Marcus Rock

Composition - BMus

Marcus initially studied film but after deciding it wasn’t for him, he wanted to make a real change; he made the move from London to Birmingham to pursue his passion for music composition. He now feels free to explore his creativity and opportunities the city offers.

“I always wanted to do something creative and wasn’t quite sure how to pursue it. I tried film and decided it wasn’t for me, so I dropped out of my film course. It was quite an unstable time for me but I knew music was something I had to do.

I was determined to find the right place for me. I visited different cities and universities and found that BCU had the most welcoming environment; one that encouraged experimental and non-prescriptive thinking as opposed to a set way of doing things. It was something that resonated with me more than anywhere else.

Plus, all the equipment is really impressive and efficient. The concert hall has so many different acoustic options for different types of concert and there are so many ways to manipulate sound to experiment. In general, the conservatoire is just a really nice building. It's a fantastic place to be.

I took a leap of faith in applying, my lack of musical knowledge made it difficult for me to feel like I could pursue composition seriously, but I received a scholarship and made the move to Birmingham to get started.

Since then, I’ve become more aware of the musical field itself, and how it functions from the inside which is very different to how it looks from the outside. My tutors are extremely supportive and have helped me work out how I’ll find my way in the professional world, they’ve helped me pursue opportunities in and outside of university. Having regular 1-1 lessons with my tutors means I can ask questions, discuss potential career moves and find out about opportunities in Birmingham.

My tutors and fellow students make me feel comfortable and listened to but they also allow me the freedom to do pretty much anything I want; any concert or concept is completely encouraged. Part of learning at BCU is being positive and encouraging of other people's goals and pursuits. The University's way of teaching is exciting and refreshing in a way that’s rare in an educational context, yet reflective of the way artists work in industry today.

I’ve found that it’s not only my course that’s invigorating and diverse, but also Birmingham. I grew up in London and most of the areas are familiar to me. I don’t feel the same excitement in London as tourists do, I needed a new environment and city to explore. 

There’s a gloomy feel in London that I don’t feel in Birmingham. In Birmingham there is so much life and things going on when you walk into the city centre, plus people are definitely a lot friendlier. It's hard to pinpoint but the environment itself just has a unique vibe.

To me, 'I am BCU' means I am free. Everyone of all personality types is acknowledged and encouraged to find their own way."

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