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    So-I've been playing oboe for 5 years and I'm aiming to do my grade 8 in the winter. I'm working towards grade 6 theory and piano as well. I've been thinking about conservatoires,which is a real ambition for me, although that's a few years away (I'm 16). I've been looking at the Academy in particular, but I'm not sure if that's entirely realistic. Anyhow, I have a number of questions-
    Which conservatoire(s) would be best for me?
    If I weren't to get into one, which universities are best for music? I've heard Leeds is pretty good...
    How competitive are places for oboe? I've heard that getting into a conservatoire on trumpet and violin are fairly competitive.
    In terms of 'prestige', as it were, how are they ranked?
    Finally, in terms of financing the whole thing-roughly how much are they a year?

    I might have some more questions later, but that's all at the moment...

    Thanks in advance
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    Hi Isaac,

    It’s great to hear that you’re interested in studying oboe at conservatoire or university. It seems that you’re really enthusiastic about performance, playing both the oboe and piano!

    Every conservatoire share a same goal – to provide high-quality performance training and education. Having said that, each conservatoire is different from one another, whether that’s specialisms, strengths or course content. So it’s really important to research every conservatoire you’re interested in to find the perfect fit for you. Find out more about the professional staff and find out what kind of performing experience they have, the range of facilities available and performance opportunities.

    Here’s a list of all the music/arts conservatoires in the UK: http://www.conservatoiresuk.ac.uk/members/

    Similarly, each university will have their own distinctive courses, and unlike conservatoires, university can offer a wider range of modules from performance, composition, musicology and music technology, so a much broader range that caters to students who are interested in more academic topics in the performing arts.

    For many conservatoires, fees for an undergraduate degree would start at £9250 per year (also to clarify that conservatoires charge the same as universities). But don’t forget, scholarships are available for students who show great musical promise. You can find more information on fees and scholarships on their respective websites.

    Oboe applications are competitive, but it’s perhaps better not to focus too much on competition. You’re clearly aiming for the right standard (Grade 8) with the addition of piano and music theory, and as long as you know this is what you want to do you stand a chance of getting in, so I’d give it a shot!

    Rankings are often based on a number of factors, including student satisfaction, employment prospects and quality of teaching. While this kind of information can be useful, it’s equally important that you identify for yourself which place will get the best out of your interests and talent.

    In the meantime, I would suggest finding out dates of open days for each institution you’re interested in. Open days are a great chance to get to know more about the course, meet the teachers and students there, and discover the environment of the college.

    Occasionally, some conservatoires may have taster days, where you are able to get directly involved with the students and teachers there. If you’re interested, we have a Woodwind and French Horn Taster Day at Trinity Laban happening on October 28th. You can find all the details here: http://www.trinitylaban.ac.uk/study/...orn-taster-day

    You can also book individual consultation lessons with the professional staff. It’s a great way to perform in front of people at ‘the top of their game’, gain some advice, and understand the expectations of a top conservatoire.

    Ultimately, the most important thing when considering where you want to study, is you. If you feel confident and happy about the choices you make, that will put you in good stead.


    I hope this gives you some insight into looking at conservatoires and universities. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask!

    Best wishes,

    Isaku
 
 
 
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