Are you happy? James Fountain, cornet player

The neighbours are very understanding. My dad, mum, brother and I all play the cornet, so we have to shout, 'Stop playing!' if someone is going to open a door or window. Tea time's the noisiest. When one person stops practising, another starts. I practise in my bedroom, Dad in the living room, my brother in his room. Mum sometimes writes a variation for the four of us. There are six cornets in the house, all scattered about, as well as a flugelhorn - my brother plays that.

I like the busyness of my life. I don't always get to do what other 14-year-olds do, but being busy makes me happy. When Dad's out playing, the rest of us are in the audience. The only real problem is when there's a clash of concerts. There are things Dad can do much better than me, but he helps me along. After touring Japan, Australia and the US with the Salvation Army's brass band, he has more experience, so he knows how to handle nerves. I help him, too, I think. He likes my attitude towards playing in a brass band. He's a bit cautious on stage because he has such an important role. I tend to go on stage without pressure and enjoy the performance.

It makes me proud to carry on a tradition. I'm the principal cornet in the National Youth Brass Band now, but I still remember playing the Albert Hall for the first time. I was in the same band as my dad. It was weird. He performs there every year and suddenly I was going to be on the same stage as him, so I was in a bit of a daze. He had no words of advice, nothing like that. He just came up to me before we went on, looked at me and gave me a hug.

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