By Fiona Lee
This year NUI Galway accepted its first round of students who are undertaking a new Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music.
The new degree consists of a variety of music modules, such as music theory, sound technology, traditional Irish music, arts administration and management, harmony and many more.
An opportunity for work placement is offered in the third year of the course, as well as study abroad or a supervised project, which would lead to an end of year performance.
The students will be learning from leading professional musicians during their degree through masterclasses and concerts.
Music is studied along with another Arts subject.
Speaking at the launch of the course, Dr Aidan Thomson, newly appointed Senior Lecturer in Music at NUI Galway, said; “The new degree is ideal for students wanting a career in music.”
“It combines rigorous musical training with the chance to work with top musical professionals from a variety of fields.”
“I am confident that it will attract academically excellent students, for it has already done so: this year, the Leaving Certificate points for entry to the course were the highest for any Music degree in Ireland.”
The entry points for the first year of the course were 462.
Katie Feeney, a student in the new course, spoke to SIN about her experience with the course so far.
“The course is going really well. We have 26 students in our class so it’s a lot more personal than the big Arts lectures that have hundreds of people in them.”
“The course is really enjoyable, we are studying music history, Irish traditional music, music theory and critical listening for this semester, and we start our performance module in semester two, which I’m very excited for.”
“I’ve always wanted to study music and I thought that the culture here would really compliment the course. There’s so much music all around Galway, I was so glad when I heard it was starting this year. I just think Galway is the perfect place to study music,” she said.
Dr Aidan Thomson spoke about the cultural importance of Galway as a musical hub.
“The timing of this new degree could not be better. Introducing music has the potential to make NUI Galway an important hub for musical performance, creation and thought.”
“It builds on Galway’s reputation as a centre for artistic excellence, as recognized in its City of Culture status in 2020.”
The new degree differs from other music courses on offer in University College Dublin, University of Limerick and University College Cork in terms of study and work placement opportunities.
The degree is also aligned with the requirements of the Irish Teaching Council, meaning that graduates will be equipped to take postgraduate teaching qualifications in Music at primary and secondary level.
The university is currently developing partnerships with the Galway Music Residency and Music for Galway and is building on existing expertise in Music in different disciplines within the institution to improve the new course further.