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Applying for Undergraduate Course at Oxford

I’d want to apply for a music course at Oxford but I’m wondering what would impress Oxford with my Uni application. I still have over a year to apply so I’m wondering what I could do other than me having ABRSM Grades 8 in Piano and Music theory, and having high predicted grades
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What I've been told by many many people is that the absolute best thing to do is to read in your subject. Really expansively so you can gain new knowledge and understanding on your subject because it allows you to be able o talk about it more knowledgeably and shows your interest and engagement
Original post by Username908
I’d want to apply for a music course at Oxford but I’m wondering what would impress Oxford with my Uni application. I still have over a year to apply so I’m wondering what I could do other than me having ABRSM Grades 8 in Piano and Music theory, and having high predicted grades
Original post by Username908
I’d want to apply for a music course at Oxford but I’m wondering what would impress Oxford with my Uni application. I still have over a year to apply so I’m wondering what I could do other than me having ABRSM Grades 8 in Piano and Music theory, and having high predicted grades


Hello!

Resident Oxford music alumna here :biggrin: @OxMus is a current student (though they're not on TSR much these days).

About 90% of music applicants get to the interview stage so it's really about making sure you impress at interview (which you do by doing all the usual things Oxbridge look for: thinking on your feet, thinking outside the box, using information you know to respond to questions that you don't know the answer to, etc.) and that all the other parts of your application are strong. Or if there's something that is weaker, that there are other parts of the application that you really excel in. Like my grades were weaker than other people's but my written work and interview kicked ass, so they took me :biggrin:

You will have to submit two samples of written work (one which must be from your music A Level/IB course), as well as harmony and counterpoint exercises. It's worth thinking carefully about what to send in when the time comes, and to have a good understanding of keyboard harmony. To help you with this, you can practice Bach chorale harmonisation from this book every day (or every few days): https://www.musicroom.com/johann-sebastian-bach-371-harmonized-chorales-and-hl50327600 .

In terms of the written work: since it can form the basis of part (or all!) of an Oxford interview, I'd recommend that you send in an essay on a topic that you understand well and can talk about at length/eloquently :yep:

If you haven't already had a go at reading it, you might like to dip into Nicholas Cook's Music: A Very Short Introduction (published by Oxford University Press). Though if you don't understand it at all, don't worry: I didn't until the third go (which was during my second year at Ox) :biggrin:

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