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The University of Southampton
Humanities

Catherine  Underhill BA Music2015

Catherine  Underhill's Photo

Hi, I'm Catherine Underhill and I studied BA Music within Humanities at the University of Southampton.

The teaching is great. There is a wide variety of opportunities and insights into different aspects of music. You can learn about topics as varied as teaching, or music therapy. The lecturers are still researching into their fields, so you really get a true insight into their research.

What made you choose Southampton?

I came and looked round on an Open Day and I really liked the campus itself. I liked where the Music department is in relation to performance spaces. We have Turner Sims, which is really close. It’s a good distance from London, where I’m from, and is well connected to other parts of the UK.

Why did you choose to study Music?

I really enjoyed music when I was at school. I studied Music, Music Tech and Performing Arts, so I knew that I wanted to continue into the Performing Arts industry. I didn’t have to think about it?

What did you think of the teaching in Southampton’s Music Department?

It’s great. There is a wide variety of opportunities and insights into different aspects of music. You can learn about topics as varied as teaching, or music therapy. The teachers are still researching into their fields, so you really get a true insight into their research. I performed with my oboe teacher, who is a professional musician. I also took part in a school placement. The links that the University has meant that I could do that while I was studying here.

What did you do in your spare time?

I took part in a lot of clubs and societies! In my first year, I danced with a competition squad. We went to Loughborough for a competition and won. I did tap, ballet, jazz and contemporary. I also did Showstoppers, so I choreographed some shows and performed in shows as well. I was Assistant Musical Director, which gave me experience for a job which I will be doing in a few weeks’ time. I played in the Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra. With the Chamber Orchestra, I was also Vice President, so I made sure everything ran smoothly. I set up a ‘Grade One a thon’ within the Music Department, which was an extra opportunity for people within the Music Society to learn a new instrument. I managed to fit it all in!

What are your plans for the future?

I’ve got a few things lined up! Firstly, I’m heading to Belfast to play in a show. I’m then going straight to Plymouth to work for Youth Music Theatre. I’ll be working with under sixteens. We will teach them a show and then perform it at the end of two weeks. The Head of the Department has then helped me to get a job at the Mayflower Theatre. I will be playing in the pit for a show there. After that, I’ve been offered part time oboe and wind teaching for my local music service and will also be working as a freelance musician.

What advice would you give to anyone considering Southampton for Music?

Once you’re here, make the most of any opportunity you can. University is the time to try something new. Make sure that you speak to everyone you can and ask your lecturers for advice. The more you communicate with them, the more they can help you.

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