When I was a first year at the ANU School of Music in 2012 there were 30 classical voice students. Now there are one-tenth of that number.
I enrolled in a degree of music performance so that I could gain knowledge and expertise in the field of opera. There’s no way I can be given the sorts of opportunities to learn the art within the university with three classical voice musicians currently enrolled.
Students go to a university for the teachers and high level of instruction they can get from one-on-one lessons for their chosen instrument. Take away the teachers and the money to support them and there is no chance you will get a decent student intake for years to come.
It hit me the other day that I could literally do what they are offering in this degree more cheaply at home.
I started the course back in 2012 and then deferred after all the political stuff went down. It was just so good before the cuts. The school was phenomenal. The teachers were amazing.
I came back to see if it had calmed down and just to finish my undergraduate course and it’s just so sad. We don’t have enough students to even put on a production without the help of interstate artists.
It’s hard to take this degree seriously when it’s so poorly organised, too. If there is a masterclass, we are almost always the last to find out about it.
The money that is allocated to students for weekly lessons is almost never enough and isn’t accessible till five weeks after lessons have started in any case. Some of my fellow students haven’t even received prize money that they were awarded last year!
The school feels completely isolated from any other musical organisation in Canberra too.
ANU, I want to support you and get your School of Music back on its feet, but you’re not giving me or the other students the opportunity to do anything about it.
I just want the school to be what it’s meant to be. A school for performance. I just don’t know how I am meant to help make that happen.