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Dreams Of Music 2

This years A level results have revealed that 24.1% of entrants achieved the top grade. This means that when applying to University through UCAS, your personal statement is becoming more and more important.

Taking music lessons outside school and college can improve your personal statement for any course, not just those related to music.

UK Music Grades 6-8 awarded by LCM and ABRSM even carry UCAS points for those applying to music related courses. A distinction at Grade 8, for example, is worth 30 UCAS points. And practical music exams are becoming more recognised as serious academic qualifications.

But even if you haven't reached this level, taking music lessons provides you with lots of transferable skills you can highlight on your personal statement. Here are some you might not of thought of:

Ability to prioritise

Music lessons are an extra activity to add to your busy schedule. You will have to prioritise lessons and practice sessions around your other studies. Learning an instrument also shows your ability to work towards and meet deadlines- whether for a concert, recital or Grade exam.


Music lessons provide a great outlet for your creativity. Whether composing or arranging. Learning music shows you can take an active and creative role in you interests rather than just passively listening.

Working as a team

If you are part of a band or orchestra, you would have had to work as a team member- an important key skill.


Becoming a good musician takes huge commitment week in, week out. Highlight this in your personal statement.

Ability to concentrate and improve memory skills

Performing music requires a vast amount of concentration. Learning pieces 'off-by heart' will also improve your memory skills.

IT skills

You are likely to use computer software programmes and recording equipment whilst studying music. Both of which improves your skills in using technology.

Self-criticism and problem-solving

Learning a piece of music requires an ability to spot your own mistakes, recognise your weaknesses and figure out ways to solve them.

The fact that you've chosen to learn a musical instrument shows that you are willing to learn on your own, do something extra and prioritise your time. Make sure you mention it on your personal statement- don't let all your hard work go to waste.

Polly Powell runs Kwest Studios, a centre for keyboard and piano tuition in Weston super Mare, UK. For more information about learning keyboard or piano, check the website