Hey, I’m Adam and I’m a first-year Music student at the University of York. You might have read my last blog about A week in the life of a Music student. For this blog, I wanted to highlight a few things that you can look forward to as a student at York.
Music and non-music societies
Unlike a lot of universities, York has a lot of music-related societies that are led by a professional conductor. There’s Chamber Choir, The 24, University Symphony Orchestra and more. If you like something more ambitious or experimental, there are also some student-run ensembles like Chimera, the contemporary music ensemble. Either way, you will definitely be able to get your music fix here. Outside of the university, there are loads of other musical things to get into like events at the Minster (which is free to visit for residents). If your life happens to involve things other than music, there are also over 200 university societies that you can join! I’m part of York Student Television and badminton outside of my music societies.
The Practical Project
As a first year, your first module will be the Practical Project. With leadership and direction from a lecturer and a group of second and third year students, you will put together a big public performance which students plan, market and perform. Through this, you will be able to meet loads of new people since the department is small and close-knit.
The Practical Project is so varied; you get to pick which groups you want to be part of and if you want to, you can create your own performances. These could be played at the interval or during the concert. This has been part of the course pretty much since the department started, and many alumni praise it for being one of the most important parts of the first year.
The balance between practical and theoretical work
The biggest reason why I’m so happy with the Music department at York is the mixture of theoretical studies, like harmony and counterpoint, and practical aspects of the course, like conducting or performance modules. Whenever I meet musicians that went to different universities they often mention how they wish their university had a balance between the two sides of music. After all, they are both important and most people get into music through the practical, rather than theoretical side. The department at York is also a very forward-thinking one. There are career days and events from the start of first year to help you get an idea of what you might want to do after university.
Apart from these top three, there are still so many things you can look forward to at York. The concert series is great, with weekly concerts that showcase so many different types of music. There’s also the ability to choose modules straight away; all the student concerts; and that there are no big hall traditional exams!