Student Profile: Kate Culverwell
Degree: BA Music
A Levels: Geography, English, Music
What do you enjoy the most about your course?
I really enjoy the freedom of the course. As a composer, I like that there are hardly any constrictions on what kind of piece we have to write. I also really enjoy the option of an extended essay and the opportunity to delve into a side of music I hadn’t been given the possibility to do so before. And I could do it with the help of an expert in that field which was fantastic.
How is your subject taught?
We have around 3 or 4 tutorials a week, some one-to-one and others in groups of around three. We also have lectures around four days a week depending on the term. For one side of the course we had small classes. Alongside this, there are plenty of extra music lectures and talks outside the course structure, as well as workshops and concerts.
How did you prepare for your interview?
I had a great tutor at Guildhall School of Music who gave me mock interviews and I did a lot of reading around the essays I gave in my application. This gave me a good grounding of having things to talk about in my interview, and I enjoyed what I was being questioned on which was important. But I also practiced my weak points, such as performing and analysis.
What advice do you have for prospective students interested in studying your subject?
Make sure you are passionate about music, it sounds simple but it’s fundamental. Don’t worry about the interview, there will be aspects of it that won’t be your strong point, for example, if you’re a composer more than a performer. But it will all even out with what you do enjoy. Be confident in the way you think, not necessarily whether it’s right. This is particularly relevant in parts such as analysis. Ultimately, just go for it, Oxford is an amazing place to study music as well as tons of fun, so you won’t be losing out on anything by applying.
What do you like the most about being an Orielensis?
The community. Oriel has an exceptional community feel, whether it’s walking around college, cheering your mates at the rowing regattas or going through exams together, there is a fantastic support network from students and Deans. College life will be at the heart of your time at Oxford and Oriel makes it an unbelievably fantastic experience.