Sophie Turnbull, BMus Percussion

Why did you choose to study at the RNCM?

I initially didn’t know anything about music colleges, because I originally planned on going to a regular university. I was considering some other institutions but I got the best feeling after visiting the RNCM and knew it was the right place for me. I also liked the idea of studying something entirely different from what my friends were doing.

What is your favourite type of music?

My major is orchestral percussion and timpani, but studying at the RNCM there’s a wide variety of things that you can play and genres that you can tap into; my teacher Dave Hassel is extremely knowledgeable. I’ve learnt a lot about orchestral percussion but also about pop and Latin genres of percussion because it’s very accessible these days with functions and doing your own gigs, learning about improvisation techniques and just having fun. Overall the RNCM has taught me solid technique that I’ve been able to apply to a whole range of different styles and brought about amazing musical experiences.

Do you have a favourite thing about the RNCM?

There have been so many great opportunities at the RNCM. The people here are very welcoming and friendly, at the same time challenging you to be the best you can be. The course is flexible to suit each student and the teaching standard is really high. I got here and as I passed through first and second year, which is all the compulsory subjects, you figure out what you like and what you don’t like and there’s been enough opportunities that I’ve definitely loved my experience. It’s also a place always high in energy, and that seeps into your playing.

How is living in Manchester?

Absolutely love it. I moved from London to study here and for students I think it’s the perfect-sized city to be involved in, because it’s big enough that you won’t get bored but it’s small enough to make socialising and exploring the city easy. The student union also organises a lot of events so it all feels very comfortable and safe.

What are your future plans?

I’m trying to get on a music business management masters, and they’ve got really great graduate prospects. So I’d like to delve into something more academic and continue performing at the same time. In the future I’m hoping to work on a record label whilst continuing to gig with soul bands and function groups.