So I'm applying to do a music degree at goldsmiths next year.
It's a BMus, they do music or popular music. For the music course they want more things like GCSE's and a grade eight on your main instrument. Well, I didn't hang around at school long enough to get GCSE's, I sat my music one incidentally and got an A. Technically I hold up to grade six on piano but again I dropped out at about seventeen. So the popular music course is a little easier to get on, no qualifications necessary, just a talent and passion for music. I had a quick chat with one of the tutors and, reading between the lines, I have a pretty good chance of getting on the course. She told me they have to get 400 plus applicants down to 200 for interviews, they then get that down to just 50! Funnily enough I never even knew that university picks you, not the other way around! Haha. So she told me that a lot will come down to the personal statement, she recommended I start playing more live and to get some tracks recorded. I have just over a year to prepare anyway, pretty excited about it!
I might, in the interim year, go back to college and complete the final year of my counselling and psychotherapy diploma. I'd technically be able to practise as a counsellor then, which is a scary proposition! Haha
It would though go towards my final goal of being a music therapist, after three years getting a music degree I'd then go on to do some kind of therapist/counselling course. I think goldsmiths actually had a specific music therapy course. They have a pretty decent social sciences department anyway.
Music is really the only thing I get passionate about, it was my solace after I was abused aged eleven. We had a baby grand in the house we were renting at the time, which sounds terribly posh but believe me it weren't. I'd spend hours and hours lost in my own world. Literally working out how to play a triad chord, I learnt how to play by ear, listening to a song I liked on a loop, pressing keys until I found which ones sounded right. Stabbing out the melody and pressing base notes to match. I taught myself 'Eternal Flame' like this, 'Let it be' and 'Imagine'. It was around the time meatloaf had 'I would do anything for love' out and I remember playing it full blast and hammering it out on the piano, imagining I was on stage playing it live.. Mum noticed I was good and somehow found the money to pay a little old lady down the road to give me lessons. I had to suddenly learn these really basic classical pieces and read sheet music. I thought this was boring and would go home and play some twelve bar blues! To this day I hate playing from a lead sheet, once I know the chord progression for the song ill play it how I want to.
I took cello and trombone lessons at school, randomly.. Initially I wanted to play the bassoon but only because it looked like the coolest instrument in the orchestra! I taught myself guitar and by 14 I was busking Bob Dylan songs on the streets of Brighton with a harmonica around my neck. Not to sound like I'm bragging but I can pretty much pick up an instrument and work out how to play it in a few hours, ok, maybe we can strike the saxophone and oboe off that list! I taught myself piano accordion a few years ago. It was a 120 key piano accordion that I found in a skip! Seriously I have no clue how they play those things! I'm pretty musical anyway, I'd love to work with music somehow so therapy sounds great!
I should have a degree by the time I'm 36 and be fully qualified by 40! Haha.. I probably should have done it a few years ago but hey, never too late :)
Getting funded to do all this is a whole other issue though, I have no idea if I can get a student loan for this, especially the full three years.
It's £9,000 per year just for the tuition. I'd have to look into grants for living and housing costs. I guess they do those?
I read that you don't start to pay the tuition fees back until you're earning £26,000 annually. And then it works out about £5 per week which isn't too bad I think.
At least it's possible to get the damn things. In other countries you pay for your learning, most American families start saving for college from youngsters.
I can see why students are pissed off about fees increasing, by the time these kids graduate they're often £30k or more in debt!
It's a pretty hefty wedge of money to be stuck with before you even start to earn. Maybe I'm lucky being a mature student, the tutor I spoke with was saying it goes in my favour, my age, life experience etc make me a good candidate, I guess they like to mix it up a bit when it comes to new students. It would be pretty boring having just school leavers.
I'm really looking forward to it all anyway, I just have to pull my finger out before September and get some stuff recorded. I can do that easy :)
I did record my version of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' a while back. It's on YouTube