From our existing students to our new ones

Welcome Week exists to induct our first year students across all our programmes into life at Canterbury Christ Church University. Freshers will meet their personal academic tutor, be introduced to their timetable and choice of modules, get involved in social events to meet others on their course and partake in activities expressly to make the transition into higher education a smooth one. Part of the induction includes existing student volunteers taking the time to share anecdotes and tips – things that they wish they’d been told when they first started within the School of Music and Performing Arts. Here’s what a selection of our music students had to say…

Tim Whorlow (Third Year)

“I’m a pianist, with the intention of going into the music and health field in future, as I am interested in learning how much music can improve people’s lives. My top tip would be – all the help is here for you, but you need to be proactive and come and find it if you need it. We wont spoon feed you, but everyone on the music course is here for you though you’ve got to come to us to get that help.”


Helena Jukes (Postgraduate)

“I’m now an MMus student, after graduating this summer. I am primarily a saxophonist but I also play clarinet. My tip is to take part in everything that is available to you as you may discover things you didn’t expect. I started off as a first study clarinet but slowly found I was getting more confident on saxophone by taking part in big band and various other ensembles. Because of this I had the opportunity to change first study to saxophone in my second year and as of this year I am specialising in performance on that instrument.  I have played in the cathedral and that gave me so much confidence being part of ensembles and getting to know everyone.”


Anna Cullen (Second Year)

“We get so many different performance opportunities here; it would be a waste not to make the most of them. My favourite so far during my time at the University has been playing oboe (i also play violin) in the annual musical, last year, which was Chess. I got to play the choral part which was really cool and i’d encourage anyone to get involved in it and audition for this year’s.”

Helen Bloom (Second Year)

“I’m a first study cellist, but also sing and play piano and a bit of clarinet. One thing that I really enjoyed this year was the different types of masterclasses that are around, not even just for music based students although there are plenty of those. I recently went to the War Horse conference, which was primarily for theatre students, however it was really interesting to listen to the directors as they did talk about the music used in the show. My top tip is…when you get your module guides, check the dates carefully, because last year I missed a masterclass for viola and I still regret that I didn’t get to go to it.”

Matt Swainsbury (Third Year)

“I’m a first study singer and play clarinet as well. The best thing for me about being here has been being part of the chamber choir as that has provided a lot of good opportunities that I wouldn’t otherwise have like field trips to places like choir festivals, this year is Birmingham. Top tip – get involved as much as possible, whether it be ensembles or societies or anything else that you enjoy.”

Isla Holdsworth (Third Year)

“I’m a music student and president of the music society. I personally think that getting Involved in extra curricular activities is the best way to make friends, which is an important part of your time here. If you sign up for the music society, we have open mic nights and pub crawls, ensembles that are auditioned and non auditioned or you can even start your own ensemble if theres something you want but cant find. Top tip – try something you wouldn’t have before. When you’re picking modules although of course you want to get the best mark possible, because the first year doesn’t count toward your final year its an opportunity to go outside your comfort zone. Try something new you’d like to learn about and expand your learning and your interests.”

Aaron Mather (Third Year)

“I play piano and violin and i run the music society orchestra, which is a really relaxed environment that allows you to get to know other musicians. We do get down to the work but we have a good laugh at the same time. My top tip is to stay on top of your work and don’t leave it until the last minute, otherwise you won’t enjoy the other opportunities available to you to their full potential.”

Many thanks to all our current students for their advice and taking the time to assist all our Freshers!