|Many people have different ideas about how to write and structure a personal statement. Some of this advice, as has been noted above, doesn't really work in a Music personal statement! Things that should go into a Music personal statement include:
- instruments and standard on these instruments. You may have already put this in the "Other Qualifications" for your practical exam grades but don't assume that all admissions tutors will read this section properly! In particular, applicants should make sure that somewhere in their personal statement, their level of keyboard playing is clearly mentioned, since many universities have a compulsory "Keyboard Skills" course.
- How you came to be interested in music/how you came to play your principal study/how you came to compose or to conduct.
- Your musical interests. Are you a performer, composer, conductor or budding academic? What styles interest you?
- Extra-curricular activities and achievements. Many Music applicants will have lots and for this reason, it is essential to only list the most important things. The most important things will be competition wins and big ensembles, or things which you have organised or had a leading role in.
- Non-musical things. Whilst obviously it's important to show what a good musician you are and why you'd be a good uni student, it's great if you can show that you have multiple interests and/or talents!
Things not to mention or do in a Music personal statement:
- Avoid the word "always". You didn't emerge from your mother's womb loving Mahler or wanting to compose! Also avoid words such as "love", "passion", etc.
- Don't give your life story. Anything mentioned, whether it's practical exam grades or competition wins, should be within the last few years. Certainly don't stretch before Year 10.
- Don't exaggerate your performing capabilities, particular regarding the piano. You may come to regret it later on!
- Try to avoid talking about things in a list form. It's better to talk about a few things and have a sentence or two about why this interested you, how you developed from this competition win, etc.
- Don't put module marks, exam result marks, etc. in your personal statement. You're wasting space by doing so! Ask your teacher to put it in his/her reference.
Whilst you can use the same statement for both UCAS and CUKAS, it is sometimes better to write two slightly different statements. Conservatoires will want more detail about performing activities and
competition wins, whilst universities will want to get a sense of a rounded character (so non-musical interests, other A Level subjects etc.)