Anyone starting at the RNCM in September?

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by skimbleshanks, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. skimbleshanks

    skimbleshanks Member


    OK, so 12 years on I finally took the plunge and applied to music college!

    I'll be starting a Postgrad Diploma in Performance on tenor horn at the RNCM in September. I was just wondering if anyone else was starting undergrad or postgrad study there this year, or if anyone has already done the PGDip or MMus in performance and if so how did they find it? Has anyone else been a mature student (> 25) at the RNCM and how was that experience?

    Have any of you current or past students lived in the Sir Charles Groves Hall? Is it mainly freshers, is it noisy, what did you like/dislike?


  2. How do you go about that?!

    Do you need and qualificatons eg A levels?
  3. HBB

    HBB Active Member

    OOooh... so you're the PG T Horn!!

    Sir Charles Groves is pretty OK as halls go... it's big, quite secure, so close to college it's unbelievable. Generally pretty quiet, but there are exceptions!

  4. skimbleshanks

    skimbleshanks Member

    Nope ! No A Level music required. I only have GCSE music. I spoke to RWCMD, Birmingham Conservatoire, Salford Uni as well as the RNCM, none of them required that I had A-Level music, they were more interested in playing ability at audition and my playing experience. However the PGDip is not as academic as an MMus: there is no dissertation to write.

    For the postgrad courses you need to have a first degree, but this does not have to be in music, mine is an MEng. Below is an extract about postgrad courses from the RNCM website:

    Last edited: May 1, 2008
  5. hicks

    hicks Member

    That's a bit of a direction change from your current profession. What made you decide to pursue music more seriously?
  6. Will the Sec

    Will the Sec Active Member

    Bravo. You are my latest hero, achieving something I've long dreamed of doing. :)
  7. skimbleshanks

    skimbleshanks Member

    It's something that I've always dreamed of doing. However, when I was younger I always assumed that I wasn't good enough and so never went to audition to see what the music colleges thought. That, and also the fact that I thought my parents wouldn't "accept" my choosing to go to music college. So I chose "good" prospects, stability, security, an "acceptable" career: I chose engineering.

    But developing software in a large IT services company is the most mind-numbing experience ever (for myself at least). So when my company offered me voluntary redundancy and a rather nice pay-off to go with it, I jumped at the chance. I thought about doing an MSc in order to try and break into more interesting engineering: automation and control, but I'd already had a glimpse down that alley and it looked pretty much the same as the one I'd just left. I was at a cross-roads.

    How many people have dreams? I don't mean dreams like winning the lottery, having loads of money/cars/women/men etc. I mean real dreams, dreams born of a passion, dreams that are tangible. Dreams that may be had if one has the courage to reach out and take them. Do you have a dream? What is it? Can you put it into words? Can you say to yourself "that is what I truly want"? But here's the big question: do you know what you must sacrifice in order to achieve that dream, and secondly, but more importantly, are you prepared to make that sacrifice? If only it were as easy as that ! But no. Making the sacrifice simply liberates you and places you at the start of the path that leads to your dream. Then you must walk that path and be prepared to work hard to realise your dream.

    As Agent Smith says in The Matrix, the world is full of people just living out their lives. But I, I have always known what my dream is even if I have denied it for many years. I don't want to live out my life and then, at the end, think that I knew what my dream was, that I may have had the means to achieve it, but that I didn't even try. In that case I should become a bitter old man.

    So I know what my dream is, I know what I have to sacrifice and I [think] I'm prepared to work for it. Going back to college at 30 (or anytime as a mature student), you have to abandon all the preconceived ideas about "getting on in life" and you have to get over your "status anxiety" (read Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton). Most of my mates, siblings, cousins and other contemporaries are all settling down, buying houses, getting married, having kids etc. but I'm selling up, moving countries and leaving my girlfriend behind in Paris.

    Maybe it won't work out. Maybe I won't be good enough, even if I passed audition. Maybe I'll be limited physically or mentally. Maybe I'll be rubbish at arranging and will never write music. Maybe I'll finish college and won't be able to find a job. But if I don't try I won't know. So I'm going to give it a shot.

    Wow! That was all a bit philosophical and existential !


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