Jonathan Reid

"The music scene is incredible. It has given me a lot of opportunities to develop as an artist. The location has everything I need, I've met so many great people."

What made you choose Leeds Conservatoire?

The Actor Musician pathway is only offered at five schools in the country, Leeds Conservatoire is the only one that is a music school, offering a really unique course. The facilities at the Conservatoire are unlike anything else offered from other performing arts courses. Not only do we have dance studios and rehearsal rooms built specifically for us, but we also have access to recording studios, band rooms, and Mac labs.

The passion and artistry of the teaching staff was another huge influence. No other school had staff which showed as much passion and faith in the course as the School of Performance staff at Leeds Conservatoire.

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

The projects we work on during class are unlike anything I’ve heard of from friends studying at other drama and music schools. Every piece we work on is completely different to the last, we’re always working with new people. I couldn’t have imagined just how collaborative the course would be!

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

It’s better to make bold choices and fail than to play it safe and coast through. We’re constantly encouraged to try things completely out of our comfort zones, to push ourselves as artists and to broaden our musical ability. Having a space where it’s not only okay but encouraged to make mistakes is a really amazing thing.

Is there anything that has really made you push yourself as a musician or performer?

Being surrounded by so many other artists and collaborators who have such a variety of stories to tell, all wanting to tell them in different ways. Having free facilities available and accessible encourages us all to create something new and exciting.

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

So far we’ve staged the Festival of Dionysus in the middle of a forest thanks to Slung Low. It was really exciting to see the many different ways we all responded to the same brief. Some composed songs, some wrote speeches, others created pieces of physical theatre. To be given the opportunity to stage a festival of theatre in a professional performance space in the first 5 weeks of a degree is an amazing opportunity.

We’ve also been given the opportunity to teach some classes ourselves, we’ve had masterclasses on the Disciplines of Karate, and lectures on Songwriting, Immersive Theatre, a Beginners Guide to Theatre Styles and Practitioners which I lead.

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

I’m living in standard Uni halls that are on the top of the main university campus. I’m in a flat of 5 en-suite rooms with a shared kitchen. I’d definitely recommend trying to get as short a commute as possible as it makes the 9am starts a lot more manageable. Also, if you know anyone else who’ll be living in your accommodation, request to live in the same flat as them – it makes moving to a new city and settling in a lot less stressful if you’re already good friends with someone in your flat.

What do you get up to outside of studying?

I love going to the theatre, the fact that the Leeds Playhouse is a 20 second walk from the Conservatoire and my accommodation is fantastic. Having one of the main producing theatres in the country on my doorstep is not something many schools have. Recently, I’ve been selected to take part in the National Theatre’s New Views writing programme for young people thanks to the schools connections with the Playhouse.

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

Leeds is such an arts friendly city with amazing opportunities to make connections. It’s such a welcoming city as well which really helps when settling in. One of the best things about studying Actor Musician in Leeds is that we’re at the only school outside of London to offer this course which means we’re already making great connections with companies like Leeds Playhouse, SlungLow and Red Latter Theatre Company. Leeds has the feeling of a big city while also having such small tight knit communities you can find home in, but (thankfully) it doesn’t have big city prices.

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

Exciting, Fresh, Exhilarating

Find out more about BA (Hons) Actor Musician at Leeds Conservatoire

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