Sydney's Big Break

What a name to be given, Sydney Singh. My mum and dad were living in Australia when I was born and yes, you've guessed, their home was Sydney.

Being not very clever meant that I was in the class where all the slower learners, naughty children and the children from poor families seem to end up. On top of this it was not long before other children were calling me 'silly Sydney' because I was not as bright as others and made many mistakes with my learning.

As I grew up I spent many hours being the object of other children's amusement. Dealing with this was a big problem, most of the time I was either feeling very sad for myself or crying. The only way I could manage this was by not mixing with other children. I never asked questions in class because I believed that the other's would laugh at me for asking silly questions and that teachers would be annoyed because I needed to ask about things I'd just been taught.

School was not for me, I hated it and mum and dad could never understand why I never had the confidence to tell them. I was scared they'd tell me off. Often I felt too ill to go to school. I did not want to be there so I would pretend I was ill.

When I was eleven I had a really terrible time worrying about going to the senior school, and even when I got there things were no better, I was still the object of jokes and bullying. I had been bullied when I was younger but until now did not understand what bullying was. I soon became known as a loner and my school work got even worse.

It was then that Mrs Sidebottom, the music teacher, took an interest in me. She would stand in for other teachers when they were off sick and would constantly plug the fact that she needed new members for her choir. She singled me out and kept on at me to...just come and listen, see what you think.

After a month of her keeping on I thought that if I went and watched it would get her off my back. I did and came out completely confused. I was the only boy amongst twenty three girls. I decided there and then that to join would make me a sissy, I would never go again. Then the girls started to sing and the songs they sang were modern ones. The sound was unbelievable, just like the records, well, perhaps not quite as good. They were practising 'Somewhere only we know' by Lily Allen and 'When you believe' by Mariah Carey. She spoke to me after the session. I told her I couldn't sing. She told me that unless I tried I would never know whether I could sing or not. The next time I went to choir practice I tried.

I was very nervous but over the next term I found myself making friends with people. They might have been girls but I did not mind. I also discovered I could sing. Mrs Sidebottom said I had the voice of an angel but I did not believe her. My friends helped my confidence. I was talking to people, something I had never really been able to do before. Gradually my school work improved and I began to enjoy some lessons at school, especially singing. I was still the object of jokes and bullying by some of the boys but it was getting less and less. I had learnt how to ignore it or stand up to it.


I am now fifteen and life has really taken off for me. The school choir has just taken part in a competition, with ten other schools from the area. The judges decided that we were the best so we are now celebrating our win, with a big trophy to show off. The song we sang was 'Don't stop me now' by Queen.

Mrs Sidebottom praised us for our effort and concentration and said that there had been a lot of interest shown by outside organisations and agencies. She explained that the local radio would be coming to record our song, not only that, the regional television wanted to record us for the local news. Not only that, both want to interview 'Singing Sydney,' the boy who was 'Freddie Mercury.'


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