A GUITARIST who has been playing guitar for over half his life has been commended for his commitment to the instrument.

Samuel Bywater, 14, of Chantry Grove, Royston, began playing guitar when he was seven years old.

The former Royston St John Baptist CE Primary School pupil began lessons at primary and by the time he left aged 11, Samuel had already passed grade five, progressing far beyond what was expected for someone his age.

He then joined the Barnsley Music Service and continued his tuition with his tutor John Fuller.

John Ingman, from Barnsley Music Service, said: “Samuel’s progress in guitar is exceptional for his age. What he has achieved in the time he has been learning is admirable. His enthusiasm, practice and commitment to learning has got him to the level he is today.”

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Samuel passed his grade eight exam in April, which is the highest grade you can achieve in guitar.

John said: “Samuel only received 30 minutes tuition per week and he dedicates several hours outside this to practice. He has recently formed a band with some of his school friends so no doubt he will be going far.”

His efforts have seen him nominated for a Young Champions award for his musical talent.

Samuel’s mum, Ruth Bywater, said: “Samuel takes playing the guitar in his stride. He spends a good hour each day practising unless he has other activities on but he is very committed. He skipped his grade seven exam because he was confident he could pass grade eight and he passed without a hitch. I am proud that he has been recognised for his achievement especially at his age.

“The next stage will be for him to take his performance diploma but because he is is 14 he is still too young to take it. I have no doubt that when he does take it he will succeed.”