Archives For Freshers Week

Autumn Term

September 24, 2017 — 45 Comments

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This week has been Induction week at the Royal College of Music, also known as ‘Freshers Week’ by many students. This involves meeting the heads of departments, the helpful and delightful Vocal Faculty, matriculating, group lectures and introductions to the different and many wonderful things the Royal College of Music (RCM) has to offer.

The other side of Induction week involves many social activities organised by the Students’ Union to help introduce and encourage new friendships between students. This year they held events such as a Jazz night; Pub quizzes; a Boat Party and Post-Graduate Speed-dating, (which despite the title is more like speed-friendshiping), you go around and have a short burst of time to meet new people and is a fantastic way to mingle.

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It is a great week to introduce you to the RCM and to experience living in London. One of my favourite activities of the week was watching some of my colleagues perform in a public masterclass with Malcolm Martineau, a wonderful piano accompanist who has worked all over the world with many distinguished Singers, in the Britten Theatre at the RCM. The session started at 14:00 and lasted until 16:30, there were four singers who took part, each prepared two songs. It’s really wonderful to be able to participate and watch these masterclasses as you can learn so much from observing your peers and how the Guest Artist shapes the musical pieces. You can come away with new tasks to try and implement into your own practise and insight into pronunciation and the craftsmanship of storytelling.

They are also very interesting to anyone who has a love for music and would like some more insight into the technical demands of singing, as it is like watching a lesson and can give you an idea into what we have to work on in order to stand up there and give a live performance. If this interests you the next masterclass at the RCM in London will be with Sir Thomas Allen on the 11th October 2017.

Here is a video of a masterclass he has done before at the RCM in 2014.

It will be lovely to watch him work live again as I saw him a couple of years ago in Glasgow and I’m really looking forward to that.

It has also been so wonderful to catch up with all my friends and hear about their summers and share stories of our experiences.

Next week our lessons commence, along with autumn, and I can’t wait to hit the floor running and make the most of my second year of Masters of performance training here.  The nights are drawing in and daylight hours shorten and you can definitely feel the nip in the air so cardigans out from under the bed!

Ready Or Not Here I Come.

September 17, 2014 — 59 Comments
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Tom outside the main Glasgow University building

Well we dropped Tom off at Glasgow University he’s studying Geography and the university was in the top 5 in the UK for Geography in the 2014 guide he used, he is also taking archaeology and philosophy as extra modules in his first year. Then we dusted and vacuumed my flat ready for me to move back in next week. The weekend was a little emotional for me as this was my little brother venturing out into the world and as his big sister I felt just a little protective of him 🙂

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Inside the quadrangle which house the Geography department.

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Glasgow University As Night Draws In

“Did you pack every item of clothing in your wardrobe!” Mum said on the Friday evening as Tom’s student wardrobe was bulging. “Nearly” said Tom “then I don’t have to wash and iron clothes for a couple of weeks!” he added. The student village houses about 1000 students and we’d just done the car parking dance where there are about five spaces per block of flats and twelve cars vying for each of them, with abandoned cars blocking the roads. “Why on earth do they give everyone a 5pm start time!” Mum cried, she thought that was just his slot, but it seemed it was everyone’s. But once we managed to get the car unloaded it all seemed a little more relaxed and the number of people frantically running around started to dwindle.

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The Murano Street student village in Glasgow

I thought my older brother Matt and I had given Tom all of our six years of collective University advice but we still forgot to tell him to take a padlock for the kitchen cupboard and a mat for the floor near his sink in the bedroom. We’d remembered plasters, headache tablets, Andrews Salts in case he gave himself an upset tummy, an extension cable and all of his clothes hangers (all essential 🙂 ) along with a long list of items you just cant live without as a student.

We lined his new Stabilo colour markers, pens, pencils, lever arch files, refill pads and notebooks on his desk shelves, I don’t know why but I love new stationery. Everything else was found a place to live for the next year and in the end it looked a lot more homely. The one thing we had to do once we had his new address was buy his TV licence £145 so that he could watch his football on his iPad (sadly no actual TV ). I think he’d want to come home if he couldn’t watch his beloved Manchester City.

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Tom stood with the Capital One Cup and the Premiership Trophy on his last visit to watch Manchester City at the Etihad stadium.

I’m proud of my little brother today; he text us to say he’d walked to Tesco and checked the prices, OK he was buying unhealthy Pepsi Max but six cans for £3.49 and eight cans for £2.00 really was a no brainer but at least he noticed! He added three pasta meals for £6.00, bread and a bag of apples all for under a £10 so he was happy.

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He just had to share his great find with us 🙂

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The best thing is that I am only 30 minutes away if he wants to visit and chill out or pop around for his Sunday dinner.  We are also invited to some of the Freshers’ activities and I’ve been invited to a fancy dress party with friends as a character I just love, all will be revealed next week he he.

I will let you know what next year has in store for me at College after I am all settled in on Sunday.

Finally, if you missed it I added my end of Second Year Rusalka’s Song to the Moon onto my Soundcloud page if you’d like to take a listen.

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Glasgow University

This Friday, 12th September, my family are dropping my younger brother Tom off at the University of Glasgow for his first day. My eldest brother Matthew and I have been trying to advise him on what to pack and to help him decide what items he needs to take with him for the big move. Luckily my Mum went to Wilko’s and bought most of the items he might need for his next few months of self-catering, self-laundry, and self-organisation. I wish him all the best with the next step and secretly I am quite glad he’s not too far from me, so I can give him a cuddle any time he gets home sick.

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With just one week to the Scottish Independence vote we could both be studying in an independent Scotland from the 19th of September 2014. I wonder if that will make any difference to us, I read one article in the Guardian  that asked if I will need to show my passport to enter and leave Scotland! (the article says not). It is brilliant that Scottish teenagers can vote from the age of 16.

My brother Tom came to help me with my lunchtime recital today in Rochdale, with Russell Lomas accompanying me and with a very enthusiastic audience I had a great time. I performed alongside a fabulous clarinettist called Elliot Gresty, who will going on to study at the RCM this September. I wish him all the best with his studies, and I can’t wait to hear him in the future. At the concert I sang a collection of English Songs, which I had not previously performed. A first outing of a song is always exciting, I hope the audience enjoyed them.

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My Recital Today With Russell Lomas In Rochdale.

My last recital before starting back to University will be in Preston, Lancashire on Friday the 19th September following which it is straight up the motorway and back to Glasgow ready for the start of term. The amazing Russell Lomas will be accompanying me and Elizabeth Lawton, (Flute) will be sharing the concert with me. Not one to be missed. 🙂

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