Meet the Musician: Miriam Ben Shimon

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

I was born to a Polish mother and Italian father. Lived in both of their home countries.

When I was 19, I moved to England. Even though we weren’t Jewish, we have always lived with strong religious values that my mother transmitted, such as: Hitbodedut, Torah reading, and making choices that Hashem would be proud of. We also kept Shabbos, the High Holidays and Kashrus. We didn’t really know all the Halachot min Rabbunim but as soon as my mum read about something on we tried to implement it. It was a life of Emunah.

However, as a teenager I met real Jews and got in contact with Judaism through an organisation called “Forum of Dialogue”. Then I decided I want to convert and be part of Klal Yisrael. I learned how to read Hebrew, all the Brochos and the Shema Yisrael by heart, and much more.

The vision of becoming Jewish became possible when I moved to England. Here I met some Rabbis and they decided that the best option will be for me to go to Uman, Ukraine. I stayed there for a month and had deep conversations with my teacher who showed me all the Halachot in practice and explained concepts such as Naaseh v’Nishma and Tznius. BH, I see it as a true blessing that I was sent to Uman as I connected with Breslev straight away.

Soon later I got married to a boy who converted years ago at this point. He and his family lived in Israel. My mother went to high school in Poland with his mother. It was a perfect match of similar backgrounds, values and life goals. Baruch HaShem.

We live in England now and raise our two children as Chassidic, Beis Yaakov girls in Stamford Hill, London.

What inspired you to become a musician?

The dream of becoming a singer has been in me since I can remember. It was decided in heaven.

When I was seven years old, I took my first singing lesson and since then I have regularly taken singing – or instrumental lessons. Making mistakes and learning from them, I learned how to write my own songs and melodies. I completed a three-year Voice Academy where I learned various styles, took theory exams and performed each semester.

Last year I graduated from the vocal (singing) department at BIMM University in London. For the past three years, I’ve been teaching music at the Yesodey Hatorah Girls’ school. And I can assure you, learning never ends. As a Jewish wife and mother there is loads to prepare for each Shabbos, Chagim, school, and work, so my practice is not as regular as I wish it could be but every day, I do something that further develops the musician in me. May it be that I write a song or take drumming lesson, learn a new scale on guitar or learn a song on the piano.

I connect drawing, social media and any other art to my music as my art is all connected and based on self-expression. What makes me a musician the most is the constant thinking about life and putting it into songs.

Do you believe a classical training is essential to be successful?

Do I believe that without classical training one can’t be successful? No. Classical training is not essential but surely helpful. It’s not about having diplomas and certificates. It’s about having the knowledge on the thing you want to master. If you can get this knowledge from private lessons or Uni, you should go for it.

Fist figure out what is it that you want to do and then take any steps that will take you there. Try, try, try. Mistakes are the best teachers

Which musician would you like to collaborate with next?

I would like to collaborate with a couple of musicians that live here in England: Frimi and Gelli but if I can choose someone from any place? I don’t know, I guess these things come out as you sing with someone. Suddenly you click, have the same vibes, resonate with each other. There can be two perfect singers but won’t sound well together, so it depends.

What advice would you give to an aspiring musician and what are your wishes for the future?

Advice: just make music, take any musical opportunity even if you don’t love it. Learn from any situation and look at life as a potential song if you want to write something.

My goal is to start touring and getting to know people who connect with my music. Inspiring Jewish women to become better shifchas Hashem and feel His love for them through my music is the ultimate goal.

How can our readers get in touch with you?

Feel free to contact me on Instagram or via email: [email protected]

You will be able to listen to Miriam’s music on YouTube, Mostly Music and Spotify.

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