Application

 Cambridge

 Jesus

 Music

 2003

 offer made

Applicant

 A-levels

 pre-qualification

 N/A

 N/A

 FE College

 yes (11 A*)

A-levels

(NA at AS; predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(NA at AS; predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(NA at AS; predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(NA at AS; predicted A; gained NA at A2)

(NA at AS; predicted A; gained NA at A2)

Details about the offer

 conditional

AAA

yes

N/A

 grades pending/unknown

Decisions about the application

Liked the course, I had the grades and thought I was intelligent enough so thought I might as well give it a go!

I felt I prefered the Cambridge course and was generally attracted more to Cambridge for some reason!

I didn’t go to any open days, so it was entirely from the prospectus! I wanted to go to an old and traditional college, so drew up a short-list then decided on Jesus for some reason! I’m glad I did though because I really loved it when I got there for the interview.

Preparation

yes

Erm…my music teacher gave me an essay to do and marked it, taught me extra stuff for bach chorale and was just generally supportive. Also, my UCAS form was checked and the college was obsessive over the personal statement which was a bit irritating.

On Cambridge Application Form: Well mine was quite succint, so I would avoid being pretentious, express yourself well and say why you want the course you’ve applied for.

Interview: Have a general overview, and concentrate on learning about the Classical period as most of my interview focused on this, even though I stated on my form that my main interest was in later music. Also, brush-up on what you’ve studied at A-level, and try to have an idea of how many symphonies etc prominent composers composed as I was asked how many Haydn wrote and didn’t know!

Interview

no

yes

A marked bach chorale harmonisation and an essay on orchestral music from Baroque to 20th century, though they never appeared at my interview!

yes

1 hour bach chorale exam: just worked through some bach chorales and my teacher taught me stuff we hadn’t covered yet at college.

Well first of all I was late. Then I had a general interview which was really good, followed by a subject-specific interview (though it was more like a supervision) and a 1 hour bach chorale exam.

General: my interests, musical interests, no “why cambridge” or anything like that, what i thought of today’s music, etc. Subject: had to analyse a beethoven scherzo and trio, name keys etc, put classical composers in order, asked about a-level studies: why i disliked studying minimalism, “is there a virtue in repetition?” (quite random!), had to sight read a string quartet excerpt and harmonise a melody at the piano. I learnt quite a bit in the interview which I think was actually a good thing and it came across i think.

Shirt and trousers: smart-cas, didn’t want to try too hard as I think it’s pretentious to be honest – as long as you don’t look dog-rough I don’t think it matters. I would actually have felt out of place in a suit which quite surprised me!

Impressions

The college is beautiful and picturesque, and though it is traditional, I didn’t feel like I was an imposter or that everyone was pretentious, so it’s a good mix I think.

The admissions tutor for arts who interviewed me first was really nice, seemed genuinely interested, offered me a drink etc. The DoS was really knowledgeable and seemed to want me to do well, so I can’t really fault them!

Final stage

Well first of all I received a letter saying they hadn’t decided whether or not to give me a place, which was really weird and I thought that was evil! But then I got a phonecall at college saying they had an AAA offer so I was really pleased!!

Looking back

Yes because it’s where I want to go, though looking back maybe I could have learnt more in-depth info about composers etc and appeared more knowledgeable, but it didn’t seem to hinder me!

Reading around the subject is a must, and you must have extra-curricular musical interests, though I think everyone applying to do music does music stuff. Other than that, just be urself in the interview and if you have potential then I think they’ll spot it so don’t worry!