Since I posted on that chilly 6th of December last year, I have gained a place on a new course at the RNCM, not to mention a little insight…
The course is the Advanced PGDip, and more importantly it will be above the status of my current qualification. This obviously gets rid of the ELQ problem!
…I’ll be honest here: I can’t be specific.
The reason being the fact that the Advanced PGDip has not actually been validated by RNCM; the fees are yet to be finalised,though I’ve been given an approximation of £8,300; the course outline is, as yet, non-existent. What I do know however is that it will only be a year in duration.
Considering what we do know, it might turn out to be the perfect supplement to my time at Bangor university, both in terms of duration and content. Bangor’s course was also only a year in duration, and in terms of the latter point, the Advanced PGDip serves as a far more practical answer to Bangor’s very academic, Musicological approach… and I cannot tell you how happy this makes me!
Either way I am told that I will probably have to wait until around May for things to be finalised, but I have been reassured that a) I have a place, and b) the course is ¡¡¡DEFINITELY HAPPENING!!!
I have made a pact with myself; financially, I feel that just one year of £8,000 odd is not an insurmountable sum (most of, if not all of my maintenance would be covered by my current part-time job!). However, I have told myself I have until July to gain a certain percentage of my funding for the course.
If for any reason I do not manage to get this percentage, I will stop worrying about it, retrain and get a full time position somewhere for a couple of years. This is not to say that I won’t go back to music as my main focus later, but saving for the future is something that I believe most full-time musicians don’t feel they can do, living such an ad hoc lifestyle as they do.
So to the nitty-gritty…
Funding-wise I have just applied for (and subsequently received a rejection letter for) the Ryan Davies Memorial Fund, a fund available to those from Wales (and under 30).
Wish me luck… even better, if you can think of more sure-fire ways of raising cash, drop me an email or comment below – I’m open to ideas!
Upon reflection, it might be that this whole situation over the past few years is what I needed: a test. This pathway could serve me a lot better in the long-run, and I have also learned what it is to push and pace myself to do well whilst not necessarily doing what I *want* to do.
I say this because every now and again, I seriously wanted to give up whilst at Bangor University – I have always struggled to fit in all walks of life, but there I struggled even more whilst there because I felt that I didn’t belong in that institution; I felt at odds with the people there, and that is not to say that they were horrible people, I just didn’t feel I had much in common with them; we had very different goals.
I almost jacked the whole thing in. I genuinely felt I could not survive on the meagre income from a musician’s existence, not to mention the stress from not being able to pay the bills.
The key word is: almost. Somewhere along this ‘test’ I realised that I mayn’t be unhappy in a ‘normal/real’, 9-5 job – I just wouldn’t be happy. (More on this soon, in a different blog!).
I can’t live without music being a major part of my life.
To quote an article I found during my time at Bangor, Music is ‘my joy… my friend’