Student Spotlight: Wing Hei – PhD Music (Composition)
Wing Hei, a student of PhD Music (Composition) shares with us some insights into their time at Manchester.
Why did you choose to study this course at The University of Manchester?
A teacher of mine had graduated from The University of Manchester and she highly recommend the course. After her suggestion, I read the course outline and decided that the course is suitable for my future needs.
How much time do you spend in classes and private study?
24-60 hours per week, depending on my schedule.
What has been the highlight of your course so far?
The biggest highlight of the course would be all the experiences of working with professional musicians. There are a lot of opportunities for us to try things out and have professional feedback on the difference between what’s written on paper and the actual sound we get, and suggestions in light of that, which is valuable to us as a composer. The most impressive of all is a compositional project that we need to cooperate with the Manchester & District Beekeeper’s Association and write a piano solo piece related to bees. The experience of working with non-musical experts is eye-opening and the stimulation brings my piece to a whole new dimension.
What has been the most challenging part of your course so far?
Zoom meetings have been my biggest challenge during the year, and I believe other music students will agree that sound behaves so differently in zoom meetings and just by listening to the zoom recording will not be conclusive enough for us to make every musical decision. Luckily, everyone involved in the courses is professional enough to precisely and effectively describe the sound they get, allowing us to do different sorts of experiments during such a challenging time
How would you describe your student experience so far?
This one year at Manchester is eye opening to me. The course design allows me to get in touch with a lot of musicians. Also, workshops allow us to have chances to understand how each individual participants came up with the idea of how they want to write our music. The chance to exchange our thoughts about each other’s pieces allows me to review my piece in a whole new perspective.
What is the best thing about living and studying in the city of Manchester?
The culture and the diversity of the city really stimulates me and in turn, transforms the central idea of my pieces and my approach to music writing.
What kind of accommodation do you live in?
I live in the George Kenyon Hall of Residence. It is close to every place I need to go. Also, living with other postgraduate students provides a wide variety of opinions from the point of view of different fields of study, which is great if not necessary in terms of creativity.
Do you have any tips for future students?
Being safe is necessary for you to pass the course, but taking risks is necessary for you to improve. Balance between those two is important for you to learn the most out of the course. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes as long as your decision is well planned and designed. Your mistakes will set you up, both mentally and technically, for your future success.