w301 - Contemporary and Popular Music BA

Photograph of student that studied this course.

About me

Choosing Newcastle

Newcastle University was the only University I applied for. I researched, analysed and weighed up every course I came across but nothing came close to what Newcastle had to offer – there was simply no competition. I’m a born and bred Geordie which made me feel even more proud about studying at Newcastle. I would stroll past the beautiful campus when I was a child and couldn’t imagine anything more petrifying yet exciting to be part of. Both the University and the city have always shown a unique quality which to me, stands out amongst the rest.

Studying at Newcastle

The teachers are consistent and show resilience in ensuring that myself, and other students feel comfortable throughout their time at Newcastle University. They find a perfect line through being stern whilst also being friendly and encouraging. They take the time to treat each student as an individual, not a number which sparks a lot of encouragement and respect between the two hierarchical roles. Their teaching skills are immaculate and they open their offices to students if they wish to be helped further, showing that they have no judgement against the student’s development – they are just as passionate about music as we are.

Studying Music

Studying music at Newcastle University has been the most surreal experience for me, primarily because I felt instantly welcomed into a family of musicians who simply love what they do. For the first time in my academic life, I felt the freedom to express myself creatively. The drive and motivation to play, write and create with others intensifies which makes the experience even more worthwhile.

My favourite module thus far has been Performance Studies. I have been assigned a wonderful voice coach, Pippa Anderson, who has been such a huge influence in not only my performance module but in my overall motivation in every module. In Performance Studies, I have complete freedom to find who I am as an artist and portray that to an audience. Moreover, the free lunchtime and student concerts, which are compulsory to attend in this module, is a fantastic opportunity to take notes and examine these professionals in an academic manner. Not only this, but it’s very exciting and great fun to walk into a different genre every week at the same beautiful venue, King’s Hall. 

Recommending Music

To anyone wishing to study Music at Newcastle University – a degree in your passion for the arts is worthy. This course covers various pathways in an overwhelming and competitive industry – including performance, composition, technical, theoretical and sociological studies. In this sense, Music at Newcastle University gives you the chance to discover new passions whilst allowing the individual to grow and fully understand every aspect that the industry has to offer. You become a part of a family of musicians, all from different backgrounds and levels of experience – encouraging you to explore different genres and environments. This course is a once in a lifetime experience to savour every moment on building your craft and establishing yourself as a musician.

Being Social

The societies at Newcastle University are limitless – as soon as I think I’m familiar with them all, the most unthinkable topic will appear! I’m a member of MUSSOC (Music Society) and a singer for NUJO (Newcastle University Jazz Orchestra). Both societies are related to my studies but it’s such a wonderful opportunity to actually meet musicians outside of the course. It’s the best feeling to become a community through our talents and being able to express it freely is even more enjoyable. MUSSOC do open mic/gig nights every weekend at Mr. Lynch which again, allows that freedom to make music together with no marking criteria involved – just fun!

Living at Home

I lived/currently live at home with my family. Although this is widely seen as an unsociable approach to Uni life, it was what was financially and personally the best option for me to take. I didn’t feel ready to leave home, which I would like to stress, is perfectly okay. In terms of the myth of ending up with no social life – it’s certainly a myth. I felt just as involved and immersed in the experience as those who lived in student accommodation!

Future plans

When I graduate, I hope to become a successful business woman in the creative and digital industries – I’m currently Programme Support and Co-ordinator of a company called TICE which has been the most gratifying and life changing experience for me, alongside my studies. I aim to be my own boss both in business and in music, as I wish to continue performing too in whatever capacity that may be. Learning the ropes in every aspect of the music industry has been so well-fitted to my ambitions. The commitment we must show to our studies is key in order for us to develop in a musical and personal sense, thus these qualities built over time can be applicable to any future goal that a student may have.