Rui Neves

Note: Rui completed our BA (Hons) in Jazz in 2021.

"There are students from different musical backgrounds, so when we’re working together, each person teaches me something different, and it’s very motivating"

What made you choose Leeds Conservatoire?

One of the main things that determined my decision was the amazing facilities at Leeds Conservatoire. They have great resources available, such as studios, practice rooms and the venue. Also, the staff were a big deciding point for me, as having the best jazz teachers in the country is important to me.

Has anything been totally different to what you expected when you started at Leeds Conservatoire?

Yes - I thought that being far away from home would make it harder to feel confident and comfortable, but the amazing staff made me feel at ease, and very welcomed. Also, the community is very friendly, and after a week I made a few friends. Still to this day we have very strong friendships.

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

My one-to-one tutor is so fantastic, and helps me gain the knowledge, tools and insight that I will continue to use as I develop my music career.

Leeds’ great Jazz scene made me push myself to practice more, and demand more from my playing. There are students from different musical backgrounds, so when we’re working together, each person teaches me something different, and it’s very motivating.

What is your best memory from Leeds Conservatoire?

I would say gigging in and around Leeds is one of the things I will never forget. Having so many venues to play in has widened my music listening, and in general, the city has helped me grow as a musician, just from listening to so much music.

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

At the moment I’m living with my colleagues, but for new students I would advise you to live with people who are also studying. Making friends will make the experience much better, and it's great to be surrounded by supportive people. Everyone is likeminded, and it'll help you stay motivated.

What do you get up to outside of studying?

I decided to sign up to a gym, which has helped me get in shape and has given my more endurance for my instrument, the drums.

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

Leeds is a city with loads of students, which gives you the best opportunity for you to get to know different people outside of the music scene. In some ways, it will give you the skills to work with people, musicians or not, and appreciate people for their unique background and perspective.

What advice would you give to a prospective student thinking of applying to your course?

Go for it! This course will push you to be a better musician, a better performer.

What are your plans for after you've finished your course?

I’m in my final year, so after this journey, I will go back to Portugal. I’ve decided to create my website which will have some guidance for those wishing to apply to a university or conservatoire. I also want to be part of the Hip Hop scene in Portugal, and play with other artists and musicians.

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

Experience for life.

Read about our BA (Hons) Music (Jazz) programme.

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