Iona Lane

Note: Iona completed our BA (Hons) in Music (Folk) in 2020.

"Having the opportunity to play with so many musicians has drastically helped me to improve my musicianship."


Iona Lane - BA (Hons) Music (Folk)

Iona Lane is currently a first-year undergraduate on our brand new BA (Hons) Music (Folk) pathway.

What made you choose Leeds Conservatoire?

I wanted to be part of a large community of musicians who study on different pathways. Leeds Conservatoire is the only conservatoire in the country that offers such a large range of degree schemes.

Also, the facilities at Leeds Conservatoire are absolutely incredible - they made me feel very excited when I visited, so I do recommend looking around!

Has anything been totally different to what you expected when you started at Leeds Conservatoire?

Everyone at the conservatoire is so lovely and welcoming!


What is the most mind blowing thing you've learned so far at Leeds Conservatoire?

During Creative Projects week I was taught about 'The Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organisation' by George Russell and I found it really interesting - it made me look at modes in a completely different way.

Is there anything that has really made you push yourself as a musician or anything new that you've not tried before?

I have jammed with lots of people since starting at Leeds Conservatoire. This is something I have never done before and having the opportunity to play with so many musicians has drastically helped me to improve my musicianship.

The masterclasses and workshops that the conservatoire offer are open to any pathway. I love contemporary jazz so I try and go to as many of the jazz workshops/gigs as possible. This is helping me to push my theory knowledge and broaden my horizons as a musician.

What projects / performances have you worked on so far in your first year?

Aside from my degree, I have been part of the conservatoire's Folk Ensemble which is run by Pete Flood (Bellowhead). Anyone in the conservatoire can join, we meet every week, and learn and perform repertoire that is brought forward by the participants. It's such good fun and I really enjoy working in a large ensemble and learning new pieces of music!

I have spent heaps of time recording in the studios with different production students. The studios at Leeds Conservatoire are epic and getting to work on solo and ensemble material with production students has helped me to learn studio techniques for the future.

I am also in the process of rehearsing a twelve piece band to do a live recording and video of a Leonard Cohen tune. This is the biggest project I have done to date and it is taking a lot of organisation, but the band sounds amazing and I am looking forward to when we hit the studio!

I have just started playing in a four-piece band. We have had our first session together so we are not really sure what direction we plan to go, but they are all really talented musicians and great people so it is going to be good fun!


What sort of accommodation are you living in? What advice would you give to new students about accommodation?

I currently live in Joseph Stones House (which is situated above Leeds Conservatoire)! It's very convenient and there is a really nice community feel. Everyone is so friendly!

What do you get up to outside of the conservatoire?

Outside of the conservatoire I spend most of my time gigging, and if I'm not gigging I'm probably at a gig!

What is the best thing about living and studying in Leeds?

Leeds has such a vibrant music scene! You can go out any night of the week and find a gig of any genre. Going to see live music is one of my favourite things to do, so having the ability to get to a gig most evenings is such a joy.

What advice would you give to a prospective student thinking of applying to your course?

Visit Leeds Conservatoire. I don't think people realise how amazing it is until they've seen it!

How would you describe your experience at Leeds Conservatoire so far in three words?

Lively, motivational, hectic!


Iona Lane: Facebook | Twitter | SoundCloud | Bandcamp | Instagram | Spotify

Find out more about our BA (Hons) Music (Folk) degree at Leeds Conservatoire.

International applicant? Find out more here.

We're delighted to present the next performance from our Crosswire Sessions. Recorded live at Leeds Conservatoire,…
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