Our Student House Student stories Student Stories - Alex Originally from Snug, Australia, Alex is in her fourth and final year of study for a Bachelor of Music (Hons) degree at the University of Tasmania, Conservatorium of Music. Here’s a Q&A with Alex: Why choose London? Last year I was awarded a scholarship that allowed me to study in London for ten weeks and receive private cello lessons with any teachers of my choice. The musical world in London is large and diverse, and an incredibly inspiring place to come for any musician. I have learnt a phenomenal amount over my short stay here and hope to be back again very soon. How did you hear about Student House? The Student House was recommended to me by other students that have received the scholarship from previous years as well as the scholarship officer from the University of Tasmania. What is your career/studies to date? Last year I completed a Bachelor of Music at the University of Tasmania, majoring in cello performance. This year I am studying Honours, in order to continue to refine and develop my cello playing. I have received some casual work with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and I also teach cello privately in schools. What do you like to do in your spare time? I am heavily addicted to Netflix and when I am not practicing I get stuck binge-watching episodes from ‘Friends’ or ‘Gilmore Girls’. During my time in London I have also enjoyed walking through the beautiful parks, sightseeing, shopping and attending classes at the gym that is only a two-minute walk away from the Student house! What is your ultimate dream/objective? I hope to be a performing cellist, either within an orchestral or small ensemble setting, or as a soloist. I would love to one day perform in one of the professional orchestras in London such as the London Symphony Orchestra. I would love also to have a career that includes both classical and contemporary performing opportunities that vary from orchestral playing to recording for a band in Abbey Road to playing in a music theatre orchestra pit on West End or Broadway. I dream of playing cello for the rest of my life and will take any opportunity that comes my way to allow me to do so. What is your most memorable moment (of London or entire life)? The moment I stepped off the plane for the first time, realizing that I had actually made it all the way to London (17,000km away from home!) will be a moment that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Never having travelled anywhere by myself before, I was completed terrified but very excited to finally be in my dream city, something that I never thought would actually happen. What is something you love/couldn’t live without? Of course, I would be completely lost without cello. It takes a lot of work and some days it can be frustrating and tiring but I get so much joy from playing music, there is no way that I could live without it. I also have two adorable (and huge!) St Bernard dogs back home in Tasmania who I have missed terribly over these past ten weeks. I think if I come back to London, I will have to bring them with me. What is something you loathe, or which irritates you? Having to get out of bed in the morning. I love my sleep. Do you have an interesting fact/story about yourself? I come from a very musical family. Both my parents are professional musicians and I have four other siblings who all play music too. We even have a family band, which is a lot of fun and almost as cool as the Jackson Five (I like to think anyway). What is your favourite quote or inspirational figure and why: Bethany Hamilton lost her arm in a shark attack when she was surfing at only 13 years old. Her story of perseverance and courage has always helped me to keep going on those days when I’ve felt like giving up. ‘Courage doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid. Courage means you don’t let fear stop you’. Is there anything else you want to share? I am so thankful for my time staying at the Victoria League. It really has felt like a home away from home. I have made some great friends here and I am going to miss you all so much. A special shout out to Katherine St John for letting me borrow her stuff, letting me eat her yummy cakes and for our walks in the park together, and to Ameer Azlan who without his helpful cooking tips I probably would have died from food poisoning by now!