This article is taken from Y ME? (because it’s Your Music Education), May 2019, guest edited by Amplify, a Blaze Arts project. This newsletter hopes to provide young musicians and music enthusiasts with guidance on how to continue their music studies and advice for future music careers.
Josie Cork is currently studying Music at Cardiff University. She loves it but it hasn’t always been that simple. She tells us to ignore the haters and follow your dream!
Why did you decide to study music?
Music is a subject that I really enjoyed and I wanted to develop my interest further while studying new concepts that may lead to new points of study that were unfamiliar to me. I also realised that music consumed a large part of my life when I began writing my personal statement.
How did you go about choosing in an institution to study at?
As playing is a real passion of mine, I initially applied for Conservatoire. However, after being unsuccessful at audition, I had planned on taking a year out and reapplying the following year. But after some more research, I began looking at music courses at universities. I started looking into the music course at Cardiff University and found that the modules, location and area, all appealed to me. I liked that I could study a range of modules from academic to performance.
Unlike some subjects, music has many angles and because of this, there are a broad range of institutions on offer. From conservatoires that allow you to specialise in performance or composition to universities, which allow you to look at a broader range of subjects at one time; such as theory, music technology and musicology. It is important to realise that there are always pros and cons, and music is no exception. So keep an open mind and consider all of the options out there to find the institution that best suits you.
What advice would you give to someone considering applying for music at higher education?
I definitely found that applying for higher education, whilst studying for A Levels was at times of struggle as I needed to balance instrumental practice with study to make sure I was prepared for the audition. I also had to be aware of the time I spent away from my studies.
I think particular subjects, like music, can leave you wondering if it is the right decision. I was worried that studying music full time would change my passion for it, but I am now in my second year, and I love the subject more than ever. My advice would be: do not let people put you off – if music is your passion, take the plunge and go for it!
What musical opportunities are available at university even if you don’t study music?
Here at university there are many societies in which, even if you are not studying music, you can get involved in. The music society is open to all students from all subject areas. There are a range of musical ensembles, social events and performance opportunities.