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Leeds bassoonist, 12, wins Channel 4’s Child Genius 2015

Thomas Frith, the winner, writes:

“How did my love of music help me prepare for the Child Genius competition? Well, I must confess that initially I was stumped! However, after a few moments thought I realised that music had helped me in several ways.

Music, through learning to play several instruments, has taught me to be disciplined with time. Discipline was key given the volume of the subject matter I had to cover in a very short space of time. Moreover, the stamina I have developed to play instruments one after the other (thanks mum!) helped me to cope with the long hours of the competition.

In addition, I used pitch patterns and rhythm to help with memory tasks. I find it easier to remember new information if it can be sung or set to a rhythm. It possibly also helped that others may have found this rather off-putting! However, what wasn’t shown on television was that others enjoyed learning my way too. We had great fun in the so-called ‘quiet room!’

I’m sure musical performances also helped me cope with the pressure of standing at the podium and win!”

Thomas is taught bassoon by ArtForms teacher Mr Richard Rawson.