LMN Singer/songwriter Louis McTeggart joined the scheme in Northern Ireland last year. He met up with our John Leighton to discuss his adventures and experiences with us, so far…
How did you find the audition process?
The audition was actually one of the hardest ones I've ever done, definitely in terms of preparation at least… I was aware that as well as showing a high level of musicianship I would also have to prove I could connect and engage with an audience. I prepared for this by practicing not only my singing and playing but also my performance, eye contact and between song banter. I feel the experience of the audition has been of a great benefit as I now prepare for every audition in the same diligent manner.
How have you developed since being on the scheme?
I think I've developed hugely as a performer. Before LMN I had little to no experience of performing to audiences in care homes or day centres and I was actually quite intimidated during my first few performances… But after almost a year of working with LMN in various venues I feel my confidence has increased greatly, so much so that I feel the whole experience has helped me to gain more work as both my musicianship and performance skills have improved greatly.
You’ve recently led a residency project at Culmore Manor Care Home. How do you feel the residents there benefitted from your visits?
Residencies such as these are hugely important as over a sustained period you are developing relationships with people who at first might be too timid to engage but after a few weeks the residents get to know you and feel more comfortable in your presence. This is also helpful in terms of tailoring your set to suit everyone at the home. I also feel these residencies give people who are usually isolated or immobile for long periods of time something to look forward too.
What has been your favourite moment of your LMN career so far?
Probably the time in Culmore Manor when one of the residents signed out one of my songs for one of the deaf residents…. I found it a very touching and unique thing to witness.
How has LMN influenced your own professional development?
I feel my confidence as a performer has improved amazingly and also my repertoire has widened too as a result of learning songs for different residents…. this has introduced me to new genres of music and in some cases challenged me as a singer, which can only mean good things as a musician.
What would you tell a musician thinking of auditioning for LMN about your experiences and opportunities as an LMN artist?
I would tell them to certainly go for it! It's been an amazing experience for me. I have performed, recorded and written songs throughout England and Ireland for over 15 years, but the work I do with LMN has been the most enjoyable work I have done as a musician. The connections I’ve made with some of the residents I've played for have been really touching and the enjoyment I've helped bring to them has at some times been actually overwhelming. I always feel an enormous sense of reward and satisfaction after every LMN gig.