‘If you want to strive for something a bit different, then I’d recommend Trinity Laban,’ says the double bassist

Student - Alex Ferkey 700kb - Copy

Double bassist Alex Ferkey

I chose to pursue postgraduate studies at Trinity Laban in order to study with Leon Bosch. I’d often listened to interviews with Leon and his ideas about music and the double bass really resonated with me. I looked up where he taught, and it was Trinity Laban.

I think that for most students the conservatoire experience is centred on one-to-one lessons. There are also more academic classes like entrepreneurship, research skills and performance psychology, but they are nowhere near as rigorous as you might expect. Performance is the primary focus, with lots of time for practice and rehearsals.

A highlight was the double bass department’s concert celebrating the bicentenary of the famous double bass composer and virtuoso Giovanni Bottesini. We put on a day of events and talks culminating in a small orchestral concert of some of his major repertoire, where I was lucky enough to be able to perform a concerto with Leon conducting.

Living in London can be strangely isolating, almost as if everyone’s on their own little island; it can be harder to make things happen than you’d expect. I preferred when I could play with others in a meaningful context, not just for assignments. It’s such a powerful thing when you can help a listener experience music in a way that truly affects them. I think that’s what music is about.

There are a lot of invisible boundaries when you choose to study music. It’s a field oriented around a particular kind of person, and when you come from a different background it’s easy to slip into doing things out of fear of failure. But if you want to strive for something a bit different, then I’d recommend Trinity Laban.

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