Laura Hamer was initially attracted to Cardiff to study for an MA in Musicology and remained here to undertake doctoral research. Laura completed her PhD on the piano music of Germaine Tailleferre in 2009 and has just started work as Lecturer in Music at Liverpool Hope University.
Having completed my undergraduate studies at Oxford University, I was initially attracted to Cardiff by the range of interesting options offered by the MA in Musicology programme. I found the School so friendly and supportive, and had developed such a good working relationship with my then MA and future doctoral dissertation supervisor, Dr Caroline Rae, that I decided to remain there to do my PhD, for which I was lucky enough to be awarded the School’s Eleanor Amy Bowen Award.
Cardiff’s recognised expertise in twentieth-century and French music made it an ideal place to undertake research in this area, and its participation in the Erasmus exchange scheme meant that I was able to spend one year of my PhD at the Université de Paris IV (La Sorbonne) in Paris, which was vital to my research.
After I completed my PhD in 2009, I left Cardiff to become a post-doctoral Research Assistant on the British Music Criticism since 1945 Project at Birmingham Conservatoire of Music, under the direction of Dr Christopher Dingle. At the same time, I also worked as a Research Assistant on the Francophone Music Criticism Project, under the direction of Dr Clair Rowden of the School of Music, Cardiff University.
As I was aiming at an academic career, I sought additional teaching experience by also working for the Open University as an Associate Lecturer and for Rose Bruford College as a Distance-Learning Tutor. I was appointed to a fixed-term Lectureship at the Open University in 2011. I have just started work at Liverpool Hope University as a Lecturer in Music.
The School’s research excellence makes it a stimulating place to undertake postgraduate study and research. The doctoral support programme is extremely good and I received outstanding supervision from Dr Caroline Rae throughout my PhD.
Two particular highlights from my time at Cardiff come to mind. The first was when the School organised the opportunity for me to practise a conference paper which I was going to give at the Université Catholique d’Angers in 2008.
The School organises regular opportunities for graduate students to practise conference papers amongst their peers, and gain valuable feedback, before presenting them at the real events, but I really appreciated them going the extra mile to arrange a francophone session just for me.
The second highlight from my time at Cardiff was teaching an undergraduate module on Debussy to the first years. They were great to work with and the experience really affirmed my ambition to remain in academe.
The School’s research excellence makes it a stimulating place to undertake postgraduate study and research. The doctoral support programme is extremely good and I received outstanding supervision from Dr Caroline Rae throughout my PhD. The facilities for graduate students are excellent, as are the regular postgraduate seminars which the School arranges, which are complimented by the University-wide Research Students’ Skills Development Programme.
There are also very good performance opportunities for both undergraduate and postgraduate students, including the regular lunchtime concerts at the Wales Millennium Centre which Cardiff students have the chance to participate in.
Describe the School in three words?
Friendly, supportive, and encouraging