Sidney is an amazing place to study music: a small College but really central right by all the shops, and a very friendly community. Obviously you’ll get to know all of us musos (music students) very quickly, but you’ll also soon get to know all of the other freshers, and plenty of other students and staff across College. Freshers live together in a few sites across College so it’s easy to quickly make friends.
The Cambridge Music tripos is very traditional, but this is something that is changing and there is definitely a much more diverse course now there than ever has been. There is certainly something in there for everyone! In your first year you will learn the fundamental aspects of academic music – History, Harmony & Counterpoint, Analysis and Music and Musicology today. On top of this there will be the practical elements of Aural and Keyboard Skills. It is rigorous and while not all aspects may interest you immediately, it is good to try out new things as you may find your own passion, which of course you can specialise in further down the tripos. Whilst you are here, your academics will be overseen by your Director of Studies (or ‘DoS’). You can go to them with any queries or concerns about academics you might have, and there’s also your College Tutor and the rest of the pastoral team should you need support.
Cambridge is an amazing hub of music making. Auditions for University orchestras, ensembles and bands normally take place during freshers’ week, so it would be worthwhile, while you have time at home, looking up the different groups that the University has to offer, and think about planning for any auditions that you want to undertake. If you’re a keen singer, Sidney has a great chapel choir, who sing three times a week, and go on amazing tours both at home and internationally. There’s also of course Sidney Sussex College Music Society (SSCMS) which runs an exciting programme of concerts and events throughout the year. As well as these, there are many other sports and societies available at both a University and College level.
There’s definitely no need to fill every minute of the day with activities or work though; Sidney has lots of places and occasions to just chill out with friends. there’s hall (the canteen), the student-run bar, and the JCR TV room to chill out in, as well of course as accommodation.
Cambridge is a very exciting place to be and you will be surrounded by people who want the best from you too.