Tom Kimmance: Music MA

Tom graduated in 2004. He is currently a freelance pianist.

What does your job involve?

I am a freelance pianist so in any week I might be performing a concerto, giving a solo recital or a piano duet concert with my duo partner John Gough; I could be accompanying instrumental exams, teaching piano at the University of Liverpool and at schools across the region or composing and with the time that is left...practice! 

What do you like about the role? 

I like the freedom of being a freelance musician. It has its ups and downs but definitely more ups. I like the variety of working with so many different people and teaching is particularly important to me as it helps me to grow musically. Every time a student walks through the door I learn from them.

How did you get into it?

I got a job teaching on a Saturday morning at a local music school and continued to perform at every opportunity; from performing concertos to playing at big house parties – I felt like Cole Porter for a bit! My career kept building from there.

How did your course prepare you for your job?

The degree itself allows me to demonstrate that I am a trained musician. I learnt a lot about orchestration, arranging and, of course, performance which has been enormously useful.

What are your top tips for students wanting to work in your field?

Think strategically about your module choices - which will give you the knowledge and skills you might need in the future to what you want?

  • Always go the extra mile – it might seem inconvenient sometimes but it makes a massive difference to people and they don’t forget that: it leads to more opportunities in the long run.
  • Be engaging – put yourself out there.
  • No job is too small, especially in the early days of your career.