Department of Music and Media

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Welcome to the Department of Music and Media

We offer programmes in Music, Creative Music Technology, Sound Recording, Digital Media Arts and Film & Video Production Technology, exposing students to a unique world of music diversity.

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Student Work

Original work produced by the talented students in the Department of Music and Media.

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Award winning Alumni

Read more about our outstanding Oscar, Grammy and BAFTA winning alumni.

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News

From audio paper to next generation paper, Professor David Frohlich gives keynote at Webmedia 2017 

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Make Music at Surrey

Whatever subject you may be studying at Surrey, there are ample opportunities for you to peform and make music whilst you are here.

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Music & Media Blog

Moving back, moving on: How music placements shape learning and future careers

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Institute of Sound Recording (IoSR)

The Institute of Sound Recording (IoSR) is responsible for world-class research in psychoacoustic engineering as well as being home to the world-famous Tonmeister® course in Music & Sound Recording.

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Revolutionary approach brings 3D sound into the living room

Computer vision and sound experts at the University of Surrey have demonstrated ‘Media Device Orchestration’ – an innovative home audio concept which enables users to enjoy immersive audio experiences by using all available devices in a typical living room.

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Connect with us

Latest news

News story

University of Surrey Orchestra Day celebrates links with local community

For the first time, the University of Surrey Orchestra has joined with musicians from Guildford and the wider community of Surrey to form a Community Orchestra, capable of tackling substantial works in the orchestral repertoire.

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News story

Celebration of the life of Reginald-Smith Brindle

The Department of Music and Media hosts event celebrating the life of the University's first Professor of Music.

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News story

BAFTA-nominated film and TV composer Sheridan Tongue visits Department of Music and Media

This November, Tonmeister graduate Sheridan Tongue returned to Surrey to provide a fascinating workshop to undergraduate students.

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Blog

  • It’s that time of the year when glitter, tinsel, colourful lights, and the delicious aroma of festive smells and delights brighten up the dark, cold winter days. Positive vibes, good mood, feeling inspired, hopeful, and optimistic are all swirling in the air too. But this is also a time in the academic year when Music students searching for a placement start to draft their applications and target prospective employers. There is a good analogy here between the surge of positivity this mid-winter season brings and putting our best self forward when preparing personal statements, CVs, and cover letters for placement applications.

    (Photo: Department of Music & Media, this year’s festive tree with lots and lots of sparkle and glitter balls!)

    Presenting yourself on paper to a prospective employer can feel like a daunting task at first. And time after time I’ve encountered PTY tutees feeling hesitant or finding it difficult to capture their subject-specific and transferable skills concisely yet in a manner that effectively accentuates their capabilities. But the key is to be yourself while also presenting yourself in the most positive light possible. You want to sparkle and stand out from other applicants – it’s a bit like that shiny glitter ball hanging from a tree that unexpectedly catches your eye with its iridescent luminosity among many other decorations. Now, I am not talking exaggerating the facts unduly or faking it. Any employer who has screened and read dozens of placement applications and has interviewed many candidates, would be able to sniff fakery from a mile. After all, there is beauty in the simplicity of truth about who we are, what inspires us, and who we aspire to be.

    So, it’s all about selecting the right words while also tapping into your inner, intuitive side to express who you are. CVs and cover letters tend to comply with a more-or-less standard format, but there is flexibility here too that allows you to explore how best to find your own unique balance between appealing to employers’ language and fulfilling the skills they are looking for, and maintaining a sense of individuality. Ultimately you want to put your best assets forward, elaborate on your key strengths with concrete examples, demonstrate your ability to overcome challenges resourcefully, show that you have the willingness to learn new things, and, overall, convince any prospective placement employer that you are the best person for the job.

    So, go on! Start experimenting with those draft CVs, personal statements and cover letters, and turn the challenge of placement applications into something a little bit more fun – a thoughtful game in search of your unique glitter and sparkle.

     

    Additional resources:

    • Judith Leigh, How to Write Successful CVs & Job Applications (Oxford University Press, 2013)
    • University of Surrey Careers and Employability. For drop in sessions or pre-booked appointments to discuss CVs and cover letters for placement applications, visit https://www.surrey.ac.uk/employability-and-careers

    (1 December 2017, blog text by Dr. Georgia Volioti)

  • In the summer, we bid farewell to those music students who graduated with their BMus degrees and have now moved on to varied and exciting careers in the musical arts, such as orchestral management, music publishing or assistant music artist manager among others. As the new academic year is about to start, we also prepare to warmly welcome back the cohort of music students who have just completed their placement. This annual cycle, which marks the natural progression of moving back and moving on from University, not only prompts us to embrace change but also celebrate students’ personal and professional development. So, let’s take a moment to reflect on what Surrey music students achieve, what they cherish most about their placement experiences, and how they use the knowledge and skills they have gained to manage the remaining period of their academic studies, and ultimately to be successful in their job search after University. The excerpts below are students’ own testimonies and give a taste of learning experiences during the professional training year, and of the benefits of doing a placement as part of the music BMus degree.

     

    Anastasia:

    Working at the London Sinfonietta over the past year, I had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with some of the most prominent and acclaimed composers and musicians in the contemporary music circuit. One particularly memorable event was working to manage the concert tour for Under the Skin, where I met the film composer Mica Levi – an oscar nominated composer for the film Jackie. Being part of the hard-working team that managed the concert tour was an immensely enjoyable learning experience.

                             

    Left panel: Just before Under the Skin concert. Right panel: Metronomes set up for Ligeti’s Poème Symphonique

     

    The repertoire performed by the London Sinfonietta is usually complex contemporary music that takes great skill, dedication, and well-coordinated rehearsals to pull off successfully. It was a unique way to learn about such compositions as In Vain by Georg Friedrich Haas and Poème Symphonique for 100 metronomes by György Ligeti. For Haas’s work, the players had to perform in pitch dark for about 20 minutes, something that transforms your understanding of conventional performance practice and opens your mind to new possibilities that musicians can explore. Core to the creative mission of the London Sinfonietta is to offer audiences unique and unrivalled experiences of live music, and during my placement I have learnt to appreciate enormously contemporary repertoire that I may not have had a chance to access otherwise. This experience has wetted my appetite to learn more about contemporary concert music.

    (Anastasia Megally-Cassar, 4-year BMus, returning PTY student)

     

    George:

    My professional training year was an invaluable experience that truly allowed me to gain an insight into the inner workings of the music publishing world. Not only did the experience give me a greater understanding of the arts, and how organisations operate in the sector, but it also equipped me with the translatable skills – researching and writing – that I use daily in my job today in the charitable sector. Each day of my placement at Faber Music Publishing was varied; from promoting new works at concerts, attending rehearsals of upcoming pieces, right through to writing to international performers, conductors and orchestras about our catalogue of works. I devoted a lot of my time to the generation of ideas and research, helping the company, for instance, to innovate and update its online scores perusal website.

    My advice to all students on placement? Make the most of all opportunities given to you and experience as much as possible of the organisation that you are in. Whilst I was based in the Promotions Department, I ensured that I spent time with the Editorial and Copyrights team in order to soak up as much of the company activity as possible. This led to completing projects for a number of colleagues, and I could then add this experience to my CV. More experience on your CV means you have more to show to future employers, and demonstrates that you have been proactive about widening your skillsets. In essence, the main asset of the placement year is that you leave University with one year’s solid work experience in addition to the three years of academic study. The other benefit is that it gives you a taste of the sector, so that you can make informed decisions about what path you want to take afterwards. On my placement year I discovered a love for researching and writing. These skills and interests are what I focussed on when applying for jobs after University. In addition, you form special relationships with colleagues who can become, in my case, great friends and mentors that help guide you after leaving University.

    The placement year was a great passport for my future success. It gave me the type of work experience, which made me stand out from the crowd after graduating. The placement year provided me with the insight I needed in order to make decisions about my future career. Most importantly it gave me a refined set of skills that have been so beneficial to securing employment – skills like professional communications, organisation, team-work, research, written communication. In the professional environment of the placement you can develop and fine-tune these skills ready for employment, but also for returning back to University for the final year of study. I am a big advocate of the professional training year. It’s great fun, definitely challenging, but ultimately so rewarding!

    (George Stewart, 4-year BMus, 2015 Surrey graduate)

     

    As another annual cycle of professional placements is set into motion, we look forward with passionate curiosity, admiration and enthusiasm to what our music students accomplish, and how they transform and blossom during their learning journey.

     

    • For various concert activities of the London Sinfonietta, see http://www.londonsinfonietta.org.uk/
    • For information about Faber Music Publising, see http://www.fabermusic.com/

    (28 September 2017, blog text by Dr. Georgia Volioti with Anastasia Megally-Cassar and George Stewart)

     

Watch our videos

Arts events at Surrey

  • Alumni event
  • Arts
  • Events for schools & colleges
  • Performance
  • Retired staff

University of Surrey Orchestra Day - Sunday 28th January

  • Sunday 28 Jan. 2018

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  • Alumni event
  • Alumni events
  • Arts
  • Events for schools & colleges
  • Performance
  • UK

John Ireland Competition Lunchtime Recital

  • Wednesday 09 May. 2018

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Highlights

Alumni Profile: Odaline de la Martinez

Internationally recognised composer, conductor, producer and winner of the Vice-Chancellor's Lifetime Achievement Award 2016

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Emmy-winning 'Sherlock' composer joins Surrey's Tonmeister teaching team

Award-winning screen composer and Tonmeister graduate Michael Price returns to the department as a Visiting Professor.

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Surrey hosts world's first 5G digital gaming initiative

World’s first 5G Digital Gaming initiative launched at University of Surrey during the G3: Futures event on 5 July.

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BAFTA-nominated film and TV composer Sheridan Tongue visits Department of Music and Media

This November, Tonmeister graduate Sheridan Tongue returned to Surrey to provide a fascinating workshop to undergraduate students.

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Keeping it classic with the LSO: Reflections on a typical placement visit

 Dr. Georgia Volioti visits a student on a Placement Training Year (PTY) at the LSO.

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The Digital World Research Centre (DWRC)

The Digital World Research Centre (DWRC) carries out new media innovation projects with social benefit.

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