Brooke Hirst: Music BA
Brooke graduated in 2018. She is currently Musician-in-Residence at Seashell Trust.
Tell us a little bit about the role you do
I have a few different roles at the moment. My main current role is based at Seashell Trust (formerly Royal Schools for the Deaf) where I support children and young people and will soon hold the post of Musician-In-Residence. The arts team at Seashell Trust provide students with weekly musical input in the form of workshops, performances, and intensive interaction. We use music therapy to address the physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs of vulnerable children and young people. I also teach piano lessons privately and I have been leading weekly piano and keyboard courses for the University’s Continuing Education department since 2017.
What do you like about the role?
I really enjoy this role as I have met a bunch of wonderful people, staff and students alike, and my experiences at Seashell Trust have proved to be extremely rewarding. The main thing for me that I have found particularly useful is the school’s music department; the staff here have been incredibly supportive and given me the opportunity to get hands-on experience with music therapy. This has helped me to create a pathway into the field that I am most passionate about which is brilliant. I also like the fact that I work up until 4pm at the school 5 days a week as this gives me the evenings to pursue music and establish myself as a performer.
How did you get into it?
I started with The Trust in September 2018 as a Learning Support Assistant. At the interview stage, I expressed my interest in music therapy and once I was successful, I visited the musicians’ office straight away to see how I could get involved.
How have you used your degree?
My degree has helped to shape my future. Studying music at the University of Liverpool has motivated me to go on to become a teacher and performer. The lectures, workshops and tuition that I received over the past 3 years have equipped me with the necessary skills and knowledge that I need to pursue a career in music therapy. Moreover, studying at university has given me more confidence as I have had the chance to manage concerts, to perform in a professional setting on multiple occasions, and to attend music conferences as a guest speaker.
What are your top tips for students wanting to work in your field?
Learn as much as you can and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Some students think that asking is a sign of weakness, but in fact it is the complete opposite as it shows you want to learn as much as you possibly can about the field and be the best at your job. I would also suggest trying to get as much experience as you can. Have a look into work placements and see if there are any that are relevant to your aspiring field as this will look great on your CV!
But most importantly, just have fun and enjoy learning about the field you are most passionate about!