Making the Most of Your Time in London (Musical Training is More Than Just Practicing):
Taking lessons in London and practicing will be a valuable experience. But, don’t let this be the extent of your musical exposure to London – there is so much for you to see and hear in London that will do wonders for your education and musical soul. Be sure to take full advantage of it all.
From Fall 2018, the London Centre will offer a dedicated music practice room for its students on site, where you can play and practice without being disturbed. Also as a London Centre student, you will have access to the Barbican Centre Music Library for your lessons and research.
As part of your participation in the London Centre, you will be given a membership to the University College of London's Student Union. Through this union, students are able to engage with local students in extracurricular activities, play with local bands or ensembles and be further engaged in London's music scene. The University College of London has several musical society's Lawrence music students are able to join including the Live Music Society and the Music Society. A full list of clubs and societies can be found here.
But with all the concerts, recitals, operas, and public master classes on offer in London, you may find that you will not practice as much as you do on-campus. Most music students enjoy the opportunity to listen and learn from world class musicians and artists who perform in London, and incorporate these unique learning experiences in their own performance.
Here are some of the opportunities you’ll have in London:
• Attend concerts, talks, recitals, and master classes - this can be time just as well spent for your musical development as in a practice room. Check out all of the concerts and master classes (not just on your instrument) at the major music schools [RCM – Royal College of Music, RAM – Royal Academy of Music, GSMD –Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Trinity College London] that are free and open to the public. You will certainly find a few that won’t conflict with your London Centre course schedule.
• Queue for cheap tickets to the opera and ballet at Covent Garden, the English National Opera, or for a play at the National Theatre. When will you have the chance to see and hear such world-class performances, in such abundance, again?
• Hear something (anything) in the Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Barbican Hall, Royal Festival Hall, the Purcell Room, the Queen Elizabeth Hall … If you are planning to study in London in Fall, you might be able to catch the last concerts of the Proms, where you can listen to the world's best musicians and orchestras for as little as £6! St. James Picadilly and St. John's Smith Square also offer world-class concerts at reasonable prices. Check out London's Concert Diary to find out what is playing around the city.
• Museums & historic sites: Visit Händel's House, the Sir John Soane Museum, the Foundling Hospital Museum (where there is also a small but fantastic collection of Handel artefacts, including his Will & Testament), attend a Ceilidh at Cecil Sharp House (English Folk Music & Dance), spend some time at the National Portrait Gallery, or see the “Treasures” room at the British Library.