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R.E.A.L. Talent

A talented R.E.A.L. learner recently recorded an outstanding cover version of Jorja Smith’s song, ‘On My Mind’, with R.E.A.L. ‘s own Jodi Cave accompanying on guitar. 

Ebony has been attending the music provision at our Mansfield site for the last year. R.E.A.L. staff members, Rob and Jodi, who have been supporting Ebony, have been pivotal in developing her confidence to take her first step into the recording studio. 

Once Ebony did step into the studio, everyone was blown away when she proceeded to record her cover of the song live, in just one take! 

R.E.A.L. Provision Manager for Music Technology/Performance, Rob Lyons said: “We’re so proud of Ebony. What a performance and what a voice! Recorded live and in one take…it takes nerves of steel to even attempt this, let alone nail it! 

“The development in Ebony’s confidence has been second to none and to record live with a musician, while retaining the emotion and clarity in her voice is truly amazing. Ebony has so much potential to be an artist in her own right”.

The recording has been an instant hit with everyone who has heard it. Ebony has been happy to share the recording and has even made some additional copies to give to family and friends. The news of Ebony’s achievement has also spread like wildfire throughout R.E.A.L. with comments like this being made about the track: 

“WOW … WOW … WOW! Just listened to it. Well done Ebony and Jodi for a fantastic performance. Put me down for a copy of your first album!” 

Rob said “I think Ebony was quietly impressed with herself, as she should be! When she saw everyone’s reaction to the song she really opened up and connected for the first time. It was great to see her confidence soar…she was definitely buzzing!”

We asked Ebony how she was feeling after her new found fame! “I have had so much fun singing the song and it has really helped my confidence to work with Jodi; I couldn’t even sing in front of more than one person before so I am proud of myself and how far I have come and it is all thanks to everyone at music teaching me everything I know.”

Kelly Overton, Teaching Assistant at R.E.A.L. said: “I have had the pleasure of supporting Ebony at music for the past year now and have loved every second! Ebony can, at times be her own worst critic but it has been amazing to watch her self belief go from strength to strength. She displayed so much dedication to learning the song, practicing the lyrics at home and all of her hard work paid off because she blew everyone away!

“I am so proud of her for what she has achieved so far and for having the confidence to share her talent with us all. I can’t wait to see (and hear) what she does next.”

You can listen to Ebony Shotton’s cover of Jorja Smith’s ‘On My Mind’ here (credit to Jodi Cave on guitar!). 

Free half and full day taster sessions are available for prospective learners to come along and see R.E.A.L. Education’s truly unique, bespoke learning experience for themselves. 

To arrange a visit or for more information about learning opportunities R.E.A.L. Education has to offer young people, please call 0115 220 400, email, or visit


RAPS Mansfield will became RIS Mansfield on 27th May. The new RIS website will be launching shortly.

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