Should I go back to uni?

tewkeshorn

Account Suspended
OK, serious post for once..

For quite a few months now I've been toying with the idea of going back to uni and doing a music/performance/banding course or something. Either part-time or taking a break from work for a year or so.

I'm 23 now, and although I'd be a mature student that wouldn't bother me (I've just picked up a HNC in IT which I started 2 yrs ago so was technically mature then!)

I'd like some advice on what people have done on courses (what courses and where is best to go etc, and if anyones actually gone from work back to uni).

The main reason for this is to try and kick-start my playing ability as I feel I need some heavy-duty tutoring. My normal practise/banding routine is not getting very far while I feel I've still got quite a bit of untapped potential (well we'd all say that wouldn't we!).

Grateful for your thoughts/opinions.
 

Naomi McFadyen

New Member
Do whatever course suits you best! :-D ;)

Just go for it.... you're still young!
Several people start off at Salford in their mid 20s... and even a few in their 40s!!
 

TheMusicMan

tMP Founder
Staff member
Go for it John, we can read from your post that your heart is obviously very much in it...:)

Never too old for that...:)
 
Have you considered getting lessons from someone first? Cheaper than a year or two at uni by a long way and might do the trick for you. I wonder how much one to one tuition you get on these courses?
 

lynchie

Active Member
The fact that you're considering tells me you should do it! You'll only regret it if you don't! Go for it dude!
 
Go for it, most definitely.

I had the same decision to make myself 10 years ago and do not regret it.

A philosophy I have is that if you think you're going to regret not doing something later on then do it. I would hate to get to 40/50 years old and think I wish I had done that.

I have gone the other way, I did my music degree and then went into IT.

All the best in whatever you do.
 

Lauradoll

Active Member
Sorry to contradict everyone but if you're not 100% sure about doing it, I wouldn't do it. It's fair enough everyone else saying "do it" but if your heart's not 100% in it then you'll probably end up not doing it, or not doing yourself justice.
 
Check out the music courses that the Open University have to offer...
I did A214 last year, and am just about to complete AA302 (go to their website and search on the course codes). If I pass this year, I will have a Dip Mus (OU). I can go on to study further for a BA in Humanities with Music.
For practical exams, I am going to take DipABRSM next year and take it from there.

For a person who plays an instrument A214 starts off with the basics (to cater for those who don't play an instrument or read music), but by the end, you will have written a minuet, have learned to write chrorales in the style of JS Bach and have studied major works such as Beethoven 5th (well at least I did) amongst others. There is also a weeks summer school which you must attend in Durham University (Hatfield College) which was great fun!

AA302 this year has been more involved (it is a level 3 OU course, A214 is a Level 2). It's full title is From Composition to Performance, Musicians at Work. You study quite a broad range of topics from world music (Gamelan, Indian traditional music etc) to pop, jazz etc..

I would recommend these courses (there is another A314 too) for anyone wanting to study music at a higer level without having to return to full time education... With good time management like mine (he lied ) these courses are very managable.
 
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ScrapingtheBottom

Active Member
I would get youself some lessons from a top teacher (if you haven't already done so) and see how you cope with being pushed. Performance (from what I have heard) is very tough and the tutors take no prisoners, if you wish to be a pro you really have to go for it.
 

jpbray

Member
It sounds like you have no alternative but to go for it, you are still young, and in years to come you will always "the what if" syndrome at the back of your mind. Also do a PGSE for teaching as insurance in case thing go pear shaped, because it would seem even peripatetic's are going to need something along these lines. Better informed people than me on this forum may be able to contribute to this.
 
Unreserved yes. I went back to uni from work when I was 29 and it was the best thing I ever did for my playing, conducting, general musicianship and social life (imagine being 29 and being given licence to live like an 18 year old!!!) Hard decision to make though when thinking financially but as others have said, don't get to 40 and think what if. I went to Newcastle to study a BA. Performance is as much or as little of your degree as you want it to be and I can recommend the city 100%. Should also be a great place to be studying music once the new Sage music centre opens in Gateshead.

Just another point that jpbray raised. Doing a PGCE is fine and admirable but why do musos in particular think of teaching as a fall back option. It's not a job just anyone can do (or at least do well) and should be treated as the vocation it is not some kind of cop out.

Good luck.
 

mikelyons

Supporting Member
Paul McLaughlin said:
Just another point that jpbray raised. Doing a PGCE is fine and admirable but why do musos in particular think of teaching as a fall back option. It's not a job just anyone can do (or at least do well) and should be treated as the vocation it is not some kind of cop out.

Good luck.
I agree with this.

Teaching is often considered as a fall-back position for musicians. However, unless you have the patience of a saint and are prepared to put up with the rubbish that teachers have to put up with in schools - prepared to be a 2nd class citizen and poor relation to scientists, mathematicians and English teachers (as well as technologists and virtually everyone else including the office staff and cleaners) don't do it.

It might not be so bad if you want to be a peri, but classroom teaching is bl**ody hard and the stuff that new student teachers have to do is the worst kind of distracting and largely unnecessary drivel I've ever seen. If you think you can face it by all means try, but be prepared to put up wth a lot.
 

jpbray

Member
mikelyons said:
It might not be so bad if you want to be a peri, but classroom teaching is bl**ody hard and the stuff that new student teachers have to do is the worst kind of distracting and largely unnecessary drivel I've ever seen. If you think you can face it by all means try, but be prepared to put up wth a lot.
The music business I would assume can be fickle, and bills have got to be paid. But I do agree that classroom teaching is the devils own job. Nevertheless private tutition and peri.. work is quite lucrative and I should imagine satisfying because by enlarge the young people who are there, are there because they want to be there. However, I suppose that begs the question do you need a PGSE? or is it just a niceity.

I know this is going away from the original question, but it does raise valid issues. Still go for it.
 

mikelyons

Supporting Member
Somebody did point out that, in the near future, you will need a PGCE to be a peri. Personally, I think that's ridiculous, because the skills needed by a peri are quite different to those needed by a classroom teacher and the PGCE - at least at the moment - doesn't really allow for this.

I think going to uni and getting your degree should be an end in itself - for your own self-worth and in the eyes of others. My partner is constantly hampered by the lack of a degree even though there is no problem with their ability and a proven record of academic achievement and success in the workplace.

It is definitely worth having that piece of paper.
 

Lauradoll

Active Member
Having just moved to my (3rd) school, I can safely say that there are some nice schools and some nice kids out there! Teaching is a great job but you really really want to have to do that- the lows (used to) outweight the highs!! (But not any more! It's all good!!
 

tewkeshorn

Account Suspended
Wow, thanks for all your posts so far guys.

I'm 99.9% wanting to go for it, the only main issue to sort out is money (whether to cut back to part time at work or try and get LEA funding but not sure whether I can apply as I'm over 21??).

The level of top tuition that comes with a uni course is a big draw for me, ideally got my sights set on Salford Uni after seeing the teaching staff (Sheona White teaching horn and Peter Graham and David King lecturing among others!!).

There's various areas I need to sort out (agreeing with work to let me go back afterwards, sorting out funding probably via a LEA, and also getting accepted onta a course by a uni!)

I've got a lot of phone calls to make, I'll try and keep everyone posted on my progress in case anyone else has a go!
 

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