First off, my name is Danielle Prostrollo. I'm a Ph.D. student at the University of East Anglia in the School of Education and Lifelong Learning. I started playing music when I was seven years old, ultimately finding the viola at about ten years old. After finishing my undergraduate degree in Music Business at New York University I worked in the copyright department for an independent music publisher, producing concerts and conferences, and playing music anywhere that would have me.
While this is not a blog of my research or even my academic writing, my thesis revolves around a topic that I find incredibly interesting. My research focuses on the UK music student experience and their perspectives of the conservatoire culture beyond the classroom. The project is being driven by an ethnographic methodology, primarily personal interviews and observations amongst students in their natural environments. As an American in the UK, there are similarities between my own music school experiences (and those of my peers) and those I have encountered here. Students in both countries seem to encounter pressures from every angle (pressure to perform flawlessly, to compete, to book gigs, to always be in the practice room, etc.), the often solitary nature of being a music student, and the sense of figuring "it" out by yourself. This blog confronts these themes along with those of wellness and wellbeing, because as a musician, and certainly a classical musician, taking the time to disconnect from the repertoire and your instrument is often overlooked.
Additionally, I am an avid baker and an amateur fencer. Slowly but surely I am learning the ways of this wild country called the United Kingdom and three years in, I'm starting to get the hang of the National Rail service.