Physics and music(21 Posts)
Dd1 is 15 and is doing GCSE - she is doing 10 GCSEs which includes three sciences, English language, literature, maths, French , music, history and Latin and is expected to do well in her exams. She is sitting some modules this year but most of the exams are next year.
She has just done her grade 8 cello with distinction (only just with 130) and never used to practice as much as needed before this but has always managed to do well in her music exams. Also, she is on grade 8 piano and grade 7 singing.
She is a typical teenager and has not expressed any interest in any career ( anything)in particular so far. Most of her peers know what they want to do ranging from medicine, economics, English etc.,
I happened to mention about physics and music as one of my collegues mentioned about this and she really wants to do this now. She has looked at various universities - Imperial , Cardiff .
Does any know anything about this and it does looks incredibly tough to get in and to sustain.
I did tell her to have realistic expectations but feel that I am not encouraging her now that she has expressed something she is interested in.
I did Physics at Cardiff, and knew a number of people studying physics and music. It is pretty tough as they are in both departments, but all those who I knew got good jobs after and really enjoyed it.
Sound engineering a related option. Look at Surrey. A grade A levels (Mths music and physics) plus grade 7+. Competitive yes but if she's bright worth aiming for.
The Tonmeister course at Surrey is very well respected and most of it's graduates go on to get jobs in the industry.
Last time I looked the entrance requirements were As in Music, Maths & Physics so this could be an option if your DD is a high achiever in those subjects.
Otherwise Physics is generally useful for higher-ed music courses as an understanding of acoustics etc. is valuable (but not necessary for most standard music courses).
DD has a MSc in sound engineering you need to look for the MSc not the art one
Tbh the job prospect s are not great DD worked freelance for a while but has since retrained
Have you seen Imperial's joint programme with the Royal College of Music? It's 4 years, so they cover all the core material that would usually be covered in a 3 year BSc Physics course, then undertake the music performance aspects of RCM's course. It is competitive, but it sounds as though your DD has already fulfilled the musical requirements (she would need to audition anyway).
Whilst it doesn't hurt to look, this may all be a bit premature. Her final GCSE grades will give you an indication of which universities are realistic for her to target. Many students will change their mind about which subjects are the most appealing once they've started their A Level studies and are able to 'dive' in to a subject a little more. As long as she picks a sensible set of A Level subjects that keep her options open, I'm sure she'll do well whatever!
Why physics and music, and not maths with music or some other combination?
I didn't realise that you could do maths and music. She is predicted A stars in maths and sciences.
Imperial course looks tough to get into.How difficult is it to get into RCM?
Forgive my ignorance, even if you do maths or physics and music you can only use one of them in your career so why struggle during your university years?
I agree with you TDRC - it is a bit premature and at this age apart from very few teenagers most of them change their mind.
Well, for sound engineering you can use both!
Another thought might be music therapy (usually music as a first degree, then postgrad training).
Be wary of double majors at uni. I am reliably told each subject is about 70% of the full course, resulting in 140% of the content of a standard degree. There is really no benefit in the job market thereafter.
A couple of us have mentioned sound engineering. That uses all disciplines.
I am reliably told each subject is about 70% of the full course, resulting in 140% of the content of a standard degree.
And on every thread that this is stated academics come along and say it isn't true.
I suppose it's ideal for students who are really torn between two subjects. Or perhaps for those who could see themselves pursuing either as a career after graduation. Or maybe even for those whose true passion is music but who are concerned about their employment prospects afterwards and so choose a joint honours degree for that reason (correctly or incorrectly - I know many successful and happily employed ex-music students!).
Another option, if music is an interest rather than a passion, is to study one subject (such as physics/maths) and actively pursue music through the range of extra-curricular orchestras/ensembles/choirs/bands that most universities will have.
I know one student who got on the RCM performing / physics at Imperial. This student was an outstanding musician at school, best in county young musician competition when younger (as well as very bright) . From that I assume students awarded places are not simply at conservatoire entry standard. I seem to remember though from a previous thread that students at Imperial can get awards for free music tuition at RCM even if not doing musical performance.
If she's that bright then career wise probably b est to avoid music. I have 4 grade 8s and love music. It's been a wonderful hobby all my life running along side a pretty successful legal career. I am very glad I kept it as a hobby as it's hard to make any real money at it.
I am very happily making money in a musical career. It can be done. And I was by no means top of my game as a student. I studied music at uni, not conservatoire. There are other ways to make a living as a musician as well as performing.
My children's father was a cathedral organist and teaches now. His view though was similar to mine - compared to earnings in many other careers music is not an easy row to hoe.. Except I suppose fot the President Putin cellist - one of the richest musicians ever and he didn't make that money playing the cello. It sounds like childhood Putin friend holds the money off shore for Russian friends........
It sounds like your DD is undecided and needs to explore career options further. Also with maths/sciences, grades can drop drastically from GCSE to A level - I know a few that hav gone from A^ to D, or A to U. Music is also one of the more difficult A levels to do well in as many are not strong in all 3 aspects (performance, composition, analysis)
Even if she decides not to study music at Uni level, there is still the possibility of a performance scholarship ar many Unis.
As far as Music/Maths combo is concerned, it has to be either a 50/50 or Maths major, For Unis that offer Major/Minor, music minor could be a possibility, but doubtful if full performance options would be available. Checked a few off these options out with DD1. She decided on straight Music at an RG Uni in the end, despite also being offered a Comservatoire place. But she's wanted to do a Music degree since the ag of 12. Just completed first year, so early days with employability yet.
Music by itself is as respected as any other Humanities degrees. More so for some as the transferable skills are brilliant.
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