Hannah Jefferies, BMus Flute
What is your background and what made you choose the RNCM?
I did Nursing straight out of sixth form. That was just a career path I chose and it turned out to be wrong! Every time I was on placement, or working a shift, I would always be thinking about what I wanted to practice, then as soon as I finished I’d just go and practice.
I think it’s because I loved doing music so much, you’ve kind of just got to go with your gut instincts. This is just what I wanted to do. I had a teacher while I was at uni who came to the RNCM a few years ago and had the same teacher as I do now. I auditioned and managed to get a place here, which was great!
How did you find the transition from a university to a conservatoire?
I found it really easy. I knew a few people from the Youth Orchestra in Stockport, but I’ve always been around music, so I found it really easy to slip into it. I’d never studied it so intensely before, but it’s definitely easier because you enjoy it. The academics are aimed at you from a performance angle – so you can think about how to perform it using the theory, so everything is made easy to apply to what you want to do.
It’s really friendly, everyone is really supportive. The flute has a reputation for being competitive and not so friendly, but here it’s not like that at all and everyone is very much supportive of each other. Everyone has their own sound and their own niche so no-one is fighting over things – everyone wants the best for everyone else. It’s really nice.
What would you say to someone who is unsure about studying at a conservatoire?
I would say don’t do what you think is the best idea, do what you feel is the best thing for you. If you enjoy performing and playing music, do what you want to do. If you want it enough you will create your own opportunities and something will happen that you don’t expect. Do what you feel is right.
What have you been involved in and has there been a highlight?
Performance wise – the Penderecki piece, last year. We played in The Bridgewater Hall. All of first year were the Symphony Chorus for that piece of music. It was amazing.
I’m in a flute and percussion duo. It’s really fun and it’s exciting as there’s lots of different repertoire for marimba and it’s all contemporary music, but it’s really beautiful.
I’ve been in Brand New Orchestra, which is the student composers writing new music for the student conductors to conduct orchestra.
I’ve been in Concert Orchestras this year, and the Year 2 Orchestra. It’s fairly busy. You get given a variety of things to perform in.
Seeing your friends every day, that’s a highlight!
What would you like to do in the future?
I’m thinking about applying for Erasmus at the moment – that would be a year out in third year to a European college. I’m thinking about going to Austria or Switzerland. Every country has such a different way of playing and I find it really interesting.