Wessex FM’s Maria Greenwood on why trying something new can be a lesson to us all

Maria Greenwood

Maria Greenwood - Credit: Archant

It’s always worth trying something new, after all you could discover a hidden talent or even a new career as a concert pianist, a dress designer or a radio presenter

I’ve made a new purchase. I couldn’t help myself. I saw it in a music shop and fell in love with it. It’s an electric piano - it comes with a handy headphone socket so that should keep the neighbours happy. The only thing I need to do now is learn how to play it. Properly. I can find my way around the keys, make chords and melodies, mostly by ear and a bit of guess work, but I am by no means an accomplished pianist.

I am a firm believer that it’s never too late to learn a new skill. These days you’re almost encouraged to try your hand at new things, whatever your age. You can teach an old dog new tricks. That’s what adult education courses are for. There are classes for almost anything in Dorset. A quick search on the internet and I found local classes on dress making (I could be the next Gok Wan), and reflexology. Although I’m not too sure I want to get that close to someone else’s feet!

The thing is, unless you try it, you’ll never know if you like it. Who knows you could have unknown talents that you’ve never discovered.

People ask me how I got my job on the radio. To be honest it was never a burning ambition of mine to read the news. In fact, I found an old school report the other day that graded me C+ for ‘reading aloud in class’. So who would have thought all these years later part of my job basically involves reading aloud, albeit to a slightly bigger audience. My passion for radio came by trying it. I first came to Wessex FM as a work experience student and after a week of working in the job, I knew radio was for me.

And now we want to find the new radio talent of tomorrow. That’s the reason we have just launched the Wessex FM Radio Academy. People can apply for a placement and successful applicants will get the chance to spend time working with the news team. Two of our former work experience students have now gone on to get paid jobs in radio. And that’s something I’m really proud of.

I recently interviewed Otis Williams for my Unplugged show. He’s the last surviving original member of the hit Motown band The Temptations. They’re playing at the BIC this month (22 March)with The Four Tops and Freda Payne. I asked Otis if they knew they would make it big. “When we first started we were like any other band. We wanted hit records, to make money and to have girls love us. But when we signed to Motown we knew we had something different. It’s testament to the music that 54 years later we’re still here.”

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And the reason they are is because they tried something new. Maybe that’s a lesson to us all.