Good fun, and educationally rewarding if you make the best of it. There are some aspects f the course that feel quite contrived and do not allow for much flexibility which is contradictory of the progressive nature LCoM pride themselves in.
Freelance work I think will be easy, through all the contacts you make when at college, however 9-5 jobs I think would be tough to get. All in all, job prospects are ok as long as you use your initiative
It’s flexible and open-minded nature, lecturers are always on-hand to discuss course topics with you individually outside of lectures, in a casual and informal manner.
They organise big flashy events for freshers week and Halloween, etc. but have not acted much to try to change the policies enforced by the college with which the students disagree.
The Leeds College of Music first year halls, ‘Joseph Stones’ House’ despite being very close to the college (attached to the same building) were very poor value for money, rent costing the same as a large house would slightly further out in Hyde Park. Also, there were frequent issues with maintenance, which were not resolved quickly or effectively, for example boilers breaking, door locks being fixed, lifts breaking etc.
The College has recently spent a lot of money on renovating its front exterior and reception; however has not spent any money on repairing the many faulty and broken instruments and amplifiers in practice rooms.
Go to the many cafes and bars outside the centre of Leeds, in Hyde Park and Headingley, go to the numerous jazz jams at different venues such as the LS6 cafe and others.
Leeds College of Music does not have many clubs and societies, and the ones it has I have not taken an interest in.
I believe that there is a counseling service, and musician’s booking agency (very useful) and a well-stocked library and music library.
It’s great meeting new people in LCM and taking the opportunities to work with them. There are also good facilities provided especially if you are a production student.
There is some help in the way of finding work experience and writing CVs. I feel rather optimistic about finding work after I graduate.
LCM dedicate a lot of time towards your studies, we have lots of opportunities to work in studios, we receive guidance on work in the Mac labs, tutors always have a good 5-10 minutes every lesson to listen to your working tracks and give you feedback on them. The quality of teaching is very high and there are often guest lecturers who visit LCM and present really good lectures as well.I would like to be given more opportunities to work on live events and learn about the sound engineering and production behind that.The department that deals with scheduling timetables is very disorganised, in the start of each academic year there are always several timetable changes, whether it be classes moving or classes missing from the timetable altogether.
The SU organise some parties and other events every now and then.
The studios are open till 3am which is very useful for large projects we have to undertake.
Leeds is always busy and bustling. I go to as many gigs as I can and there are always musicians out there who wish to be recorded.
I have not joined any societies unfortunately, too few that interest me.
Definitely ups and downs, as I wasn’t satisfied with the course as , from a personal viewpoint, I realised classical composition was not something I could see myself doing in the future. Unfortunately, LCM just didn’t work out for me. I would tell people to think carefully about specialising in something so early on. They should be absolutely sure it’s what they want to do.
LCoM introduce you to the professional music industry with Working in the Creative Industries module is 1st year, although I have found that a lot of what is taught is common sense or can be easily researched online. In 2nd year, you may choose the Self-Promotion module for guidance in building a portfolio for your career. Other than this, I don't think LCoM prepares you that well for working life, at least not if you aspire to be a performer. As mentioned previously, there are not enough chances given to you to perform which leaves you lacking in experience in that department.
The tutors specialising in composition were very helpful and there was always plenty of opportunities to showcase work, network, get feedback etc. What I felt was lacking was the variety of modules offered on the course which meant that not much breadth was actually covered within the field of music.
I think there could have been a greater variety of societies, but that said, it is a small institution and although I didn’t join any, there were a number of music ensembles that one could join.
Good value given it was in the city centre and an ensuite was provided. There is neither catering provided nor cleaners for your flat. You must be entirely self-reliant with cooking and keeping things tidy and organised which may prove difficult if you share with other students who are not willing to co-operate.
Facilities in LCoM are fairly decent but there needs to be a massive upgrade with the classical instruments they provide. String instruments in particular are of poor quality and there are not much of them in the first place. There are also no accessories like shoulder rests so if you wish to take a violin out, you need to have a spare shoulder rest with you! There also needs to be more investment in providing more performance venues as there are currently only one large venue and a small recital room. I am surprised at how little LCoM have to offer in terms of performance space when it is a conservatoire and place a lot of importance on appropriate performance techniques and strategies and showcasing work.
The live music venues are great as well as the shopping. The Trinity Centre opened in 2013 and a new complex is being built ready for 2016. There is also an area of Leeds dedicated to night life, great for clubbing of course.
There were none that interested me enough to join.
The counselling service/student support is great, and administrative staff are very helpful if you are moving course.
The quality of the course itself is good but LCM could focus more on providing better job opportunities for students as I do not feel confident about my job prospects.
We have a lot of guest lecturers who come into LCM to talk about music business, this involves things like music contracts, legal aspects of being a musician, joining unions, many concepts that musicians often forget about. You also get help on building a portfolio to assist you in finding work. I would like to see more work-based opportunities provided by LCM themselves, a choice to work in industry for a year or have some sort of placement during our studies. This is where LCM falls in comparison to a university where you often can opt for a sandwich year.
I have learnt a lot of new things that I previously did not know about. Everyone on the course is amazing; you are able to learn from your fellow peers as well as your tutors. The environment is a great place to be as you are always being productive in some way. The teaching is first class and tutors are always willing to help you outside your lecture hours. I am happy with the course content which covers every aspect I wish to learn.Unfortunately, some students are very stuck in their own genres and do not engage much outside of their interests which makes it difficult for those who wish to make cross-collaborations.
The SU are quite small so the work they do is reflective of their size.
Facilities could provide better guitar amps, particularly distortion-based amps, and pianos need to be better maintained in terms of tuning and fixing “sticky” keys. I do think LCM need to scrap all the music stands they have as they are all of very poor quality and are damaged or non-functional. There also needs to be an increase in the number of music stands they have as you often have to search around different practice rooms to find one.On a positive note, the library is a good place for studying and finding resources, they have a good item request service so anything that is unavailable in the library can be sent in for you, free of charge.
Leeds is a busy city, there are lots of gigs showcasing many different types of music al genres. I have many opportunities to play in gigs with my band as well. It is a great city to find paid music-related work if you are a pop or jazz musician as there are always requests from bars and restaurants for live music.
Students are told at the beginning of the year about the student support department and it really comes across how passionate and caring the staff who work there are. They are very willing to help you with any mental or physical health you might face with during your time away from home. They let you know that it is normal for students to face some form of depression, anxiety, loneliness, homesickness etc. which allows students to feel more comfortable talking about their problems. I really value the service they provide.
LCoM provides a somewhat pleasant environment to work in and the tutors are good in their teaching and are willing to help you beyond the bare minimum that is required. I do find that the college can feel quite restricted and confined and there is not much extra-curricular events to take part in.
Job prospects are difficult to envisage as it is a competitive industry but not impossible if you have the right mind set and dedication. LCoM help you as much as they can but only if you approach them for help.
When I first arrived in LCoM I was surprised at the imbalance of the various instrumentalists here. I find that there are far too many vocalists and not enough pianists or string players, and certainly not enough of the other more obscure instruments. This creates a knock-on effect on things like the orchestras where some sections of the orchestra are scarce and forces LCoM to hire external players to join. LCoM should address this in the audition/application stage of potential students as this is a problem that is arising in all the years. Aside from this the quality of teaching is satisfactory and I particularly like how many extra workshops and masterclasses LCoM put on outside of lecture hours.
The SU do their best with what they can get in terms of funding and resources, which is not very much to be honest due to the small size of the conservatoire. I do find it difficult to understand how we still pay £9000 a year to attend a conservatoire when a university student pays the same fee but receives so much more in terms of a bigger student union and much larger facilities.
Student accommodation of any kind is poor value. A decent size double room will probably cost you £140 a week and the cheapest on offer which is £80 a week has probably around 4meters squared of floor space. Unless you are in a super-premium flat, you will also have to share kitchens and sometimes bathroom with your flatmates and you are bound to have one or two who are unbearable to live with.
The pianos and practice rooms are very professional and of great quality, however, the booking system was quite difficult at times. This undermines the whole purpose of having good facilities if students are not able to even take advantage of them.
I find that Leeds is not a good city for a social life if you are not keen and drinking and clubbing. I spend my spare time going to the theatre and cinema when I can, otherwise not much else.
The student support department are very dedicated in their field and always wish the best for students here. You can seek counselling advice on mental and physical issues you may have.
I have learnt so many things in LCM already and yet still many improvements I can make as a musician and the skills I have. I look forward to becoming the musician I will be when I leave the college.
The LCM VLE always advertise job opportunities for students to undertake during their time in LCM and post-graduation opportunities.
The course is very practical and there are many playing opportunities for both soloists and ensembles. The lecturers are excellent and know what they are talking about, I have learnt a lot within musical theory and performance. I have raised some issues in regards to the setting of the performance assessments. Lower year students are examined in small rooms which feel very claustrophobic, and yet you are expected to perform in the Venue which has a 200+ seating capacity for your final year recital. LCM is lacking in the way of preparing you for real performances on a public stage.
The SU are organised and do a lot for the student community.
I live from home.
The facilities are excellent. I am always booking practice rooms and making use of all the space and resources. I do wish the practice rooms were sound proof as practice can often be distracting if there’s anyone next door – which there normally is!
Leeds is an excellent city with lots to explore. I am only just beginning to discover what Leeds offers with music. I like the concert venues here and the plays that are on at the West Yorkshire Playhouse which is right next to LCM.
I take part in Chamber orchestra which is a great experience but the rehearsals are scheduled really poorly. They are condensed down to two intensive weeks of rehearsals which can last for 6 hours. This means that you do not have enough time to practice your parts and it also impacts on your on-going studies. This was organised by the senior faculty who need to address this issue.
I have used the student support services to assist with application for post-graduate studies who were very helpful in filling forms and guidance on possible future courses.
My overall experience has been quite good. My greatest concern was having to deal with the move from Norway to England where you have to experience a different culture.
LCM does not prepare you that well for working life, they can do a much better job of this. Many players, and myself included, find it difficult to find places to perform and we need help in finding these opportunities to expose ourselves as musicians and performers.
The size of the classes can be too overcrowded so there is less focus on you as an individual. The classes are also imbalanced in that there can be too many students who specialise in the same instrument and not enough of another instrument. LCM needs to organise their classes better. The content does not seem to be entirely relevant for us to progress as musicians; I feel like the curriculum is often ineffective and could have included better content which involves more practical aspects of music. Students need to be playing a lot more as performance and learning their instrument is normally the students’ highest priority and there needs to be more chances for us to just play music. LCM need to make a bigger effort in getting students to come out and play as that’s really what music is all about.
The SU make themselves visible during Freshers’ week but often disappear for the rest of the year. If they are holding events they need to publicise them more and really engage with what the students here want. On behalf of the international students, I felt more could be done to integrate international students to make it easier for people who find it difficult to adjust to British culture. There are difficulties for us to simply get around the city and the country because of language and culture barriers, I think the SU needs to improve this.
I live in private accommodation because it is cheaper and I like to live on my own.
The library is a great resource, there are computer rooms with printing facilities and practice room open till 3am. One of the biggest issues I have with the facilities here are the practice room which are not sound proof. I understand that the viewing pane in the door is there for health and safety but it is still extremely distracting for students who practice and you can constantly see people walking outside. Your practice is really affected by the fact that people can see you when they pass by and how the person in the next room can hear you and how you will certainly be able to hear them as well. If LCM can sort this issue out, I believe the growth in the musicianship level of students will really improve.
I like Leeds as a city, the size is perfect as you can easily get to know the city and what it offers. It has great market which I think is what makes Leeds very unique, I take advantage of this and is my favourite part of Leeds to go. Then there are the music venues, there is probably an open mic every night of the week if you just seek them out. All your basic needs like shopping centres and supermarkets. The city itself is in a great location in the UK, you can easily go for a day trip in York, Manchester, Liverpool , even London if you have the time as there are regular trains that commute there directly. Leeds is a very good access point in the country. I am very happy with the city.
I do not know of any societies, at least none that cater to my interests. It would be nice to see some clubs based on culture and languages.
LCM let me know about what’s happening in the city in relation to the music events that is going on. We get regular emails informing us of events we can take part in. There is not much else in terms of support outside our lectures but what we have is very good.
There are some good things that LCoM provide, though I can’t help but feel that if I were at a university, there would be a lot more benefits for me as a student and musician.
I appreciate how LCoM arrange a lot of talks and lectures about job prospects. There have been talks from people who work with record companies, touring band members, magazine editors, to name a few. There is not much direct help with individuals though.
I find my individual instrumental lessons can be quite restrictive in that the teacher does not allow for much freedom in letting students choose how they want to learn and practice and the type of repertoire they want to cover. My teacher has also not been clear in what he wants from me as a musician and I have found that the work that I have produced is not what my teacher expected. This has been my biggest issue with the course, otherwise other lessons are mostly good.
The members of the SU are really lovely and friendly; they care a lot about students’ opinions and regularly ask for feedback regarding the college and the SU. They could do a bit more when it comes to organising events for students, at the moment they are fairly infrequent and all rather similar (mostly parties and quiz nights every now and then).
Student accommodation is extremely poor value for many. Rooms are small, bathrooms are even smaller and the fridge that is provided has hardly enough space to fit food for 5 people in that flat. I was shocked at how these companies can charge so much yet give so little. They must be making millions of pounds, it really saddens me.
Although I know LCoM is a conservatoire and not a university, I do wish more was provided in terms of cafes and restaurants. At the moment, the “Café:Bar” serves some fairly bog-standard mediocre food such as sandwiches, chips and fruit – nothing very interesting or exotic.
Leeds is a good city if you have the time to search and explore the lesser known places and venues. There are some nice independent coffee shops and vintage clothing stores. Otherwise everything is as you would expect from a city like Leeds.
There are very few societies to join. How it works is normally LCoM recommends extra-curricular activities which take place outside of college and students are allowed to attend for free. I have been to meditation classes and mindfulness classes in the centres in town.
Like those who work for the SU, the staff that work in the student support department are very kind and care a lot about students’ wellbeing. At the start of the first semester, students are urged to visit the department if they have any worries.
The overall experience of studying at LCoM is good, however there is always room for improvement. Bear in mind, a small conservatoire probably can’t compete with a large university though.
I think it depends on the subject/genre of music or instrument you are studying and on the person. Because I am studying classical music I think getting a job in the line of work I want to do would be difficult.
Project week gives everyone a chance to study something they are interested in, not necessarily something that is related to their genre, yet this makes you a well-rounded musician.
The student Union is okay, there aren’t a lot of societies however the population of our university is significantly smaller than a normal university.
The student accommodation that Leeds College of Music supports, Joseph Stones House is poor, considering the price per week. Yet it’s good for your first year as it’s exclusive to LCoM students.
The facilities are good at LCoM they do have a range of instruments and the practice rooms are effective however I feel that there could be more practice rooms and we could have bigger recording studios with better equipment, like Leeds University provides.
The city life is great for going out to local bars watching live music and visiting shows at the Grand Theatre and the Yorkshire Playhouse, it’s a great city for a music students especially.
I have joined the Opera Society at Leeds university and Part-Song Choir at LCoM. Otherwise there's not much to offer.
There is support for dyslexic students and counselling for students that are finding university difficult.
LCM is good for the course. LCM could be slightly clearer about assignment details and more support for students who did not come from a strong musical background. There are more opportunities here in the conservatoire than you would find at a university for any musician.
LCM does not offer that much support in terms of helping you find work or offering working opportunities. The department that deals with jobs and vacancies in LCM are fairly unorganised.
At LCM, meeting musicians who study the same course has been great because I have never had the experience of being with so many musicians in one place before. My favourite module is the performance module as the quality of the teaching is excellent. They encourage you to ask many questions as oppose to just “spoon-feeding” you information but at the same time making sure you understand everything before moving on with another part of the lesson. The solo and ensemble performance are compulsory modules, however, I do wish there were even more practical modules on offer.
Honestly, I was mostly unaware of the SU’s work until well into my studies. I wish the SU offered more societies and networking events, other events where you can take part in fun activities. It would be great to have this alongside all the intensive lectures we have.
I have not stayed in student halls in Leeds as I do not think they are of good value. I stay in my own private accommodation which is a lower floor of a Victorian house which I have all to myself. Of course, the downside to this is that it can get a bit lonely.
LCM is open till 3am on weekdays which is great for late night practising. During the day, this is a different matter as rooms are booked up extremely quickly by teachers and students so I do wish there were more rooms available. Can the college provide more free incentives please?
Leeds has many things to offer as a city. The architecture is beautiful and I enjoy walks through the city. There are many concerts on show at the Town Hall, various cathedrals and in the many music venues in Leeds.
I have joined the LGBT society, their informal meetings are a great time to chill out with people. I was not aware of the sports societies LCM do offer until many months later, so I wish the SU had did a better job promoting and publicising these clubs for students to take advantage of. If LCM has anything to offer, you normally have to dig deep down somewhere to try and find something, it is very difficult to access this type of information on the online student portal. I have joined the symphony orchestra.
A lot of support is provided at LCM. Help is offered with careers, student finance and counselling. I used the counselling service myself due to my depression and anxiety and after having suffered a panic attack as a result of the loneliness I felt whilst living alone. After signing up for counselling, I was offered a counselling session once a week. This was incredibly useful and valuable to me and I felt like it was the first time someone listened to my problems properly.