Lauren Gray

"The atmosphere at Leeds Conservatoire was a big reason I chose to study here. Personally I get a huge creative buzz just from being around students at the conservatoire, and I felt it on my audition day."

What made you choose Leeds Conservatoire?

The atmosphere at Leeds Conservatoire was a big reason I chose to study here. Auditioning at a conservatoire feels quite scary, but everyone I met on the day, including students and staff were absolutely lovely. Personally I get a huge creative buzz just from being around students at the conservatoire, and I felt it on my audition day.

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

Pretty much everyone has imposter syndrome despite how talented they are! I've suffered with this big time having mostly done theatre before my degree and having to catch up with things like music theory, but it's really helpful to know that everyone feels the same and you do actually deserve your place there.

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

The pandemic and being in lockdown pushed me to learn a lot of things for myself. I had to get better at using DAW Software and playing guitar to accompany myself for livestreams. This has meant that I was a lot more self sufficient for my First Year assignments and I'm more confident in my creativity.

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

In my Foundation Year I commuted from home and this year I'm in a private flat share, so I never had the student halls experience. I was worried I'd miss out on a lot by commuting, but I went to lots of events, stayed with friends and spent a lot of time in the Cafe:Bar so I was still able to meet lots of people. I'd say choose accommodation that feels right for you and don't feel pressured to go into halls if you don't want to.

What do you get up to outside of studying?

I have my own solo project as well as singing in a band and playing bass in another. I really enjoy this part of Conservatoire life, as my course isn't performance based I still get to perform outside of it. I'm also President of the LGBTQ+ Society, a Student Ambassador and a Digimentor (giving digital support to students.)

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

I absolutely love the music scene here, there's lots of small venues, which are great for starting out. There's always lots of stuff going on near the conservatoire so it's really easy to go support friends at local gigs and meet new people.

How has your Foundation Year helped to set you up for your next step?

I pretty much had no music theory knowledge before my course and Foundation Year helped with this a lot. It also helped me to get familiar with the conservatoire, meet more people and find my feet as a musician before beginning first year.

What advice would you give to a student who was unsure about whether to do a Foundation Year?

I'd definitely recommend it to everyone. It can seem disappointing if you apply for first year and get offered foundation year, but it's such a valuable year and it means you get more time taking advantage of the conservatoire's facilities!

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

Challenging, exciting, fresh.


Listen to Restless Youth on Spotify.

Pre-save Lauren's next single on Spotify.

Read more about the BA (Hons) Songwriting with Foundation Year programme.

This afternoon Sean Cooney and David Eagle of the three-time BBC Folk Award-winning trio @theyoungunstrio come to L… https://t.co/9BI6K7eAVn
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