"The Britten Pears Young Artist Programme is a magical opportunity for young musicians to learn, collaborate and make music together. I was a student of the Conducting programme in August 2018 where I worked on Prokoviev, Ravel and Saint-Saëns with Marin Alsop and Valentina Peleggi. My hair was very distinctive at the time: long, dark and dense with curls. Marin and Valentina helped me channel expression into my hands rather than letting it fly out of my hair! I recall sitting nervously on a bench making final preparations for the climactic masterclass. Absorbed in my score, I tried out a couple of gestures; little did I know that Marin was watching from a gallery above. Her booming voice shocked me from my reverie: "No, Noah, smaller, smaller! Stop waggling your head around!! This was indispensable advice. I remind myself of it often, sometimes even writing it on a post-it note to keep on my stand during rehearsals."