Contemporary Music studying Creative Music Production.
She spoke to us during her second year of A levels... 
“I went to a French speaking school in Kensington and had already done one year of A level, but decided to come to Woodhouse because there wasn’t a music option at my old school. I’d already taken my grade 8 in classical guitar and begun learning electric guitar and wanted to study more technology-based music as a proper subject. I’ve been in bands and performed live, but I'd never been in a studio to record and I was really curious, so I came here.
We use Logic Pro X which is very exciting - once you get the hang of it... The studio is very well equipped with decent microphones. We bring in our own instruments because it feels more natural, but the quality of the recordings is good. The teachers are always available and we have relatively small classes so there isn’t a problem when it comes to meeting up with them for help with your homework. Also, we have open access times and are allowed to use the studio and computers when classes aren’t on for our own extra work. Obviously, we have a lot of course work, but I like the aspect that we are able to do our own projects within the curriculum, and it relates to both.
I have sung with the choir here, which helped me to understand set works and in music tech helps with pitch organization. Just having melodies stuck in my head is like a different way of revising your set works for music A level. It’s not something I thought I’d enjoy because vocal music is not really my thing, I’m purely instrumental, but it was quite interesting to discover something that I wouldn’t usually do in my spare time. And I didn’t get any complaints about my voice.
We performed at the end of year concert and I learnt how to set up the microphones and mixing desk for a live show. It gave me the opportunity to discover another side of music technology. That live aspect could lead to some careers later on, maybe as a sound engineer, or work in concerts and festivals. It was all quite interesting. I got to pick up a bass guitar for the first time in my life too and I liked it so much I bought one. I’m hoping to record something of our band, to remember our playing together, and we plan to play the social area at college this year.
Before I came to England, I did a weird classical course compared to here. I was in the conservatoire in France for five years and that got me to an extremely high level of classical guitar. If you are not passionate about music it can be hard on you but I loved it, so they pushed me as much as they could. When I came back to England I took my grade 8 straight away and am now working towards my diploma.
I’ve played with bands both here and in France since I was 13. I’ve performed in small venues, mostly to friends and family and I’m hoping to take it a step further once my studies are over. I have one band here in Woodhouse called ‘Lost Animals’ and we are a kind of a fusion band. I like rock music and progressive music, and classical musical, but my band mate is a saxophonist and he likes jazz, so it’s quite interesting – the music that comes out is very weird but in a good way.
I’m not sure which university I’ll apply to yet. I’m interested in SAE (Sound and Audio Engineering) Institute which offers a fast track bachelor degree for two years and I like how the Institute is just about music – all the class rooms are studios. I will continue doing music on the side and being in band and living off the music I make would be my first choice. But there are no guarantees in life and I need a back-up plan which is music production.
I like classical guitar and really want it to be integrated into rock and more extreme music. One of my favourite bands is a metal band that are actually just 4 cellists and a drummer and I find that concept really interesting. I think classical music has been abandoned by our generation and there’s a lot of potential for it to come back into style. I also really like old school rock and heavy metal, jazz and fusion… so kind of a mix of anything really.
I like to play lead guitar because it’s probably the closest to classical. I like the whole virtuosic part of it and I like improvisation. Shifting to a pick has been very strange. When I started on electric I used my fingers but I need to get into the habit of a pick. A lot of electric guitarists don’t use a pick all the time. My favorite electric guitarist is Plini, he often uses his fingers because he plays it like a jazz or classical guitar. Another favorite is Guthrie Goven – he does a lot of jazz influenced music and he started very young and is absolutely amazing, very technical. I also need to mention Liz Buckingham from Electric Wizard because there’s not enough female artists out there. Her guitar style is very slow and heavy but its impresses me just as much, she’s amazing. What I love about music is that all musicians get there in a different way and are unique to anyone else. Music is so subjective and you can’t say what is good or bad.
I don’t think that anyone should be afraid of their level when it comes to music technology, because I didn’t have access to anything like Logic Pro before – I didn’t have a studio. I literally just had one microphone and a guitar and an app and I recorded on my phone.
I love it at Woodhouse, the sense of independence and the fact that I get to study subjects I love and that are related to what I do outside. Everyone is very nice and open minded. At Woodhouse, it just feels very relaxed… but in a serious way.”