I chose to study Music at university because it was something I had enjoyed all the way through school and I wanted to continue studying it in an academic sense rather than just focussing on performance. This was why I chose a university music course rather than a conservatoire, and what drew me to the Oxford course in particular, as it has a rigorous academic basis whilst still giving you the freedom to perform and compose, both as part of your degree and in a multitude of other activities!
I have found the course incredibly rewarding: the first year is mostly based around a broad range of compulsory topics, with a much greater freedom in the second and third years. This may seem restrictive at first but in hindsight has been a blessing - there are things I am studying in my third year that I wasn’t interested in in first year and wouldn’t be able to do now without the basis that the first year gave!
When preparing for interview obviously an interest in a broad range of music is an advantage, as well as some level of proficiency in keyboard skills and harmony. However, I was very nervous because I felt that I could never know as much as the tutors in the interview and they would be judging me - you’re not meant to know as much as them and they want to find out what you can do, not frighten you! Be aware that it is an academic and not a performance course, and be prepared for the heavy focus on your academic work; your musical life outside of the course is yours to control but your academic work will always be the priority.
Oxford has given me the most amazing musical experiences, both in terms of my degree and outside, and I would recommend the course to anyone. If you’re interested in finding more, come along to an open day and find out what the Faculty, and different colleges, have to offer!