1. ITV Report

Meet Britain's youngest conductor

ITV News Central's Bright Sparks series follows the lives of extraordinarily gifted children - and looks at the challenges they and their families face.

Matthew Smith is a musical prodigy.

In April 2017, he the Nottingham Symphony Orchestra through a faultless performance, becoming Britain's youngest conductor.

He was just 11 years old at the time.

Matthew conducted a 75-piece orchestra. Credit: BSc Television Production Technology students, Confetti

Matthew's love affair with music began when he was seven.

He saw people playing the violin at his local church - and wanted to have a go himself.

His mother Beverlyn, who works as a dinner lady at Nottingham High School, decided to approach one of the music teachers.

She booked Matthew in for his first lesson with teacher Derek Williams.

Within a few seconds he'd worked out the best place to put the bow on the string to make the best sound.

So he actually played a scale at the very first lesson and he was only in Year Two.

– Derek Williams, violin teacher
Matthew practising with his violin teacher Derek Williams. Credit: ITV News Central

Within six weeks, Matthew was performing in front of his primary school.

Under Derek's guidance, he reached Grade 5 in violin and learnt to conduct. He also plays the piano, viola, and guitar.

Matthew says his musical skills have been influenced by his family.

I have one part of my family that sings and another part that plays.

I think the genes got passed down to me, with a mixture, and that's where I got it from.

– Matthew Smith
Matthew has no immediate intentions to conduct again. Credit: BSc Television Production Technology students, Confetti

Now 12 years old, Matthew says he would like to reach Grade 8 - the highest level possible - in all his instruments.

He has no plans to conduct again, but his one appearance at the rostrum has already secured him a place in the record books.

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