What it's really like to Study Music Performance at University

I'll start by saying that I, in no way whatsoever, regret doing my degree in Music Performance. I now get to live my life doing what I love, teaching and performing everyday! And while there were some great things about my time at university, there were also some pretty shitty things too. Let me lay it out for you... 

Right so here is the good stuff! I became a much better musician (you would hope so doing it all day everyday), I practised my butt off and worked really damn hard to achieve my dreams. It taught me how to be disciplined, and how to prioritise. I got the most amazing teacher who inspires me constantly to keep working for more, to keep playing even when the going gets tough, and to remember why you started this all in the first place. 

With all this came some not so pleasant downsides that I honestly wasn't expecting. Firstly, its kinda lonely. Picture spending hours everyday locked away in a practise room, listening to all the other amazing players around you while you try to practise your repertoire. Self doubt becomes your best friend and you'll probably spend a fair chunk of time questioning your decision. But if you can push through this and just keep going, you will come out the other side with some personal insight that you wouldn't have gotten otherwise. It's a time when you really begin to learn who you are, what you stand for, and what you want from life. If you're anything like me, it's a time when you will question your identity, change your hair colour a myriad of times, try to fit in and then try to stand out, and ultimately just do what you need to do to get through each day in the crazy environment you've put yourself in. 

On top of that sometimes crippling loneliness, there is also some serious competitiveness that you need to learn to cope with. A big part of your degree will be competing against your peers for spots in ensembles, as well as performing in front of them and getting feedback in masterclasses. At first, this may be a lot for you to learn how to deal with, but it gets easier. You will do hundreds if not thousands of auditions and performances through your life as a musician, so it makes sense that you need to first learn some strategies for this in your years at university. But I'll come back to that in an entirely different post! 

None of these struggles out weigh how amazing it is to follow your dream and do what you love, so never let that fear stop you! You will come out the other side a better person, and musician, with some pretty useful skills! 

if you want to watch me chatting about this on youtube click here

That's all from me for now


Judy Maree