Amy Ewen

BMus (Hons) - Music Performance

Amy has transformed from being chaotic and insecure to an independent, self-assured young woman with high aspirations since joining BCU. Despite not knowing any music theory when she arrived to audition at the Conservatoire, her potential and passion for music didn’t go unnoticed. She’s now had the chance to gain work experience with prestigious organisations in the UK. 

"Growing up, even though I played in a local youth brass band and studied music, I didn’t even know that conservatoires existed. So applying to one had never crossed my mind until a friend of mine got accepted to a conservatoire and convinced me to apply too.

I’d always thought that I wasn’t good enough to study at conservatoire level anyway – I never learnt music theory or did any exams.  I thought that if I failed at auditions I’d do an art foundation course. However, I always felt that music was the right path for me, so I explained this in my auditions too. Royal Birmingham Conservatoire wasn’t looking for a final product – they were looking for a potential and passion, which they instantly saw in me.

Between my first and second audition I had multiple lessons with euphonium tutor Matthew White and I worked hard to learn scales and pick up the theory that I was lacking. The hard work paid off, and after my second audition I received an unconditional offer.

The opportunities I’ve had here at university have helped me to find my strengths and have sparked my passion for things I’d never thought of doing – organisation and management. I have been working as Brass Band manager and Orchestra Manager at the Conservatoire. I’m also proud to say that I’m a full time member of one of the most famous brass bands in the UK. My 600 hours’ worth of final major project will be based around arts management; the idea to write about this subject came from all the opportunities I have undertaken since becoming a student.

The facilities at the Conservatoire are incredible – not only does it have amazing music rooms but also the fantastic library has thousands of resources and is open for 24 hours. At the Conservatoire there are countless opportunities for students to gain work experience and earn some money while you learn.

I’m so grateful for the help I have received through my time here – starting from daily useful tips on affordable places to go for lunch to receiving counselling when one of my family members passed away. I also had a free consultation for dyslexia, I’ve attended pilates classes which improved my posture and balance, and alongside that I also took part in mindfulness sessions, which really helped me to focus on my coursework.

Studying here has changed me to become a better person. I used to be disorganised and late for everything, I always relied on my parents and lacked confidence; but now I’m completely independent, and full of energy and enthusiasm for music. Before coming to university I often found myself following the crowd and doing whatever my friends were doing, but I’ve stepped away from this and I’m now doing what makes me happy, and my personality has exploded with enthusiasm.

When you become a part of BCU, you can find your identity and you will be given opportunities and facilities in order to fully explore and expand your knowledge in specialised studies."

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