The decision about what to do next for my Masters’ study has been on my mind all month.
Scotland has a well-being dividend, after three and a half years here I’ve settled into the wider community, made relationships in and out of college and have a lot of comfort. There is very little travelling because it’s a compact, cultural City and I receive great support from lots of fabulous people. In fact Glasgow is full of warm and generous people and has been a great home for me for my first spell away from my parents.
London is billed as having ‘a cultural life that is unsurpassed anywhere in the world’. London city life can seem unwelcoming, they say people on public transport and in the street avoid eye contact. I put this to the test and I get lots of smiles back and have had a few chats on public transport. I met a fabulous elderly man in the café at the Royal Albert Hall and sat next to him whilst I ate my soup and we had the most interesting conversation about his recent bereavement and how much he missed his wife and her love of the ballet, the Bolshoi and life, the time passed so quickly.
I narrowed my choices down to The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) and The Royal College of Music (RCM), London. It is difficult because I know lots about the RCS, which I love, and much less about the RCM. I have read the RCM prospectus from front to back several times, visited the institution a couple of times, and I did the tour. The first page quote by The Director; Professor Colin Lawson says; “Choosing where to study is one of the most challenging decisions a musician ever makes” gulp!
The RCM welcome page says they are ‘ranked no 1 place to study Music by the Guardian’ newspaper’s UK university guide. Also on the positive side they value independence and individuality, they offer ‘unparalleled performance opportunities, opening up the world and improving your performance’. ‘The institution takes your musical future seriously from the day you arrive”. They also hold numerous competitions and have three fully staged opera productions to audition for, watch and learn from each year. On the downside studying in London is also expensive, double my current living costs and nearly double the annual tuition fee loan as the RCS very generously offered me a scholarship to help with my fees. There are tube fares to take into account I think my brother pays £1500 each year for his travel card.
However… I’ve accepted my offer to study at the Royal College of Music, I just want to take the opportunity to challenge myself and I feel very excited to take this leap of faith. I’m looking forward to working there and I hope that it will be an interesting couple of years. Some people think I have a masterplan but frankly, as all my long term blog friends know, I pretty much feel around in the dark and grab onto any opportunity that passes by. Before reaching my decision I really had spent the entire month in turmoil about my decision because Judith Howarth has been a fantastic vocal professor this year and has helped me to develop my vocal skills and performance, Judith is still working in the Industry and if I had the spare funds I would go out to Berlin in February to watch her perform in Peter Grimes. Your teacher is very important as they act as your guide and mentor to help to nurture you and I have grown and learnt so much in Glasgow during my undergraduate studies. But I now feel that the time is right to move on and take the next step on my musical journey.
I feel this is more an “au revoir” than a good bye 🙂 and I am still looking forward to the rest of this year.