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Charlotte Richardson

What made you want to apply to your course and to Leeds?

I originally was on the BMus Music Performance course as I was interested in studying performance to a higher level within a university setting, rather than a conservatoire as there is more variety of modules outside of performing to gain a broader knowledge. I made the decision to transfer courses as I believed that a Year in Industry would be more beneficial to me in the long term than a year abroad in a conservatoire. I chose Leeds, firstly because of the course, but secondly due to the distance from home and through speaking to older students with positive opinions of the university.

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

I have always been passionate about music, practice and performing took up a lot of my time before University, so I was inspired to come to University and improve further.

What aspects of the course did you enjoy the most?

I have enjoyed the ensemble performance module over my time at the University as it has been great to work alongside so many brilliant musicians, playing repertoire that I would have never considered previously. It’s so nice that the module spans across all levels of undergraduate students as it’s lovely to have the support of the older students in first year, and then take on leadership roles in later years. I have also enjoyed Music in Context modules, learning from lecturers who are in their element teaching about their specialism and research. It’s infectious how passionate the staff are about their specialisms.

What has been the most surprising thing about coming to Leeds?

The sense of community, and the department itself is so friendly. I’m constantly surprised by the number of societies to get involved in outside of my degree, ranging to suit absolutely everybody’s interest.

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

The facilities within the School of Music are excellent – Clothworkers’ Concert Hall is an excellent place to listen to concerts and perform in. There is plenty of space to work, from computer clusters and practice rooms within the department and lots of library space. The University as a whole seem to have excellent facilities for extra help with studies as well as looking out for student wellbeing.

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

I have been highly involved with the Leeds University Union Music Society, playing in multiple ensembles as well as managing the brass band and taking on the role of fundraising and sponsorship officer in my second year. I have also been involved with the musical theatre societies, playing in the pit bands for many shows. Outside of the arts, I’m always amazed about what else in on offer, but unfortunately have never managed to find the time to take up a new sport, although I know many who have.

Did you take a work placement or study abroad year? If so, how did you find this experience and what have you gained from it?

I undertook a Year in Industry placement at Handel & Hendrix in London, a placement opportunity advertised through the school of music. I think that the experience was the best possible experience for me as I was able to move to London for the first time and experience working full time for the first time in such a great city. I gained so much worthwhile experience from my placement, from the basics of working within an office environment, to teaching children in workshops and running a weekly concert series. I have gained so many skills that hope will help me post-graduation, and a wealth of experience to put on a CV.

What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to your course?

The music course in Leeds is absolutely brilliant and there’s so much space within the modules offered specialise your degree to your interests. The department is so friendly and there is such a sense of community across all of the levels of study so it is really easy to fit in.

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

Once I have graduated, I plan to do a PGCE course to train to be a music teacher. The overall subject knowledge I have gained during my time at Leeds, and my work experience through my Year in Industry will help me with these plans.