Amanda was born and raised in the village of Llangranog, West Wales. She began to play the piano when she was 6 years old and then at the age of 12 took up the tuba, one of the largest of the brass family. At 17 having passed all her examination grades in both piano and tuba, she reached the semi-finals of the highly coveted competition held in Great Britain, "The Young Musician of the Year". As Amanda was playing the tuba, an unusually large instrument for a female, she was invited to appear on an introductory television programme which then led to several radio and TV appearances all over the country.
It was at this time that Amanda gained her Associate of the Royal College of Music (ARCM) in tuba playing - a certificate usually received after completing four years in College. At 18, she was awarded a place at the Royal Northern College of Music, a college well-represented all over the world for its choice of fine musicians. She graduated when she was 22 and realised her heart was no longer interested in pursuing a career as a classical musician.
Life on the road
Fresh out of college Amanda lost interest in furthering her classical career but was invited to form a trio of pop musicians playing the piano for a summer season in Aviemore.
The trio turned into a duo for a year before Amanda became a solo musician and entertainer in 1985.
Welcome to Amanda’s new career!
"Without a piano it’s just a bar, with it, it becomes a theatre." – Unknown
Since 1985, Amanda has performed in some of the most opulent hotels all over the world. Her experience coupled with her classical training on the piano has given her the skill to explore and experiment with her varied styles and improvisations. Her vocal range has developed into a beautiful and natural sound which totally compliments her skill on the piano. Someone once wrote of her;
"You sing like an angel and swing like the devil!"
While many of these high class establishments require the sophisticated style of music at which Amanda excels, it would be remiss not to mention one of the main reasons for her numerous return bookings - her popularity. The root of this lies in her overwhelming warmth and charm, coupled with an incredibly sharp wit. With 30 years experience under her belt Amanda feels that her humour has proved to be a valuable friend.
Amanda’s love for singing and playing the piano continued for the best part of 20 years. Playing two keyboards and bass pedals with an awesome repertoire of over 600 songs comprising jazz, blues, pop, swing and show tunes, her versatility over the years had lent itself to almost any venue from a sophisticated cocktail bar to a busy urban club.
But whilst Amanda had become aware that many venues were beginning to ask for a band or one person with backing tracks, she made the difficult choice just to sing and play one piano, no keyboard, backing tracks, nothing. It’s classy, tasteful, and still encompasses a wide range of music and is in fact accompanied by something else... a huge dollop of humour and fun!
In 2001 approaching her 40th birthday, Amanda decided to leave her nomadic life on the road and come home. She knew in her heart that a wonderful chapter in her life had come to an end and that although music would always play an important role, it was time to embrace something else.
That “something else” slowly emerged soon after a special relationship came to a painful ending. As Amanda began this new journey, she remembers thinking and feeling “what is life really about and what the hell am I doing on Earth? What is the point?”
She began taking part in what was to become a huge variety of courses, workshops and retreats. For some idea of what these courses entailed in the music world, check out Community Workshops and my Song Book , and my Radio Show.
In parallel to her music, this phase of Amanda’s life also included learning to meditate with 2 people who taught her that leading a spiritual life needn’t be sitting in the middle of a field with a candle wearing weird clothes and chanting away to the birds! They made it a fun event.
Amanda went on to meditate with a few different teachers, joining differently themed development circles and learning an immense amount but the hole she continued to feel in her life was not to be filled until the evening she went to a lecture on metaphysics.
“Suddenly all the pieces of life’s jigsaw began to fit together” she explained.
Now, 10 years on, Amanda has added a number of holistic therapies and healing philosophies to her repertoire including Angelic Reikki, Ayurveda, Esoterics, Western Herbal Medicine and Psychosynthesis.
Alongside these, her personal development interests drew her to studying counselling.
In 2011, Amanda gained a Certificate in Counselling and then went on to gain an Intermediate Certificate in the Theory of Individual Psychology and Adlerian Counselling skills.
As her passion and interest grew in the personal development circle, her love for studying and attending courses continued. Amanda has studied with the following people;
- Christian Pankhurst; Coaching Academy
- Mary Morrissey; Quantum Leap Course
- Rachel Jayne Groover; Feminine Spirituality and Leadership Programme
Amanda’s goal now is to share some of her studies with people interested in unleashing their own magnificent power.
‘Amanda is one of the most inspirational and visionary people I know. Her creativity as an outstanding musician & her integrative understanding of metaphysics seeps into her business development, with unique and innovative ideas. She finds the resources and tenacity to bring her dreams to fruition; such as her One Woman Show My Life, My Dice OK or Sonia the Boat & the Romany Caravan, both overlooking the Llangrannog seas. Her generosity of spirit and warm, supportive nature draw people to Morfa Isaf in much the same way as dolphins & mermaids are drawn to the bay in wonder. Amanda Painting is nothing short of magical!’
- Cheryl Beer Songwriter, author, film maker, artistic director
We have had a brilliant and very educational stay. It has been almost a “laff” a minute from the moment we stepped over the door to sadly leaving. Don’t ever change Mandy, it’s what makes this beautiful home so quirky and unique!
- Sarah and Claire (B&B guests), August 2013