Music is GREAT - Part 2

Richard's musical journey continues with the opening night of Aida at the Royal Albert Hall. Then it's off to Southampton to find out how great British music is entertaining and helping people from all walks of life.  


From festival fun to the glamour of opera. This is the magnificent Royal Albert Hall in London.

Tonight is press night for their new production of Aida… and for some reason they’ve let me in… although I'm not entirely sure if I’m dressed for the occasion.

The Royal Albert Hall, named after Queen Victoria’s husband, opened in 1871. It’s been busy hosting music and performance events ever since.

Tonight it’s all about opera. Verdi’s Aida is a love story about a princess and a soldier. This production is presented by the Royal Albert Hall and Raymond Gubbay Ltd and features the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Jasper Hope is the chief operating officer here at the Royal Albert Hall.

Richard: Jasper, this is such an incredible building. Tell me about it.

Jasper: Thank you. Well, this is the ceremonial entrance of the Royal Albert Hall, and we are 140 years old, and probably the world's most famous stage.

Richard: And what's your favourite thing about the Royal Albert Hall?

Jasper: Seeing the audience's reaction, I think, to walking in for the first time.

Richard: So, in your opinion, what is so great about great British music?

Jasper: Well, just think about this building and the stage, and who we've hosted over the years. Edward Elgar, The Beatles, Yehudi Menuhin, the Rolling Stones, Adele, you name it, they've all played here. That is great British music.

Music is at the heart of British culture and is used as a way of reaching out to young people and disadvantaged groups.

This is Southampton on the south coast. Now, a shopping centre is the last place I’d expect to find music talent. But inside, there's a music project that is making a big difference to kids' lives.

SoCo may be a small team but they are making a big difference. Known as The Hub, it’s a space perfect for creating music for all ages. Here musicians take to the stage, record balcony sessions for up-and-coming bands and have workshops in many creative activities.

Matt Salvage runs the project.

Richard: Matt, this is a fantastic project. Tell me about it.

Matt: Well, it's a space where people can come and get involved in music. We work with lots of different groups of people who can engage with music-making and arts.

Richard: So what happens here?

Matt: We do all sorts of stuff here, whether it's an opportunity for people to write music, get involved in a project that we've got running, or people can do recording or performance.

Richard: So who comes here?

Matt: We get a real mixture of people coming here. The project was set up really to help disadvantaged groups, so we work with young people, we work with homeless people, people with drug problems, older people, we run a mental health music group, and it's really just people who wouldn't be able to otherwise access projects like this.

Richard: Is it making a difference?

Matt: I think it's really making a difference. Just by having this space here and allowing people to come and get involved in something that's creative, something that they can be passionate about, it gives them a really positive focus.

Richard: That's great, Matt. Can I have a go?

Matt: Yeah, go for it!

What an amazing musical journey I’ve had. And who knows? Maybe someone out there will notice my talent...

Task 1

In what order does Richard do these things?


Task 2

Put the places with their description.


Task 3

Put the two parts of the sentence together.


Task 4

Fill the space with the right preposition.




Average: 4 (4 votes)
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Submitted by Yshc on Thu, 11/06/2020 - 11:36

Hello! I'm a bit confused about the expression 'Music is at the heart of British culture'. Earlier I thought we had to use preposition 'in' with 'the heart' (I mean, 'in the heart of sth'). And now I noticed 'at' instead.. Are the expressions 'in the heart' and 'at the heart' equal? Or different? What's the difference?
Profile picture for user Peter M.

Submitted by Peter M. on Fri, 12/06/2020 - 08:59

In reply to by Yshc


Hello Yshc,

I think in the heart of is used when we are describing something negative which surrounds us. You can be in the heart of the storm, for example.

At the heart of describes an element central to something and it is often used metaphorically, as in your example.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by carolina.ybarra on Sun, 24/06/2018 - 15:00

Can the video be downloaded?

Hello Carolina,

I'm afraid the videos on LearnEnglish cannot be downloaded for technical and legal reasons. Where possible, we make our audio available as an mp3 file, but we cannot make the videos available in the same way.



The LearnEnglish Team

Profile picture for user Joris George

Submitted by Joris George on Fri, 09/03/2018 - 02:15

20 years ago, in the youth club, one of the elder members would always practice playing guitar with a friend of mine. What is the difference with saying "would always practice to play guitar" in this case?

Hello Joris George,

I'm afraid 'would practice to play' is not correct. If a verb (like 'play') goes after 'practice', it should go in the -ing form, as in the first sentence.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team