Raquel Álvaro

Note: Raquel completed our BA (Hons) in Music (Jazz) in 2018.

"The amount of opportunities to write music, perform and meet people who have the same interests as you are endless"

Raquel Álvaro1

Raquel Álvaro - BA (Hons) Music (Jazz)

Raquel Álvaro is a Portuguese singer currently studying BA (Hons) Music (Jazz).

Raquel started singing at the age of 12 experimenting with a variety of genres and songwriting, leading her to discover Jazz when she turned 17.


What has been the most important thing you've learned at Leeds Conservatoire?

The most important thing I learned as a singer/musician is to be myself. It’s not easy to define jazz nowadays and during these three years I never felt better than when I write my own music.

Don’t get me wrong, I love standards! There’s nothing more satisfying than to make them ‘your own’, but to write your own music, is special. I really can’t describe the feeling when I get to listen to the finished versions of the music I create along with my friends.

What are you planning on doing after graduation?

The dreaded question… To start, I will definitely stay in Leeds, where I feel I can work as a musician and singer. I’d like to further develop my projects, record and gig. To achieve that I have to continue working with my colleagues and friends that have the same drive.

Teaching is a possibility too since I've worked with children before and find it very rewarding. To be able to pass on to others my passion for music is what I want to do, so I will look for opportunities and I will be prepared to do so.

Is there anything you've encountered over the last few years that has really made you push yourself as a musician or anything new that you had not tried before?

What pushes me as a musician is my drive to learn with others and their music, besides my own way of processing what I’ve learned and expressing what I feel. In the last few years I met generous and talented teachers, colleagues and friends that made me a better singer/musician and person.

What is the best piece of advice you've been given at Leeds Conservatoire?

The best piece of advice I’ve received was to go to jams and gigs all around Leeds. That’s where you meet people who are currently playing and looking for more people to play with. It is also good to find out which venues you would like to play at.

What has been the best project / opportunity you've had during your degree?

The best opportunity I had was to be one of the featured singers at the Contemporary Jazz Orchestra last December. It gave me the chance to work in a context I have never explored before coming to Leeds Conservatoire, it was a great way to get out of my comfort zone and push myself further in the way I practice, rehearse and perform.

What has been the biggest challenge and how has this helped you develop?

Personally, the biggest challenge was to adapt to a new life in another country. Leaving life as I knew it, leaving my family, friends and Portugal…to come alone for the first time, to a place I had never been, not knowing anyone, studying in a different educational system, making new friends, was the hardest thing I ever had to do.

My first year was hard but I don't give up easily and with persistence and support from some teachers, colleagues and people that I became friends with, now I feel at home in Leeds. This experience made me grow and develop as a person and prepared me to live as a musician/singer.

What is your favourite Leeds Conservatoire Memory?

I have so many good memories…I don’t have a favourite…but I remember I was so happy to discover the amazing facilities of Leeds Conservatoire when I first entered the college; Or when I was accepted to work both at the library and as a steward, as I think it’s important to be able to work, to be appreciated for it and earn money to invest in my musical projects; Another special memory is when I was accepted in auditions to participate in the Contemporary Jazz Orchestra in the last two years.

What advice would you give to others thinking of applying to your course at Leeds Conservatoire?

If you want to learn more about Jazz and performance there are great tutors, facilities and staff here. The amount of opportunities to write music, perform and meet people who have the same interests as you are endless and the best thing is getting to know people from all pathways and collaborate with them in their projects as well as your own.

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

Growth, Experimental, Fun

Study Jazz at Leeds Conservatoire.

International applicant? Find out international information.

Find out more about: Raquel Álvaro Facebook | Instagram | Soundcloud

Congratulations to the successful recipients of The Graduate Fund, a scheme for Leeds Conservatoire alumni allowing… https://t.co/eRLmbqrQPb
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