Kathryn Bell (KB), 16, from Barrow-in-Furness is a Level 3 Music Student at Kendal College. She started this course in September 2017 after deliberating between several colleges. Kathryn recently met with Adele Mundy (AM) the colleges Student Services Manager to discuss the course, why she chose Kendal and what she hopes to do after college.
AM: Why did you choose this course?
KB: I chose this course because it was more suited to what I want to do. I want to play music and produce music and this was the course that was going to do that for me.
AM: What made you choose Kendal College?
KB: I had a look around several colleges but around Barrow there isn’t actually many colleges that do music. Furness don’t do music, Barrow Sixth Form don’t do music, Ulverston Victoria do but it’s very limited and I was deciding between Lancaster and Morecambe and Kendal. Kendal was just like home, so I decided to come here. When I first came here I just didn’t want to leave.
AM: Is college like you expected? If not, why?
KB: Oh absolutely, I didn’t expect it to be too hard or too relaxed so when I came here it was everything I wanted and expected.
AM: What is it you enjoy the most about college life?
KB: Well, particularly meeting such wonderful people and being around such good influences and the gigs – being able to do the things that I love and getting out there.
AM: What opportunities have you had as a student at college?
KB: Well, I don’t have a lot of opportunity in Barrow to do gigs by myself because I’m, at the moment, a solo artist. So the college and my course has actually helped me to have more and more gigs considering we do the college gigs and we get to go see gigs as well – we have trips there after London to see shows and gigs all over the spot. So we’re given a vast amount of opportunities.
AM: What is the teaching style like on your course?
KB: You sometimes you always have the one teacher who’s a little bit stricter but they’re only doing it for your benefit which is a really great aspect to have. Sometimes students do need a push, but generally they try to be a friendly as they can be, everything is said with a smile. Everyone is really nice to each other and if there’s ever a spat in college between friends then it’s always sorted out before we go and practice or do something because otherwise it just separates everyone.
AM: Can you describe a typical day at college?
KB: On Mondays and Fridays we do rehearsal which counts as about 3 to 4 hours in booths practising songs for the gig. We have tutorial before that as well which is like work skills where you work on CVs, which will help us in the future getting jobs and things like that. On Wednesdays we have theory day which consists of oral perception which is like music theory and notation. We have a recording lesson where we go into the recording studio and learn about the desk and setting up mics etc. Then we have contemporary song writing which is basically learning how to write songs.
AM: How would you describe your college experience so far?
KB: It’s been quite eventful, met some people, and lost some people. It’s been a hell of a ride already and I’ve only been here a couple of months. It’s just been a wave. Due to who I am and who people know me as, I’ve been described as having a natural flair with people and people have said that I make their day more enjoyable – so that really does put a lift on my day. When people tell me they enjoy their day, it’s just so wonderful. It gets better and better as the year goes on too. As long as you work hard and get the grades that you want, make the friends that you want, everything else falls into place.
AM: What are you hoping to do after college?
KB: I have two ideas, I’ve been offered a job as a qualified singing tutor at a place called South Lakes Rock School because this time next year I’ll be doing my grade 8 so I’ll be qualified to be a singing tutor and I also have the opportunity to go to Huddersfield university as well.
AM: What facilities do you use regularly at college?
KB: We do use the classrooms quite a lot, sometimes classrooms can be used not just for classwork but some people go in there to practice when they’re empty. We use the venue, which is like a little gig room, it’s where we do show and tell and performances. We do a lot of stuff in there. We use the sound proof booths downstairs quite a fair amount and the cafeteria quite often. There’s a designated smoking area that a lot of people use, sometimes not even for smoking, people just go out to socialise – it’s quite a nice area. It does get cold out there though!
AM: If you could give one piece of advice to people considering College, what would it be?
KB: Go for it because no matter where you go, it’ll be worth it because it’ll push you to do something that you want to do. It’s absolutely worth it, 100%.
If Kathryn has prompted an interest in Music @ Kendal College, find out more on our website.