A day in the life of a Music Composition & Technology student

Second year student, Clayton De Haan, tells us that there is no such thing as an average day on his course.

22 Jan 2019

 No day as a Music Composition & Technology student is ever the same, there’s always something different and fun to do. For example, one day I’ll be in a lecture looking at the philosophical aspects of music, and another day I’ll be at a film shoot working as a sound recordist.


Most days will start off in the base room at around 10.00am, where I’m either doing independent work or having a lecture. I will travel to UCA either by car or on foot, which only takes 15 minutes since I live near Farnham train station.

The more academic lectures cover the history of music technology, such as the creation of the synthesizer and the start of experimental music such as Avant Garde, as well as the philosophical and social aspects of music, looking at Plato and questions like, ‘Can we take the word popular out of popular music?’


Lectures generally last until 12:30pm, when we’ll go for lunch in the refectory or to one of the many cafés around Farnham (the best ones are in the Lion and Lamb Yard!) until the next part of the day.


After lunch a variety of things can happen — there could be another lecture, a tutorial, workshop, guest lecture, or that could be it for the day. Some days when there’s a free afternoon a few of us may have a jam session, where students from all years and lecturers join in!

The afternoon lectures are usually either a bit more practical and/or look into music and surrounding industries such as game and film. During the industry lectures we’ll learn how music is implemented into other creative art industries and the effect/impact it has, and then in the practical lectures we’ll put that knowledge into effect, using software such as Abelton Live, Pro Tools and Wwise to record, manipulate and implement music and sound into a film or game.

If there is any spare time in the afternoons, I will spend it in one of the mix rooms or our new recording studio where I focus on current work and other personal projects and collaborations.


My favourite part of the day is the evening, when we usually go to socialise at one of the many pubs in Farnham (my favourite is the Cobbett) or at the Students’ Union, where there’s a variety of events such as Rock Night, Big Saturday and DamnAwfulParties.


When I’m not out socialising, I enjoy working on different collaborations with other students. At the moment I’m working with second year Games students, creating the sound and music for an AAA-style horror game. I’m also collaborating with second year Film students, making the music for a short film about a bank heist gone wrong.


I have an ongoing project with a few members of staff at UCA called Sea of Cables, where we gather in different spaces such as the James Hockey Gallery and make ambient/experimental music by responding to what we each play.


In my spare time, I work at Waitrose as a sushi chef, as well as the Students’ Union where I control the sound and lighting at events. This involves setting up equipment for live events such as microphones, instruments and DJ decks, as well as mixing live and controlling lighting for the dance floor which is a really great experience!