Moving from Malaysia to Dundalk IT was a careful decision for Student Ambassador, Chen Jia Ng (Angel). But, in meeting like-minded people and bonding together through music, Angel found a home away from home…
Hello there, everyone! I’m Angel, and I’m a student at Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) where I’m studying for a Bachelor of Music degree. In this blog, I’ll discuss with you some of the reasons why I chose this school over others. This year is my second year to enjoy campus life.
Before choosing to take this course, I researched a lot of different institutes. I found that DkIT is one of the main schools where you will be taught very different kinds of music from different teaching backgrounds. The class can learn both classical and popular music, as well as traditional Irish music.
In Year One, we learned about popular music studies to gain a better understanding of the history of popular music. We also have a group performance class, which is distinct from other institutions as our classes have a smaller number of students and as a result of this, we get to participate in more pieces.
This semester we had a wonderful course about Irish traditional music and now, it is one of my favourite classes. In it we learned a variety of traditional instruments, including the banjo, mandolin, and others. However, because I am a violinist, I stuck to playing the violin in various genres and with varying levels of proficiency. The violin is known as a “fiddle” in Irish music. I gained a lot of knowledge from the course, we also had a lot of performances which gave us a chance to practice our technical skills. For me, these were very positive experiences.
This year, we also studied Western art music studies, from ancient history to 21st Century music. Before Christmas, we ended with the classical music period. We had a classical performance and arrangement class, which improved our skills from Year One.
Because there are only six people in our class, some pieces we performed were mainly like a solo piece. This was good for us because in an orchestra you can hide, but in our course everyone can hear any mistakes clearly! This pushed us to practice a lot and force ourselves to make more improvements.
I can say that I improved a lot from the first year, in choir singing and in my violin tuition class. We also have a course in harmony and composition where we have to write different forms and periods of composition such as two voices, voices with piano accompaniment, a string quartet with modulations, small ensemble instruments with transposing instruments, blues and many others!
I also got the opportunity to go to Portugal for an intensive project! This was an amazing experience for me and also, the project covered the flight ticket and accommodation, so we only needed to pay for food and drinks!
I learned a lot in the intensive project. Especially mentally because the project was called ‘Mindfulness of Art and Music’. We had a nice week doing mindfulness exercises and thinking of some creative ideas and exercises. I also got to share my original compositions with them in an exercise! They loved my piano recording, which was related to the theme of the project. We also visited a concert hall called ‘Casa de Musica’ in Porto. We learned a lot from our guide. She told us all about the history of the building and special details. This intensive project continues into March when we return home, and I am looking forward to continuing with it!
Overall, I am very proud to be DkIT student! I hope I continue to learn more and more and that I am able to use my new knowledge and skills in the future.
Chen Jia Ng (Angel) is studying Music at the Dundalk Institute of Technology.