School of Music alumni Kathy Ng (Weng Lam). Kathy is stood on a bridge and is looking directly into the camera and smiling.

Kathy Ng

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your current career?

I grew up in Macau and I completed my sixth form in the Leeds West Academy in UK. I have always had a great passion for music since childhood and achieved my grade 8 music theory at the age of 13. I have now moved back to Macau and I am currently working as a staff admin officer in a secondary school and also as a private piano tutor at all ages, including special education needs students (SENs). One of my SEN students has been awarded the Championship of the SEN Group in the International Global Music Talent Contest 2022. I am currently applying for an MA Music Therapy course at the University of Melbourne which is a full-time masters course and I should be able to become a registered music therapist after completing the programme.

Please tell us about any other roles you’ve had since graduating from Leeds.

I worked as a part-time music teacher in a secondary school for a year. At the end of the academic year, I worked closely with my student and organised a talent show for the secondary student. I also delivered a percussion ensemble class during the school day.

How do you think the skills and knowledge you developed at Leeds helped with your career success?

During my four years, I go lots of opportunities to develop my key employability skills including problem solving and communication. I also volunteered to become a peer mentor and the undergraduate representative of School of Music. Attending conferences and organising student experiences and discussing how to improve academic life allowed me to have a more diverse knowledge base of working in an educational setting. Along with this, I also worked as an admissions intern and International Concert Series intern from my second year. It was nice to expand my knowledge of the business side of music and transfer this back to my current career.

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

I always wanted to become a music therapist and the course offered by the University of Leeds definitely provide a framework of what music psychology is. Music psychology is quite a new topic to discuss and it is an interesting area to explore.

What aspects of the course did you enjoy the most?  

I definitely enjoyed the entire programme, especially the Music, Health and Wellbeing module. It helped me to answer questions of how music sooths individuals’ emotions and the relationship between one’s personality and their music preference. The most exciting part is even though I am a major in Music Psychology, I am still able to choose ‘Performance’ as my optional module which allows me to continue to perform on stage. This led to me achieving my ARSM piano exam with distinction during my third year.

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

The practice rooms in the School of Music are extraordinary as they are all equipped with Steinway pianos. The School holds a lunchtime concert every Tuesday, all students are welcome to attend and it is a good time for peer learning. Since I am an international student, I was struggling with writing academic papers during my transition. The workshop provided by the library was my life- saver, the materials on the library website are categorised and can be used as guide throughout years based on the coursework type. Dr Ian Sapiro was very supportive as my personal tutor, offering constructive feedback and encouragement. I don’t think I would have managed to finish my degree without this academic support.

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

This course is definitely a great choice for anyone, but not just people who would like to become a music therapist. The skills you gain from the course are highly valued by employers and the University of Leeds is such a supportive environment with a diverse cultural community.