April blog – Tessa Tang

RNCM soprano Tessa Tang chronicles life in a series of monthly blog posts…

After a good term of off-site learning it’s nice being back in the building again – seeing a little bit more life around and not having to spend most of my day looking at screens. While some of my peers were able to go home, I spent Easter here going on procrastination walks, practising, trying to complete major assignments (a presentation and an essay due the same week #finalyear) and watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine – I love how it’s only 20 minutes per episode and cracks me up every time. Oh, I also went for a run to Salford Quays on a beaaaautiful but extremely windy day, and got a coffee too (of course)!

One of the exciting things for me this Easter was being featured on BBC Radio 3 along with other RNCM musicians sharing two pieces that mean something to us as part of Radio 3’s ‘Manchester Focus Week’. If you’d like to listen to what others and myself have shared, it’s the week of 22 March and you can catch up on BBC Sounds. Music choices were really diverse and it was nice knowing and hearing what others are listening to – I’m always a fan of sourcing out music of different genres just to hear something different. I chose to share Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 IV. Adagietto and Here Comes The Sun by The Beatles! Very different in genre but also somehow quite pleasing to listen to in that order. The Beatles is always a good shout, especially songs that make you get up and have a little boogie.

Talking about the sun, I recently seized the opportunity of a sunny day with my support bublé (yes, I call it that), hopped on a train and went to the Peak District for a hike! For those of you new to Manny, depending on which stop you alight (I’d suggest Edale), it’s a short 40min train ride away and definitely worth the sights, fresh air, exercise and just doing something out of the ordinary routine is always exciting! Here are some shots from that sunny day:


And I think it’s crazy that we’re almost at the end of the academic year now! While we move from academic assignments to the final recital (if you’re opting to do it of course) – just a tiny PSA that we’ve got to make time to take care of ourselves regardless of how overwhelmed we are! I know ASIMUT seems so busy all of a sudden now that we’re back in the building again, and it can be quite daunting with that typical #fomo attitude looming but take things in your stride! I believe that who we are reflects in our music in some ways and learning about where our sense of identity/purpose lies and the reason why we do what we do is all part of our growth, not as musicians but as 20-something year-olds! No stress, just bless.

Now that restrictions are also easing, I think it can be quite emotionally or mentally stressing for some who are feeling a little bit anxious about having to meet people again after months of being in lockdown and I think that’s completely okay. I feel a little anxious myself, and this is another PSA to not feel like you have to immediately force yourself to get out there. Ease into it at your own pace (I know I definitely am). It’s nobody else’s life but our own! For people who are feeling the burnout and unmotivated, hopefully restrictions easing will improve things for you a little. Doing things for yourself is really helpful too: the first step is always the toughest but it will be worth it – that’s what I’ve been trying to hype myself with too. But go for that run, read that book, buy those flowers (or just watch a movie)! Because once we’ve experienced the positives, why would we ever want to go back to the negatives?

Please enjoy this picture of tulips that I bought for myself because ‘you deserve to be happy’ (@wetheurban). With the sun shining through too, it brightened up my ‘do assignment’ day and made me feel generally lighter for a few days!

Tip: A short 15-30min walk by a nearby park or simply peeling yourself away from the four walls might help a little! I can’t stress enough: Taking care of our mental health goes a long way because it’s all a journey and not a destination! Thank you for reading till the end, I really enjoyed writing these blogs this past year and I hope they were enjoyable reads for you! Let’s do our best and take necessary rest for the final term – heart goes out to my final year peers, we’re almost there!

All love and good vibes only, Tessa x

13 May 2021