Prarthana Sen, MA Music and Management
Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I am an Indian classical vocalist in the North Indian or “Hindustani” style of music, and come from an academic background of undergraduate studies in Economics. I enjoy reading, swimming and current affairs/politics.
What made you want to apply to your MA course and to Leeds?
I began looking for a course where I could combine my passion for music and aptitude for economics and management halfway through my undergraduate studies. The MA Music and Management course at the University of Leeds suited all of my academic needs and was relatively new, which excited me in terms of the freedom of untapped research areas it would provide. Moreover, the experience from both the schools of business and music at Leeds promised challenges and opportunities to meet some of the best minds from across the world. LUU, the Edge and its related activities were indicative of a really great overall experience. All of these reasons were compelling enough to make me want to apply to Leeds.
What is it that makes you passionate about your area of study?
I have been training and performing Indian Classical and traditional music since a very young age in India. As I got older, the mechanisms of the music industry and the changes in business with the advent of digital media really interested me. This interest rapidly grew with the changes in the Indian music industry as an emerging market, and the global nature of music business in general. The possibilities of the diverse music from my country being recognised, researched and performed on a global level are what really drives my passion for my area of study.
What aspects of the course did you enjoy the most?
I enjoyed the freedom in choosing my topics for research/assignments in the music school and the amount of support, knowledge and guidance received from the faculty to follow through with them was immense! The School of Music is a very open-minded, progressive department to pursue any form of research in, and I enjoyed this a lot. For my classes at LUBS, I enjoyed the group projects and the opportunities to work with real organisations in Leeds and actually contribute to and learn from the real world.
What would you say about Leeds as a city?
Leeds is a young, energetic city. I enjoyed the host of cultural and other activities it has to offer- fairs, museums, gigs, Christmas festivities, nature trails, shopping, multiple cuisines and so on. The city is well connected internally and externally to other parts of the UK and Europe, which makes travelling very easy. Overall, Leeds is a great city that doesn’t overwhelm you and always surprises.
What has been the most surprising thing about coming to Leeds?
The diversity of people who live there, and the ease with which one can adapt to the ways of life. The university does a stellar job of inducting international students into a foreign life to begin with, but most of the people in the main city areas are welcoming and helpful.
What would you say about the learning facilities in your School and at the University in general?
I would say that they are excellent! The libraries offer an exhaustive variety of resources that are more than enough to challenge and aid your studies. To add to that, specific faculties and departments are very well equipped with the latest technology available in their respective fields to help students get the maximum possible out of their academics, not to mention the storehouse of knowledge available from the professors themselves.
What other activities are available for students to take part in outside of their studies, and which ones have you tried out yourself?
LUU has a host of clubs and societies and even jobs for all sorts of interests. I have held part-time jobs at the Old Bar kitchen, CATS and Gear during my year of study which were great to earn some money on the side and also lots of fun with working in teams in a very encouraging and supportive work environment. I also had the role of president for the housing committee for Broadcasting Towers which worked with the LUU to enhance students’ accommodation experience in a democratic and thorough manner.
The Edge is absolutely fantastic with its facilities, and I was a regular member at the pool and gym and took classes throughout the year.
What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to your course?
If you are looking for a course that offers ample opportunity to pursue your research interests within the area of music and management, this is an ideal course. With an exposure to some of the latest business practices through LUBS and links to the music industry across the world through the School of Music’s partnerships and alumni, it is a fertile ground to gain key skills that will give you a competitive edge in the music industry, and also lay down skills that will equip you to pursue a career in management or media and communications in general.
What do you plan to do now you’ve finished your course, and how do you think the skills and knowledge you’ve developed at Leeds will help with these plans?
I plan to develop innovative models of live music geared towards community development for the independent music sector of India. Through the skills and knowledge I have developed at Leeds, I have found it really easy to find consulting roles and freelance projects in this area and also gather data for the shockingly limited amount of research conducted here as well. Moreover, my international network of contacts through friends and classmates working in similar areas across the world make my plans of entrepreneurial and innovative business activity more conducive to global collaboration as the boundaries of the world get smaller.