Music and History Joint honours personal statement
Five years ago, during the last night of the proms and there was a pivotal moment whilst watching the orchestra that changed me forever. Rapidly developing a love for music I realised that the influence exerted by history over music is profound. Shostakovich 'Leningrad Symphony', managed to portray the desperate suffering and heartache experienced by Russians between 1941-1944. When visiting the Leningrad memorial, I could actually feel how the music embodies the emotional torment of the tragedy. I was led to study both History and Music for GCSE and found it necessary to involve myself in anyway possible leading to some of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
Developing my skills in seven instruments, yet concentrating my main efforts on the flute, resulted in a whole range of opportunities. In school being involved in activities such as Jazz Band, Gospel and Chamber Choir and Orchestra increased my willingness to do more. What started as a simple tutoring session for fellow flute players developed in a clarinet and flute ensemble for which I conduct and arrange the music. This in itself has been beneficial in gaining important experience compared to being part of an ensemble. Outside school I regularly attend the North Somerset Music Service playing bass in Swing Band and flute in Concert Band. Volunteering to help at the North Somerset Junior Centre for young musicians has further developed my skills and I am auditioning for the South West Youth Wind Sinfonia. I also regularly play the piano at Church and intend to apply for music lessons at Wells Cathedral in the New Year.
My History skills and knowledge have been developed by a visit to Russia in preparation for my A2 coursework on whether both Tsarist and Communist rule relied upon central power and control. This in turn awakened an interest in Russian history and began researching around the topic by reading literature and studying other historians' interpretations of the period. Other areas of particular interest outside the A-level course include French revolution, World Wars, Tudor period and the English Civil war. I was approached to tutor some Year 9s on trench warfare and did by getting them to act it out across the common room accompanied by a trip to the Imperial War Museum. I like to divert into historical reading whether it be books or other means, something briefly mentioned in class will send me on a mission and usually find myself submerged in books engrossed in a variety of topics. My love for history can be summed up by the word of another, those of Aldous Huxley; "The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consists in the fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is completely different".
When not engaged in my studies or some aspect of music, I am involved in many other activities both inside and outside of school. I have been involved in representing the school in the Magistrates Court Competition and Mock Bar and on the Outward-Bound course. Through School and Sixth Form I was able to participate in the French Exchange, Geography trip to Slapton and a World Challenge expedition to Zambia and Botswana. I also recently organised an US election sleepover for politics students in Year 13. I help at Brownies have completed my Baden-Powell Challenge and am currently undergoing training in order to gain my Warrant. Through Scouts I help at cubs and am the leader of the local Network group and have been able to be involved in a multitude of activities such as Ten Tors, Duke of Edinburgh and numerous camping trips.
I feel incredibly lucky not only to be ardent for one subject but to share this equally with another and for this reason why I do not want to sacrifice one for the other. To carry on both Music and History to degree level would open a world I have only ever dreamt of creating endless opportunities for the future whereby I can continue to share my experiences and knowledge with others.
This personal statement was written by password for application in 2009.