Application

 Oxford

 New

 Music

 2005

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 home

 United Kingdom

 Grammar School

 yes (7 A*,2 A)

A-levels

(B at AS)

(B at AS)

(B at AS)

(A at AS)

Biology was actually predicted A/B, though that selection is not available :

Details about the offer

 conditional

A in Music

AAA

yes

no

 offer missed, still accepted

Decisions about the application

ecause I wanted very much to study music in a highly academic manner – reading lots of books, writing essays and so on (i know, not exactly cool). Another reason, although not nearly as important as the first is that a degree from oxford will (broadly speaking) be well regarded.

One important consideration for me was the size of the towns. Oxford felt like a town in itself, that happened to have a fantastic university, whereas Cambridge felt like a fantastic university with a town built on to it.

Because it’s a subject that I’m passionate about and the subject at which I most excel.

I decided on New College for a number of reasons. One of the most important was the the large size of the college, meaning I’d be likelier to find people with whom I got on, and less likely to find myself in a close-knit cliquey environment. Factors also worth considering (for me) were the subject specific college fellows (what are their areas of interest) and the intake demographics (i.e. state:private, male:female ratios), although I failed to note the state:private ratio before applying >_<

Of course beyond these reasons was the nerdy appeal of it being old, and stuff…

Preparation

no

Nothing extensive. They gave me a couple of excercises to do (1 Bach chorale, 1 2-part invention excercise – it was the first time I had ever attempted the latter), which they marked, and then were sent off along with my personal statement.

My music teacher also gave me a brief (5 minute) run down on what he speculated might come up.

Don’t waste your money on preparation course scams! Read a few academic music books, formulate opinions, and write a decent (marked) essay to send off.

Interview

no

yes

I submitted the following:
1 marked Bach Chorale harmonisation
1 marked Contrapuntalish study (was my first time)
1 marked Music essay
1 marked English essay
1 composition

yes

1 hour Bach Chorale harmonisation exam. It was pretty tough, and I didn’t have enough time to harmonise every chord.

I suppose the message is not to worry too much about this. People are taught this stuff to completely different standards, and in some schools it doesnt even feature on the course. Clearly do your best, and get some practise in if you can, but screwing up a bit on this isn’t the end of the world.

I was asked to comment on a page of music (possible composer/form/harmony/etc.), to comment on an extract from a book (about music). Other areas of discussions included my submitted essays/composition, globalisation and it’s effects on music, national identity and temperaments/tuning. I’d summarise the interview content as:
– Assessment of technical knowledge
– Assessment of how you respond to new information
– Discussion of your interests (i.e. to show independent interest in the subject)

First interview I wore a smart shirt, formal black trousers and shoes, but realised soon after this that dressing up didn’t matter at all, and so just wore a shirt, jeans and trainers the next day. As long as you’re not wearing genuinely “scruffy”/provocative/smelly clothes, I can’t see it being an issue.

Impressions

Nice, old, but possibly a bit posh/tory 🙁

Room I stayed in was surprisingly spacious, and had en-suite bathroom

Edible, not delectable.

Really friendly actually.

Nice. Watched a few Disney films with them (lol)

Final stage

arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Actually I wasn’t thinking about it too much – assumed I’d been rejected (best mindset to have on stuff like this).

wooooooooohoooooooooooooo did they get the wrong person?!

Looking back

Yes.

go for it (you’ll still have 5 other uni choices if you’re going through ucas), and as someone else said, don’t let those straight A students put you off. Read a few books, don’t sit on the fence in the interview and send off a couple of decent essays before you go. Good luck.