Why am I here?
Hello Internet! For those of you who are new here my name’s Natasha, and I’m a composer blogging about life, the universe, and my experience of it all so far. As many of you already know, I’m a student at the University of Bristol working towards a master’s degree in Composition of Music for Film and Television. Seeing as this is a rather large part of my life at the moment, I thought I’d tell you a bit more about my experience as a postgraduate student, why I chose to pursue this route into composition, and how I managed to get here.
So first things first: why am I here? There are many different ways of forging a career in media composition, and I want to start off by acknowledging that the university route isn’t for everyone. Personally, however, I saw a master’s course as being an invaluable opportunity to learn industry-specific skills that would build on my more general musical background. This background is routed very much in the classical tradition, which, although providing me with a solid foundation that will be essential in my work as a media composer, left me with a gap in my knowledge and experience, which I felt the need to fill before seeking work in the field. It is also my intention to make the most of all the networking and collaboration opportunities that my course offers in order to build a group of contacts in the industry. The university environment is a melting pot of like-minded creatives, and it is not uncommon for people to forge long-lasting professional relationships while at university.
As for how I got myself here, I’ll be frank: it wasn’t easy. UK university fees are rising all the time, which makes pursuing a postgraduate degree more and more difficult. The university offered limited funding opportunities for my specific course, and many of those were restricted to those who had done their undergraduate there. This left me with four financial streams from which I am funding my master’s year. First of all, the Student Loans Company offer a loan of up to £10,000 for UK nationals who are undertaking their first postgraduate degree. This is how I am paying for my course fees. In order to fund my living costs I took a year out before commencing my masters to work and save towards that goal. I also have a part-time job in Bristol, and am extremely fortunate to also be receiving some parental aid.
While pursuing my master’s has caused me a not-insignificant amount of financial strain, not to mention the academic work needed to meet the entry requirements, I have found it to be immensely rewarding so far. The amount that I have learned already is astounding, and motivational boost that this has given me has been exhilarating. I have met some amazing people, made some invaluable connections, and on the whole feel a lot more prepared to enter the field of media composition. I am about to return to Bristol for my second term, and I cannot wait to see what is in store.
If you have enjoyed this post, have any questions, or would like to read more on this topic, then please let me know in the comments.