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Music degrees(26 Posts)
If you have a DC doing a music degree (BMus), can I ask where, and whether they´re happy and feel the course is interesting? DS in y11 right now but already gathering information, thinking of possibilities, uni versus conservatoire, dual degree options, etc...
Not my DC but I did a BMus as a mature student in my 40s. Currently doing my MMus! I studied my BMus at Canterbury Christ Church University whose music dept had an excellent reputation at the time (c2006) but not so much now. I had a great time there and received a solid music education (music theory and analysis, composing, orchestrating, etc). Is your DS after a traditional music education (such as I had) or more industry focussed one, such as music production, music technology etc? I'm guessing he's a drummer from your user name and therefore there will be a focus on popular rather than classical training (I'm classically trained).
My son did a degree in Popular Music and Recording at Salford, then studied an MA in Composing for Film & TV at the NFTS. He really rated the Salford degree and all of his friends are now working in music. He wasn't classically trained, though.
My daughter is doing music at Oxford, and absolutely loving it. It's a BA though, not a BMus. She is not primarily interested in performance, so never seriously considered Conservatoire. Lots of her fellow students are though. There is a lot of choice of options, especially in the 2nd and 3rd years, so scope to design the course to suit your own interests (though obviously there are also some compulsory elements). The other person from her year at school who went on to do music is at Birmingham and she is really enjoying that.
Of course, as with every subject there is a need to balance the course with the feel of the city/campus, the facilities, accommodation etc. My daughter loved the look of the Manchester course but, when we visited, really didn't like the place. But we know someone who went there the year before her who loved it. A lot is down to personal preference.
Good luck to your son.
What musical instrument does your son play and does he intend to have a career in performance? My brother is an opera singer and completed his BA at Trinity college of music before completing his postgraduate degree at the Royal Academy of Music. He initially chose Trinity as he didn't want to move from London but had also been advised to study at a conservatoire rather than a university if he wanted to specialise in singing (he was was torn between singing or piano as his main instrument when he initially made his applications). He noticed that when attending auditions he rarely meet anyone who hadn't attended a conservatoire or Oxbridge (beit undergraduate or postgraduate). It’s still the case now (15 years on) but I don't know if this is just specific to the 'singing' world.
@Fifthtimelucky BMus is just an abbreviated form for BA (Music). The UCAS code for Oxford's BA in music is W300 which is the same code for the course I took.
BMus isn't shorthand for a BA (Bachelor of Arts) in Music - it's a degree in its own right: Bachelor of Music. Not that it makes any difference.
DS has a friend on a scholarship at Guildhall and loves it and has taken the classical pathway (I think that’s how it works for his instrument, though I know he’s also an excellent composer). I have a DNiece who plays the cello and the piano and is at Manchester, and she also got a form of scholarship (and turned down a Cambridge offer so obviously rated the course), a DNephew who is at Birmingham doing Composition (he plays piano). Our neighbour has also just completed his first term at ACM in Guildford (though there’s a branch in London and I think one in Birmingham) and is focusing on country music. He also likes it there.
It really depends on what area your DC wants to focus on and what his strengths are - there’s such a range for a subject like music.
My DS is doing a BMus at London college of music at University of West London. He's studying music performance and production and is really happy with his choice/ university life. Another one to consider is LIPA although tough to secure an offer due to the demand for the places.
Thanks so much for answers!
As to your questions, DS is a drummer, classical percussionist and pianist (classical and jazz). He attends jd on Saturdays and has made percussion his first study. So conservatoire would be an option. But he's also very academic and enjoying composition so could do Uni first and then postgrad for performance. Another option is a dual degree (Manchester-RNCM or Harvard-Berklee if he manages a scholarship). He's very passionate about jazz drumming but he also enjoys orchestral and world percussion, marimba, etc and is keen to keep his training broad (he has been advised by many drummers to do so, as it doubles his employability). He's keeping his mind open!
I also thought a BMus was a BA in Music...
I gather that the joint RNCM/Manchester course is extremely good, as is the Birmingham equivalent.
You mention he enjoys composition - my child’s godmother’s son is a pianist doing a degree at Birmingham that focuses on composition and he was also very academic (A*AA at A level) and is really enjoying it.
mybrilliantdisguise may I ask what your son is doing now? NFTS looks amazing, and I know if I show that site to my DD, she would not consider anywhere else!
How was Beaconsfield? Did he live there (or perhaps your home is commutable?) How was the balance between classically trained and Pop musicians in the course, please?
I don't dare tell her about the Salford course- she's classical at present, but becoming obsessed with a career in pop...
Tabby (and others mentioning Birmingham) are you meaning UoB, or BCU/Birmingham Conservatoire?
haba I was talking about uni of Birmingham I think (although now you’ve told me there’s a conservatoire I’m not sure... I’ll have to check)
Regarding the Salford course - on of our close friends is dating a man in a relatively popular band (second headliner at festivals type act) who met some of his band members doing that very degree at Salford. It’s obviously a good course
not that your DD needs to know
Conservatoire is now headed by Julian Lloyd-Webber.
UoB has a v strong music dept too though.
She is keen on composition.
But even more keen to be front in a band doing festivals... erk.
A relative of mine has just qualified after 4 years at a conservatoire. The trouble with music as a career is that there is a lot of work and intense competition for few places in orchestras and not much money. It is also a very stressful course.
She enjoyed parts of it but hated other parts.
Thanks tabby we'll check it out. Yes 2rebecca indeed we've had the money talk many times. Only one thing has come out of it: where there's a passion and a happiness, it's no use squashing it and I'd never be the parent to do it. At least they can always teach their craft. And they don't hurt anybody. They don't make this world a worst, less fair world. Not true with all professions.
True, my relative still can't think of anything else she'd rather have done and intends to stay in the music field but probably not with performing as her principal job..
@TabbyTigger which year did they graduate?
MyBrilliant not sure which you’re asking for but the Birmingham boy hasn’t graduated (in his second year) and I have no idea about the Salford band members (I’ve only met him a few times) but probably about 10 years ago if age is anything to go off! The girl we know at Manchester is also in second year and all the others in first year at their respective institutions.
My DS will be doing a music degree from September, yet to decide where as he has 5 firm offers (currently on gap year). He chose a mixture of BA and BMus courses, depending on course content. He'd love to be a classical singer but didn't want to do conservatoire at undergraduate level as felt it was too narrow and didn't want to be 'pigeon holed'.
I think the exposure to people studying other things and not just musicians also appealed. He'd definitely consider conservative for post-grad though.
Tabby, I was just wondering if they were my son's friends! He left three years ago, so obviously not.
MyBrilliant Oh, that would have been funny!! But no - the band have been together for at least 10 years (and started verrrry small - I do remember going to see them perform on the tiniest stage at a festival to a crowd of about 50 people in maybe 2008).
If you also know people who’ve gone on to be a successful band from that degree at Salford then it clearly is a good one!!