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Meet the 2018 Sia Furler Institute Scholarship recipient, Victoria Ballestrin

Meet Victoria Ballestrin who is studying a double degree in a Bachelor of Music with a Bachelor of Arts and is our recipient of the Sia Furler Institute inaugural Scholarship.

In 2019, she will be taking on her third year of study with the support provided through this scholarship. We caught up with Victoria to congratulate her and to hear her perspective on her study.

Why did you choose this degree?

I have always had a love for music and wanted to follow that passion and see where it would take me. At the time I wasn’t sure what kind of career I wanted to have, I just knew I wanted it to be within the field of music. However, since beginning uni, I have been able to expand my horizons and gain a better perspective of some of the career options available to me which I would never have even considered beforehand.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Adelaide?

I chose the University of Adelaide because they offered the fields of study that I was interested in and I was able to find a degree that I’m very passionate about. The Elder Conservatorium of Music is unique to the University of Adelaide and something that the other universities in South Australia don’t offer. I also loved that I was able to combine my music degree with an Arts degree and in doing so was able to major in English, something which I am also very passionate about.

What do you enjoy about your degree/time at Uni?

The best thing about my time at Uni would have to be the people I’ve met through my degree. I’ve made some of my closest friends who I know will be my friends for life. My best friend, in fact, I met on orientation day and we’ve been inseparable ever since. I have also been able to work with some fantastic musicians, teachers, and conductors, as well as members of the State Opera and Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.

Have you participated in a global learning experience or internship while studying at the University? 

During the past three years I have been lucky enough to participate in the State Opera’s productions of Die Fledermaus, Don Pasquale, and later this year, Dido and Aeneas as part of their internship collaboration with the Elder Conservatorium of Music. This has been such a fantastic opportunity which I would not have had the chance to take part in otherwise and being involved behind the scenes of a professional opera production has been invaluable to my development as a performer.

How was your transition from school to University?

It was a big transition to make, and there were some bumps along the way. However overall, I found the shift between school and Uni to be quite smooth. I enjoy Uni a lot more, as I am learning about topics that I am passionate about and I’m doing what I love. In fact, I sometimes worry that I’ll never want to leave.

What do you hope to do in the future once you are qualified?

In the future, I hope to further my studies and branch out into speech pathology. I love working with people, so I hope to teach music as well as working as a speech pathologist. My degree has helped me to realise my interest in speech therapy as I have had to very closely examine my own voice and have always had a very keen interest in languages as well. I also hope to continue developing my skills as a performer and see where it will take me.

What job role do you have now and what kind of work does that involve?

I currently work casually as a choir tutor to girls from the ages of around 5-8 and I also work as a waitress. On Saturday mornings I will teach two classes, working with the girls on Kodaly, aural skills, vocal skills, teamwork, movement, and performance skills. I also help out on concert days, which are always fantastic, and help organise the girls on the day.

What would you say to a prospective student interested in studying your degree at The University of Adelaide?

I think I may have started the degree too early. I’m still happy that I joined the degree, but probably would have benefited from taking some time to let my voice develop and to work on my goals and ambitions away from uni. Take your time to consider your options and decide on the right path for you. It’s okay not to jump straight in from high school!

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