Charlotte Williams is standing as a student representative for music, this is her statement:
I have always been creative. As a child, I loved writing stories, and was confident that I would grow up to be an author or a journalist. Then, at age 16, I started composing music for my A level course, and I abandoned the dream of conveying my thoughts in words; I knew that I wanted to spend my life expressing myself through music.
From 2005 to 2009, I attended Bangor University where I received an honours degree in music. While there, I focused on composition and related studies and received outstanding support after being diagnosed as being dyslexic and dyspraxic.
Following my degree, I went on to study composition at the New York Summer Music Festival, where my work had its concert debut. On my return to the UK, I began working to save for postgraduate study while looking for opportunities to expand my skills and range as a composer.
It was for this reason I joined OCA in 2011. Although I have never regretted this decision, due to personal circumstances, my journey at OCA has been very unstable from the start. However, I have remained determined to succeed and recently extended my course, having been heartened by the kind and steadfast support of the faculty.
As part of my renewed determination to complete my studies, I recently switched to part time work, enabling me to better manage my commitments and to focus more squarely on pursuing my musical goals and education.
During my time as a student at OCA, I have come to appreciate the diversity of its student body and developed a great admiration for our faculty.
While there are many positives to our course and department, I feel that the main problem facing our music students is that our community can feel incredibly isolated due to our unique position within the OCA. From my own perspective, I feel that as we have considerably fewer study days than other departments and our forum is only fully utilized by a small percentage of students, it is harder for our students to interact and benefit from each other’s experiences.
Furthermore, the limited opportunities within our course to hear our music performed in a concert or study day environment means that the closest some will come to hearing their music is through a computer. I strongly believe that this is a hindrance to our development and exacerbates the problem of isolation.
These are long-standing issues that some students, past and present, have gone above and beyond to address alongside our faculty. I accept that there is no magic solution but, by working together and trying new ideas, improvements can be made.
It would be a privilege to become a student representative and help support our student body. Given my unique experience with OCA to date, I believe I will bring a different perspective to the Association and will be a strong advocate your suggestions and opinions for developing the student experience for all.