watermelongirll
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i'm in y12 and am looking to study music at uni, but it's so hard to tell which ones are good for music. at the moment i'm looking at durham, oxford, birmingham and manchester, but also want to find some with slightly lower entry requirements.if you're studying music, can you tell me what the course/choirs/ensembles/general music scene is like at your university? thanks!
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The_Lonely_Goatherd
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Hi there!

Have you looked at Bristol (BBB-AAB), Cardiff (ABB-BBB), Edinburgh (AAB-ABB), King's College London (AAB), Newcastle (ABB), or Royal Holloway (ABB-AAB)? Bristol, KCL and Royal Holloway have particularly strong reputations, though all the unis I've listed are very good! :yes:

By the way, if you do decide to apply to Oxford, feel free to message me. It's many years since I did my Oxford music degree (2007-2010) but I can help you with navigating the process a bit. For more up-to-date info, OxMus may be willing to help
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University of York
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(Original post by watermelongirll)
i'm in y12 and am looking to study music at uni, but it's so hard to tell which ones are good for music. at the moment i'm looking at durham, oxford, birmingham and manchester, but also want to find some with slightly lower entry requirements.if you're studying music, can you tell me what the course/choirs/ensembles/general music scene is like at your university? thanks!
Hi watermelongirll

I'm a recent Music grad from the University of York (graduated 2019). I can honestly say I had the best three years of my life and would really recommend the course! Firstly: no exams! This was a huge thing for me, because I believe that Music can't really be assessed properly through written exams. Instead, I did a variety of things like essays, transcriptions, compositions and performances but you can tailor your degree to your interests and strengths.

For example, there were singers on my course who wanted to go to be professional performers, so they took a lot of performance modules. The same goes for composers. I took a wide variety of modules because I wasn't sure what I wanted to do afterwards! I did British pop, editing early music manuscripts, community music, the Romantic era etc.

The instrumental lessons are also great! I had a Trumpet teacher who also taught at the RNCM, so I got really high quality instrumental lessons.

The ensembles were really fun, and again there's lots of choice depending on your instrument/area of music. I was in the gospel choir (which was more chill) and the University-wide choir (also non-audition), but there are also smaller, auditioned choirs including an a capella one.

I was also in the brass band, big band, symphony orchestra and the contemporary ensemble (Chimera). I broadened my horizons at uni and tried so many things I had never done before!

The absolute best thing about the department is the atmosphere. It's fairly small, so everyone knows everyone and it's very social. You do some modules across all years, so I got to know people in the years above and below me, so there was more chance to make friends. You then get to play alongside these people in the ensembles. Most of my friends were music students, because we just spent so much time together and had lots in common! The very first thing you do as a fresher is put on the practical project (opera/musical/play type thing) where you get to know everyone in your year and some of the older students. It's a great bonding experience and introduction to uni.

Finally, York is a great place to live and study. I could go on and on about how lovely the city is! Here is the page for Year 12's interested in the course.

Sorry for the very long reply! If you have any questions about studying at York or the Music Department, just let me know!

Hazel
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UoB - Arts and Law
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(Original post by watermelongirll)
i'm in y12 and am looking to study music at uni, but it's so hard to tell which ones are good for music. at the moment i'm looking at durham, oxford, birmingham and manchester, but also want to find some with slightly lower entry requirements.if you're studying music, can you tell me what the course/choirs/ensembles/general music scene is like at your university? thanks!
Hi my name is Jenny and I’m currently in third year studying music at the University of Birmingham. Firstly, I was in a similar situation before I chose Birmingham and the thing that really swayed it for me was the facilities, so I’d really recommend signing up for as many visit days as you can so you can get a good look. The course here has been amazing, I’ve been able to study everything I’m interested in from film music and musicals to feminist musicology and music and emotion. There is such a huge spread of courses that you can study everything you’re interested in, and our staff come from the leaders in their field. On the staff, they really care about each one of us, and really want us to do well.

If you’re interested in choirs, Birmingham really is the perfect university for you. We have three unauditioned choirs, two chamber choirs and uni chorus. We also have three auditioned choirs - Birmingham University Singers, Women’s choir and Camerata. All of these choirs sing completely different rep conducted by some incredible conductors (Simon Halsey is usually around and Bob Chilcott led BUS last year). We also have sooo many instrumental groups! We have two full sized auditioned orchestras, symphony and philharmonic. We have a specialist early music orchestra as well as a specialist early music vocal ensemble. We plenty of unauditioned groups too, in fact we have just about everything you could think of. From two wind bands and our award winning brass band to string orchestra and samba band (and just about every group in between).

Outside of campus music, we have lots of society music groups. We have the Jazz , Funk & Soul Society who jam every month at a local bar. We have three drama/music societies that put on regular shows throughout the year - Guild Musical Theatre Group, Gilbert and Sullivan Society and Panto Society. We also have 6 non-music dramas societies that you can get involved in if that’s your thing.

I hope this helps!
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OxMus
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(Original post by watermelongirll)
i'm in y12 and am looking to study music at uni, but it's so hard to tell which ones are good for music. at the moment i'm looking at durham, oxford, birmingham and manchester, but also want to find some with slightly lower entry requirements.if you're studying music, can you tell me what the course/choirs/ensembles/general music scene is like at your university? thanks!
Hi,

I'm a current Oxford music undergrad. Feel free to message me if you have any questions about course/admissions/etc. I'm afraid I know nothing about the other universities, so can't help there.

Thanks, The_Lonely_Goatherd, for the tag (as usual!)
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