Yafei Wang

Yafei Wang

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background?

I am currently a second-year research student at the School of Music and I’m from China. I have always been interested in music ever since I was a child. I play both the piano and the violin from a very young age. Before letting myself in the music field, I did my undergraduate in Economics and Finance in Malaysia. Then, I furthered my study in Finance at a master level in the UK. Upon completion of my first master’s degree, I found that I couldn’t ignore my passion for music, so I did my second master’s degree in Music and Management at the University of Leeds. With great interest and the wish for exploring music from a business perspective, I decided to stay here for a PhD in Music. 

What made you want to apply to Leeds?

The course structure and the design of modules that the School of Music offers were really attractive to me. Also, the University of Leeds is part of the Russel Group of leading UK universities and it’s a top world 100 university with its reputation in career opportunity and student satisfaction. The city’s atmosphere and the sense of arts and culture was another reason for my choice. 

What is it that makes you passionate about your area of study?

My learning experiences in MA Music and Management at the School of Music stimulated my interest in the music industry even further. I am, personally, really interested in K-pop music and I’m experienced in playing in amateur orchestras, so I opt for a great blend of my personal interests and the knowledge I’ve gained in business and economics. 

What would you say about the learning facilities in your School and at the University in general?

The learning facilities that the School of Music provides are really outstanding, from rehearsal rooms and concert halls, to professional studios for sound recording and computer music composition. There is also a working space in the building specifically for PhD students. 

The university libraries are very impressive in terms of the accessibility and availability of books and online journals. The IT Service is being very supportive as well, like getting a range of free software for data analysis. 

Do you work closely with a particular tutor or member or the University’s academic staff? Tell us about that experience?

As a PhD student, I work closely with my supervisors – Professor Karen Burland and Stan Erraught. My PhD experience is fantastic with them! We have regular meetings each month for a discussion on my research and the progress. I’ve been well-guided under their encouragement and patience. The meetings are always inspiring and motivating. 

What other activities are available for students to take part in outside of their studies, and which ones have you tried out yourself?

There are many other activities available for students to take part in, from clubs and societies to paid job opportunities around campus. Like in my case, I’ve joined the Music Society and participated in an orchestra as a violinist for about two years. During term time, we do have regular rehearsals on a weekly basis preparing for the lunchtime concerts. 

I’ve also had an unforgettable working experience here in Leeds. Before starting my PhD study, I felt very lucky and honoured to work as an office assistant at medici.tv, the world’s leading classical music channel, during and for the Leeds International Piano Competition 2018. 

How would you describe Leeds as a City? What are your favourite things to do/places to go here?

Leeds is a lovely, modern city bursting with life and cultural energy where I find it’s very suitable for students and young professionals to live! I really enjoy exploring new pubs and bars with live music performances as there are a large number of artistic and cosy bars in Leeds. 

What do you plan to do when you’ve finished your course, and how do you think the skills and knowledge you’ve developed/are developing at Leeds will help with these plans?

I’m planning to join the academia when I’ve finished my course and I’m wishing to stay here at the University of Leeds as a lecturer in music. I will also continue to work on academic research in the field of music and entertainment industries. 

What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to Leeds?

Leeds is full of opportunities and you will be amazed by the experience here!