Thenigha’s a guitar heroine

Thenigha Suriyakumaran, 14, has been learning the guitar at Blackpool Music Academy for close to two years

Thenigha Suriyakumaran, 14, has been learning the guitar at Blackpool Music Academy for close to two years

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Going from playing the piano to learning the guitar is certainly a rock and roll move, but this music fan would not have it any other way.

Thenigha Suriyakumaran, 14, of Newton Drive, is one of the upcoming stars of Blackpool Music Academy and the latest student showing her support for The Gazette’s Give Us A Tune appeal.

I think it would help people quite a lot

The Baines School pupil has been learning the acoustic guitar for nearly two years – hoping to one day follow the footsteps of her idol Taylor Swift.

She told The Gazette: “I was interested in learning an instrument.

“I wanted to do piano at first but then guitar. There was no reason I did as such, I just decided to do it.

“My parents preferred it too. It has helped me a lot. At first I did not know how to play the guitar but I can now read notes.”

Founded by John Shaw in 2006, and funded with Lottery cash, the academy was created with the aim of making music accessible to people from all walks of life.

Classes at the centre cover a range of instruments from the keyboard to the ukulele and no experience is necessary.

The Gazette’s Give Us A Tune campaign aims to raise more than £20,000 to subsidise music lesson at the Waterloo Road-based school, as well as ask readers to donate 50 instruments.

It has won the backing of famous names including DJ Danny Howard, musical star Jodie Prenger and singer Little Boots.

More than 20 instruments have been donated so far – including keyboards, guitars, a lute, a ukelele, drums and a trumpet.

Thenigha said: “I think it would help people quite a lot.

“People might not be interested in music but coming here you can sample it and maybe keep trying it going forwards.”

• To support our Give Us A Tune campaign, you can drop instruments off at the Academy on Waterloo Road, Black-pool. The academy can collect items from homes if required.

• To donate money to the academy, visit www.blackpoolmusicacademy.com. For more information, contact (01253) 695398.

• Get in touch with your stories or find out how to help by calling 
Gazette reporter Gareth Vickers on (01253) 361879.