Music Profile – Izzy Herschmann
I grew up in London and went to an all-girls private school. I took A Levels in Music, Geography and Spanish, but only decided to apply to study music at Cambridge after being encouraged by teachers. To start, my heart wasn’t in it! All along the application process I just wanted to see what would happen. When I got pooled to Murray Edwards, I initially panicked as the prospect of staying in an all-girl academic environment was not attractive. However, after visiting the college and carefully considering the music course, my worries disappeared!
I come from a very musical family; it was thanks to my Grandpa (who was a composer) that I decided to study music. I’ve always loved listening to all kinds of music, playing it and writing it from a young age, so I always knew that it was something I wanted to pursue! In Year 12, I attended a Cambridge Subject Open Day for Music and got a really helpful idea of what studying somewhere like Cambridge would be like.
Music at Cambridge
The music course at Cambridge is fantastic. It gives you just the right amount of flexibility and space for specialising from the very start. I have always preferred composition to performance and in first year you can choose which you’d rather take. On top of this, the course covers history, analysis and harmony. In second year there are more options – I chose to take papers in ethnomusicology and film music, in addition to the compulsory ones! The paper options for third year change each year, but there is always space to explore your own interests. This year I am taking papers including Music Psychology, Music in Spain and Klezmer [the musical tradition of Eastern European Jews].
Music Outside of Study
There are so many music-making opportunities going on in Cambridge. In first and second year I was part of the Cambridge University Wind Orchestra playing clarinet, which rehearsed once a week. This year, I’m composing music for a play along with being the vice-president of the Murray Edwards Music Society, organising and overseeing all of the music-making in college!