When deciding what to study at university, one of the most natural options is to go with what sparks your passion.
UNE Bachelor of Music student Felicity McKendry embodies this as she has only recently begun her study journey with UNE, but she has already released several singles while studying – combining her natural musical talent and what she has learned at UNE.
Being a first year student, Felicity remembers what brought her to UNE quite well – she explains that after high school she knew she wanted a career in music and began looking for university study that would support the experience she was looking for.
“After high school, I wanted to begin my career as soon as I could, and if possible, study something I was absolutely passionate about,” said Felicity when discussing the inception of her study journey. “To write songs and produce my own music was always a life-long dream of mine, and if a university degree could help me fulfil this dream, I was going to do whatever it took to find that degree. I researched different types of degrees from several universities within Australia, but none of them offered exactly what I was looking for. None of them except UNE.”
“UNE offered a Bachelor where I could both learn how to enhance my love and skill for music, as well as become qualified for producing my own musical content for a career. The degree was the perfect choice, and I was confident it would cater to all my musical needs.”
While Felicity’s study journey has only just begun, her background in music stretches back much further and is deeply connected to her childhood:
“I began singing at the age of five and was involved in a small acapella choir, performing at festivals and concerts up into my mid-teens. During this time, I taught myself to play piano and Celtic fiddle as part of a family trio band, The Strayin’ Celts. At 17 years old, I began writing my own songs with piano and discovered a growing passion for song composition. A year later, I taught myself how to record and mix my own music, and worked tirelessly to release my first two singles One Way Ride and Let Me Love You across all major streaming platforms.”
Felicity’s studies build upon her musical talent by providing further technical skills in relation to producing and composing which has already assisted her in creating music.
“There is so much room for your own ideas on how to approach an assignment, or even exam, that every new piece of assessment work is refreshing, and you can be confident that your own creativity will be accepted by your tutors and fellow peers.”
“Before beginning my study through UNE, there were weak points within my knowledge of notation and music theory that I wanted to fully strengthen. In general, my studies have allowed me to further explore my love for music and songwriting, shown me methods for motivation, inspiration and dedication, and supported me in learning how to best utilise my musical passion.”
When discussing what she would like to do following her university studies, Felicity noted that naturally she hopes to pursue a career in writing and producing music professionally, both collaborating with fellow musicians and coaching vocalists. Her drive to achieve this goal is quite inspirational, especially when she notes: “I want to take my childhood dream as far as possible and share music with the world, it’s the most rewarding experience ever.”
Sharing some of the insights of music creation that she has learned in her studies thus far, Felicity describes how there are general rules and methods to follow, however ultimately music is a medium that is also an expression of creativity. She has been heartened by her assessments mirroring this by encouraging creativity and requiring students to show an understanding of the form.
As previously mentioned, while studying Felicity has released singles that combine her talent and the lessons she has learned through her studies. Felicity is eager to share them with others – speaking on her most recent release she said: “If you believe in dreams, join with me on a little bit of my journey. Thursday, September 30th I am releasing my latest single Little Bit of You, where I’ll give you a little bit of me and we can spend a moment together!”
If you would like to listen to Felicity’s music and follow her journey, you can find her on Instagram, Spotify under the name Filly Mack and you can hear her most recent single Little Bit of You here.