John Moran Educational - Trust Making financial awards to support the entry into higher education
Student Profiles

The Trust has made awards to over forty two deserving students from the Merseyside region since it was set up in 2003. Here’s more about what these students did with their awards, and what it meant to them:

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Profile three

I am the first member of my family to attend a Higher Education Course.  In addition to this I chose to study music which, in general, was not regarded as an orthodox choice by the educational establishments I attended.  In order to progress I independently sought the advice of specialised tutors.

I love music and play the saxophone.  I also have a keen interest in literature and film.

I have eleven GCSEs and a grade A in Music Technology at AS level.  I achieved three grade As at A level in Music, English Literature and Psychology and a grade C for General Studies.  I am now studying at the Royal Northern College of Music.

The award I was given by the John Moran Education Trust towards my accommodation costs has provided me with greater opportunity and has allowed me to reside in a hall of residence close to the college which is usually very costly. This also gave me the opportunity to share halls with other musicians. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Trustees once again for their decision.

My first year at music college has been extremely valuable, enriching and not least enjoyable.  Although it took some time to adapt to an extremely competitive and intensive musical environment, this has in effect built up my confidence in many areas.  The opportunity to mix with other similar students from Britain and abroad has aided my development not only on a technical and musical level but in many other aspects.  Although the degree course specialises in performance, there are also several academic aspects to the course including the history of music, musicianship and pedagogy. These are all vital areas of the profession even for those who strive to be purely performers as they are all aspects which greater inform the individual, therefore enhancing the result of performance.

I would like to thank the Trustees for their continued support and interest.

This year has been quite tough because of illness. Unfortunately I was diagnosed with Glandular Fever around Christmas time which took its toll during early 2005 and stopped me playing for a few months. I have completed all my year two academic work with some degree of success (rather this than taking a whole year out!) I managed to get my practical exams deferred until September in order to receive the fairest possible assessment. I was, therefore, very pleased to get a first for my end of year recital and a 2:1 for my technical assessment.  Positive outcomes of this year also include a performance at the Royal Festival Hall in London with the Royal Northern College of Music Big Band late in 2004. I have also had time to consider areas of specialism in choosing my electives for years three and four.  I will hopefully be focusing on ensemble/chamber music and conducting and perhaps a dissertation.  I am also considering applying for a placement in a local secondary school in conjunction with my career decisions.

The award given to me by the trust has enabled me to pay a substantial contribution to wards my accommodation fees which is the main concern of most students during their first years away from home.  This has allowed me to focus on my study and professional development.  Without help from the Trust I would have found it very difficult to manage my finances and afford accommodation costs through my degree course.  I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the decision of the Trustees.

Year three allowed a lot of exciting opportunities, one of the highlights playing with the RNCM Symphony orchestra at the Bridgewater hall in Manchester.  It also allowed opportunities to play with several different groups including the brass and wind ensembles.  A particularly memorable combination was for a recording of Manchester University student’s new composition for three male voices and small wind ensemble.

This year I set myself targets playing pieces that were technically and emotionally much more demanding for my end of year recital, resulting in a very positive outcome.  Academically I was introduced to the Psychology of Music and gained great insight into the uses of music in everyday life, emotion, memory and cognition.  This was really interesting and aided my understanding of how music can be used in education.  Teacher shadowing at the Junior RNMC formed part of the Pedagogy strand of the course. Advanced musicianship classes allowed me to develop my aural, improvisation and transcription skills.
Overall year three has opened up my mind to more genres and uses for music both in a practical and theoretical context.  I now look forward to an exciting and challenging fourth and final year.

My fourth year has been extremely busy but has allowed me to specialise and study specific, exciting areas in more depth. I have been assessed in performance of contemporary wind repertoire, composition, conducting as well as appearances with several college ensembles. Along with this I am starting to develop my teaching and now hold a part time post as woodwind tutor in a secondary school, along with independent teaching with other organisations. These experiences have allowed me to hand on my passion for the subject to younger generations.  I am thoroughly enjoying my teaching and have gained a place on a PGCE course in music and specialist instrumental teaching. I am due to start in September and will remain in Manchester.  

I have also been performing with several bands and artists, reaching many different audiences around the North of England.  There are also gigs and appearances further afield already lined up.

Accommodation costs are rising rapidly and the support that you have provided for my fourth year has allowed me to secure a flat in an appropriate, safe location close enough to college that I am able to travel to/from various activities during the day and evening. Without this support I would have had to wait for my student loan to clear in late September before looking for accommodation after term had started.  The main financial burden that the award has alleviated this year is the large deposit sum that most renting properties require and the first couple of months rent. I was able to focus purely on my studies without the stress of extra financial worries.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Trustees for the decision to continue support through my fourth year

This student has now graduated

I was very pleased with my final results although a little frustrated as I was just over one percent of a first!  Very pleasing overall though!  I am well into my PGCE  course and I am on my induction place in school at the moment.  I’m really enjoying this and have found it very interesting (and lots of intense work)