The Victoria Education Centre (VEC) does a lot of fantastic work. This might be fairly self-evident for anyone who has ever come into contact with it, but it is worth shouting about sometimes. It is a residential and day school run by Livability which provides education for young disabled people from 3-19 years old. Its roots go back to 1898 and since then it has undergone various transformations but its general remit has remained the same: to care for, educate and (importantly) help to inspire young disabled people. The value of this last objective can be seen no more clearly than in the recent accomplishments of Nick Farmer (31), a former student at VEC. Whilst studying at VEC Nick was encouraged to nurture his love of music and pursue his interests, as a result of this he has recently written and sung in his first recorded song ‘Make My Heart Your Home’. Below is a special feature / interview with Nick and his brother-in-law Nathan Thomas who helped record the song. It’s well worth a listen!
For more information on VEC, visit their website: http://www.victoria.poole.sch.uk/about/
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A former student of Livability’s Victoria Education Centre is becoming a hit on YouTube with a song he hopes will find him the girl of his dreams. Nick Farmer, who has cerebral palsy, co-wrote the song with his brother-in-law, Nathan Thomas, racking up more than 1,000 views after only one week on the video sharing site.
Watch the video here:
Nick’s Soundcloud is here:
The song, ‘Make My Heart Your Home’, was written in just one afternoon and recorded the next day in Nick’s kitchen using a portable studio belonging to Nathan, who works in the music industry.
Nick told us: “I knew what I wanted to say and I was very clear about how I felt, so I guess with everything feeling so natural and simple it happened very quickly. The first ideas seemed to be the ones we stuck to!”
Since the video went online on the 20th June, there has been a flurry of local media interest in Nick’s story, with him being interviewed live on BBC Radio Solent and appearing on the front pages of the local paper in Bournemouth.
The inspiration behind the song came to him during a jam session with Nathan: “we started singing ‘You’ve Got a Friend’ by James Taylor which is one of my favourite songs. I had the idea that I would like to write a song like that but about finding love and it started from there.
“The first thing we thought about was, “what would I say if I met the girl of my dreams?” Nathan started playing some chords on the guitar and we started to have a conversation over the music about who she would be and what would I say. We jotted down all the best thoughts and out of that list the lines for the song started to appear.”
This is the first time that Nick has recorded and published a song, but he has had a lifelong love of music: he particularly loves pop and is a big fan of TV talent show The X Factor, going to the live shows and concerts after the series has finished.
Nathan told us how Nick has been using the latest technology to help him practise and compose music: “For Christmas last year he got an iPad and started to make beats using an app called iMaschine. The iPad allows him to play piano and make all sorts of sounds and share them with his friends and family.”
Nick has fond memories of his time at Victoria Education Centre and said that they not only nurtured his musical interests, but also helped him find his confidence and independence to have goals and believe in himself to go for them.
Nick says that he plans to continue making music and that his next dream project would be to sing and record a duet with the girl of his dreams.