Student Testimonial: The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA)Posted August 19, 2021, 2:59 pm by
Natalie Papa - The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA)
Why did you choose to attend this college and select this major?
LIPA seemed so different from the other universities and programs I was looking into (which were focused on jazz and theory). What I loved about LIPA was that you can mold the program to your needs and that it helps you to grow and market your music outside of the classroom. I managed to visit LIPA before applying and I connected well with the program, particularly the small classes and how it replicates the industry with Music, Management and Sound Technology students working together to put on productions.
What did you hope to get out of the program, and did you achieve it?
I wanted to become a gigging musician who releases music and feel confident in my abilities as an independent artist. At LIPA I started my band Natalie and the Monarchy and that has majorly contributed to my development. My teachers had years of industry experience and I was able to connect with the Liverpool music scene, which is one of the friendliest music communities I’ve been part of. Now, I’m still working my way up, but I have music and music videos out, gigs with good line ups, and have built up a network of other bands, promoters, venues and press. I’m not sure I would have been able to do that pre-LIPA.
Did you have to prepare for this major in any way? If you didn't, do you wish you did?
I really wish there was a way to prepare for sleeping under a mixing desk at 3am, while my bandmates record their 37th take; eating cake with my hands, in devil drag, on camera; and meeting all the incredible (but insane) people during my time at LIPA. I don’t think there are a whole lot of ways to prepare except I wish I learnt to cook before moving away from home. Other than that, it was all trial and error for me.
What was a typical day like?
It usually starts with a morning lecture, maybe on songwriting, or a seminar on theory or music professional practice, or maybe a vocal repertoire class. After a break I’ll then go to one of the practice rooms with a friend and have a jam or one of the workstations to work on production until I have my vocal one-to-one with the lovely Christina or a production class. Then, depending on what day it is, I might have a band rehearsal, Jukebox Shuffle (it’s karaoke with a live band and you get graded on it if you’re a vocalist), or a performance for The 2ube (LIPA’s weekly gig night).
What was the most memorable moment of your time at this college?
Seeing Paul McCartney in the hallway was surreal and watching Damon Albarn describe an elephant birth he witnessed has to be up there!
What advice do you have for teens looking for the right college?
Your transition into young adulthood and starting a creative career is all about getting out of your comfort zone. You have all the time in the world to get from point A to point B so might as well have fun doing it. Reputation and ascetics in a university only goes so far when you’re studying a creative field. Pick a program based on what you feel you’re lacking and would like help growing. Everything else will adapt and follow. Overall, you’re picking the best environment for change.