Student profile: Josie Baker
Why did you choose to study Music at the University of Liverpool?
The department deals with almost every aspect of music, from music in video games and film to classical analysis which gave me the freedom as an undergraduate to have a go at everything in order to find out what really interests me. Liverpool as a city also really stands out as a musical city, not just because of the Beatles, but also within the classical music industry as the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic is just around the corner.
What do you enjoy most about the course, and why?
My favourite experience on my course was definitely getting the opportunity to conduct the Liverpool Mozart Orchestra under the supervision of Liverpool Alumni Howard Williams. And a close second is the field trips to the Liverpool Philharmonic as part of the conducting module, trips to the Tung auditorium as part of the Post-Wagnerian module and the Liverpool Empire theatre as part of the musical theatre module.
Can you tell us about an exciting project you have completed on your course?
The project that I am the proudest of from my course is an essay I wrote in the Opera and Politics module. I really struggled to get to grips with the content in this module but after a lot of perseverance and tutorials with my lecturer, I managed to produce one of my best essays so far. What helped me was the flexibility of the assignment, so I was really able to focus in on the aspect of opera that most interested me which happened to be Gilbert and Sullivan.
What does Liverpool have to offer as a city?
Liverpool has so much to offer in terms of musical venues, big and small. As well as an incredible nightlife scene and a huge number of student socials. In the summer there are also wonderful beaches on the Wirral or up near Formby which are very popular when the weather gets warmer. And you can’t forget scousers who put up with the massive amounts of students and makes us feel at home.
Can you tell us about the teaching methods/how your learning has been facilitated?
For most modules we have one lecture a week as well as a seminar in which we talk about the lecture content and the tasks, this is a great opportunity to talk through any aspects that we didn’t quite understand. Staff also have open hours every week so there is an opportunity to get individual feedback on assignments. That being said, most lecturers will go out of their way to have tutorials outside their office hours if you can’t make those hours which is extremely useful.
What extra-or co-curricular activities do you take part in, and how do these affect your student experience?
I am part of LUMS which is the music society and LUST which is the musical theatre society. These societies are a great way of having fun and forgetting about your studies for a few hours every week. I also have a few jobs at university to help me top up my living allowance, I work at a restaurant on the docks which isn’t the best job in the world, but it is good to completely remove myself from university for a few hours and focus on something else. I also work as a student ambassador for the university, so I give tours and talk to prospective students about my experience at university which is an amazing job to have. And my most recent job is being an usher at the brand-new Tung auditorium which allows me to earn money whilst listening to new music which is a wonderful crossover.
What are your ambitions for the future and how will your experiences at the University of Liverpool help you in your future career?
In the future I hope to become a music teacher, my experience at Liverpool has definitely set me up for a career in education as it has allowed me to experience all different sides of music which will be vital in a teaching career. Going to the university of Liverpool has set me up in so many different ways to pursue a career as a professional musician, teacher or just a hobbyist if that’s what I decide to do.
If you could go back, what advice would you have given yourself before going to University?
I would say that you don’t have to go to every social occasion if your social battery has run out, it’s fine to say no to plans, your friends will still be there. I would also say that making friends at university is far easier than you would have ever expected so don’t be nervous.