Friday 9 May 2014

M U S I C // Why Music College?

Today I thought I'd address the issue of picking universities. I know UCAS etc. means people have already made their choices for next September, but this is something I have wanted to write about for a long time. You'll know if you read my blog, I go to a music college, not a 'standard' university and making this decision wasn't easy at first!*

*This blog post will probably help those of you looking to do a similar thing to me, but may help in other circumstances too :) These are all my own opinions.

(I do not own this photo. Source:
I was certain for years that I wanted to follow in the footsteps of my older brother and study Drama at university. I had always loved acting, I had taken it for GCSE and A-Level and taken exams outside of school up to Grade 8. I had always loved to sing and dance too, but drama was my main focus throughout school. I knew I wanted to be a singer around the age of 15, but I was still set on studying drama at university.

I was worried if I studied music, I would lose my passion for it and that it would become my subject and no longer a hobby. I was also worried that I hadn't taken GCSE or A-level music and didn't know any theory, and the length of Year 13 (my last year of sixth form, when I had to make these decisions) wasn't long enough to learn it all. When I did a little research, I realised that I didn't actually have to know music theory for quite a few of the places I looked at, as it was going to be taught to me there.

It dawned on me one day when I realised I would have studied drama for three years, to come out of university still wanting to sing, that maybe there wasn't much point in studying drama! When I could of spent that time studying how to be the best at what I really want to do, learning the ins and outs of the industry and learning the best vocal techniques.

I study Professional Musicianship (I study Vocals, but this course is also in guitar, bass and drums!) at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music (BIMM) and I can honestly say it was the best decision I ever made. I looked at a few institutes in London and one in Liverpool, but Brighton was 100% the place for me. They started teaching theory from scratch and I realised I wasn't the only one that didn't know any. They have taught me what I need to work on and where my areas of weakness are. They have taught me what is great about my voice and performance and how to make that shine even more. They have taught me how to sing in different styles and what ones suit me best. They have also given me some amazing opportunities, masterclasses with incredible musicians and I got the chance to perform at their End Of Term gig, which was insane!

 I don't want people to think taking a Music Degree is a doss. This course is not easy, and it's only going to get harder as I reach the end of my first year. It's part of Sussex university, so we do have to write essays and do presentations, it's not just singing and playing guitars on the beach all day! We do have to put the work in and although it's not a 'university' as such, we do get a full degree at the end of it! 

I'm in no way saying everyone should do what I did, I'm just saying what I did and how it worked for me. This was just something I wanted to write, because if I'd of read something like this when making my decision, it probably really would of helped. 


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