- Don't be put off somewhere because it doesn't have the same prestige as other conservatoires/universities. People seem to think to study classical music properly, you need to go to Royal College, Academy etc... and that lesser known conservatoires like Leeds College of Music are easier to get into. If you read the UCAS statistics it's actually quite clear that this is NOT the case - in 2011, Leeds had over 100 applicants for their postgrad study programme: of these, only 38 were offered a place.
- This may seem obvious but do your research into the area and make sure you're be happy living for three or more years. You may want to consider some questions like these:
How far is it from my current home?
How easy would it be to get back home if I needed to?
How warm/cold is it and will I be ok with that in Winter?
How expensive is it?
How far is the accommodation from my place of study?
How large/small is the city?
- Look in-depth at what exactly the course can offer you - check out optional modules, second year opportunities, who your tutors will be and what they specialise(d) in etc...
- Although this sounds somewhat negative, find out if they offer good courses for any other subjects you're interested in. I hope you will love the course you end up studying but it's good to be perpared in case it doesn't work out and you want to switch subject.
- Don't ever be put off a subject or universtiy because someone doesn't think you'll do well enough or work hard enough. Only you know what you're capable of so always make sure you do what's best for you. I made the misake of listening when I was advised not to apply to conservatoires because I wouldn't get in but I decided, just in time, not to listen to this and applied any way. I'm so glad I did!
- When you have made your decision and are happy with it, start you personal statement as soon as you can - it'e tempting to put it off but actually, it can be a really enjoyable experience if you give yourself plently of time.
Next time I will cover the auditions - thanks for reading and I hope you found this helpful!
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