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A dilemma: Manchester or Surrey for Music?

(24 Posts)
merlincat Tue 04-Mar-14 17:14:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HoratiaDrelincourt Tue 04-Mar-14 17:25:18

University of Manchester or RNCM? If the latter, definitely there.

I don't know about the course but the city is great for students.

snowman1 Tue 04-Mar-14 17:36:11

What does she want to do after her course? Does she want to be a professional musician? Or teach? If she wants to be a professional, I would go with Manchester - the city has 3 professional orchestras and lots of music events going on all the time the opportunities are huge to network and do some semi-pro work whilst still an undergrad. Especially if you play a "rarer" instrument like brass or viola. RMCM is world-class, but so is the university. I don't know if you have been the university - whilst it is close to the city it is huge and does have a campus feel to it. I would maybe concentrate on getting her into a hall which might be a bit more sheltered for her.
I did that course many moons ago, Manchester was and still is amazing.

NewJobNewLife Tue 04-Mar-14 17:38:58

University of Surrey is a brilliant, friendly campus.

I am not naive or aspie, but I struggled when I went to university in a big city (not Manchester, but comparable).

I stuck it for two miserable years and then dropped out, starting again in a different course at University of Surrey. I found the campus easy to live and study on, the tutors supportive, the social life buzzy but not threatening.

If you have any reservations about how she'll cope with life in the big wide world, University of Surrey is a great option. The university is approachable, supportive and well regarded, and Guildford is a friendly town that is far less 'hard' than Manchester. I would live it if my kids wanted to go to surrey to study smile

merlincat Tue 04-Mar-14 17:44:52

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snowman1 Tue 04-Mar-14 18:05:04

You are always best doing the best course for your subject, even if you go on to do something completely different. I can't comment on the University of Surrey but do know that the music course and the university do have a lot of kudos. Can she defer a year and do something that might boost her confidence a bit?

merlincat Tue 04-Mar-14 18:11:35

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merlincat Tue 04-Mar-14 18:12:52

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circular Tue 04-Mar-14 18:13:40

Congratulations on great offers.
Has she yet to go to the offer days? That may give her a whole different feel.

merlincat Tue 04-Mar-14 18:13:45

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merlincat Tue 04-Mar-14 18:15:27

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circular Tue 04-Mar-14 18:28:34

That's unusual. Is there time to go to another open day or campus/department tour, before you need to decide?

So difficult, Manchester's top of the league for Music, but she has to go where she will be happiest. And Surrey has a great reputation too. DD's GCSE music teacher (also a pianist) went there many years ago.

Is there anything in the course content that makes one seem more attractive? What about instrument tuition - does one offer more hours than the other if that's important to her?
Do they get their lessons at RNCM?

Manchester would be cheaper on subsequent years accommodation, if that's a factor.

Bet you have a long list of pros and cons already though.

FamiliesShareGerms Tue 04-Mar-14 18:47:58

Manchester is brilliant both as a place to be a student but for music in particular. But it's not for the faint hearted - all the things that make it exciting can also have the flip side of being scary. I would normally say no contest, unless your DD was particularly into contemporary music in which Surrey has a great reputation.

But in your circumstances I would think seriously about Surrey if you can afford it (it's ££££s) for all the reasons you identify. Manchester is one of the largest unis in Europe and if pastoral care is important you might not get that there. Surrey is small enough that people on other courses there at the same time know each other, for example.

Any other offers eg Birmingham?

rightsaidfrederick Tue 04-Mar-14 19:01:53

I'm under the impression that Manchester is much more focussed on theory rather than practice for music - is this something that would suit her?

I'm assuming here that she's not doing the joint course with RNCM.

Manchester can tend to be quite big, drinking centric and sink or swim though. It's not what I'd call a nurturing environment for the relatively immature - no one will be coming around to check up on her, for instance. If she wants pastoral support, she'll have to seek it out herself.

merlincat Tue 04-Mar-14 19:30:49

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madeofkent Sat 08-Mar-14 12:19:35

My musician son has slight Asperger's and we looked at Surrey last year for him, for the same reasons. We looked there because he had been offered a place at UEA, which was ranked above Surrey, but the music department there closes this year and they recommended Surrey to us. (UEA at the time was 5th in the UK, Surrey was 6th) We all loved it, although ultimately he chose somewhere else because they weren't doing exactly the course he wanted. (composing for film and gaming) DBH went to Manchester and he said that DS would have found it all a bit much. However DS changed his mind about a gap year, applied late and chose a low-rated uni nearby above all the other offers (he didn't realise he was meant to choose only one, and phoned half a dozen on the same day!) with amazing facilities and masses of room and loves it. He lives in private halls not too far away as we thought he would never remember to pay rent in a house, but we have been astonished by how organised he has become, and he loves his new life.

I would say, find a life with fewer pressures, rather than prestige. I don't think I have ever seen him so happy, and he has more friends now than ever before in his life.

madeofkent Sat 08-Mar-14 12:25:11

The campus shop at Surrey is incredible and they have a weekly cheap veg market. I don't know about DS - I wanted to move there! But in the end he picked somewhere with amazing facilities over reputation, because he wanted to be able to access equipment and instruments at the time he wanted them and not to have to share.

BeckAndCall Sun 09-Mar-14 11:18:15

Is Surrey connected with ACM - will she have the opportunity to learn with/play with the ACM students? I say that as one who lives nearby and sees all of the ACM students on a daily basis towing and frying with their guitars and I know the contemporary scene is buzzing in Guildford.

Also is the tonmeister course at Surrey not one of the best in Europe? And will their be any overlap of opportunity there .

Just a couple of things to consider....

merlincat Sun 09-Mar-14 20:21:01

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madeofkent Mon 10-Mar-14 17:25:08

Ditto, merlincat. Ds is now plastered all over fb with his friends with the biggest beam on his face. It's wonderful. He would have been just as happy at Surrey, but chose to be nearer to home. And to have a completely free Mac with all the latest music software just for himself.

HercShipwright Tue 11-Mar-14 13:14:13

The Tonmeister course is indeed the best in Europe. Incredibly competitive. One of my oldest friend's sons just graduated from it.

CherryEmma Thu 13-Mar-14 15:59:47

Hello, could be worth also posting on our Local Surrey talk board:

local.mumsnet.com/Talk/surrey/local-active

smile

Local Editor

merlincat Fri 14-Mar-14 11:19:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ommmward Tue 25-Mar-14 21:32:44

She needs to go for the course outline that really pulls her. The five she has offers from are all really really really different in the academic experience she'd get.

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