Since completing my undergraduate degree at SOAS I already knew how friendly everybody was. In many departments, Music included, you are on first name terms with all the lecturers and every lecturer here is really on the top of their game internationally. It’s also the University with the widest choice of areas of study for ethnomusicology in the UK, meaning you are free to allow your area of interests to become apparent without being tied down so much to one geographical area.
I found out how friendly was pretty quickly and also how easily it was to find a good work-life balance for example the bar is 30 seconds’ walk from the library! I have loved the freedom to explore my own interests – with the music department you are immediately immersed in the most varied and flexible ethnomusicology study experience in the UK.
The enthusiasm that the lecturers have in their subjects is infectious and it ensures everybody succeeds. The extra curricular music scene is pretty unique and seriously enjoyable, one day you could be playing the kora, the next, gigging with the Cuban Big Band, the next, looking after Mory Kante and talking music with him after a gig in the Brunei Gallery! It’s all here under one roof.
It is fantastic being part of this wonderful community and having the opportunity to say and do things that would just cause bewilderment anywhere else! It really is a special place.