What do you do with a PhD in Music?

In this new series of blogs, PhD student Jessica Beck sheds some light on the musical past of Conway Hall

Jessica is a 25 year-old PhD student currently undertaking an AHRC-funded collaborative doctoral award at the Royal Northern College of Music, supervised by Professor Barbara Kelly and Professor David Amigoni. Her research is based on the archives held at Conway Hall that relate to its own history, and her thesis currently has a working title of The Role of Women Musicians at South Place Ethical Society, 1900 – 1920. Jessica studied for her BA in Music and MRes in Musicology at Keele University (2009–13) and is now beginning the second year of her PhD.

My first exhibition

This week I got to do something that I have been looking forward to for a while – I put up an exhibition! The lovely librarians at Conway Hall asked if I would like to fill the exhibition cases in the library for this term, so if you are able to stop by the Conway […]

By: Jessica Beck

Mind Map

Admittedly, it has been a while since my last post, but I have a fairly legitimate excuse. Since my return from Poland, I have been in a small bubble of conference organisation and literature review writing. Consequently, whenever I attempted to write a blog post, my mind was screaming ‘LITERATURE REVIEW! LITERATURE REVIEW!’ as if […]

By: Jessica Beck

Young Musicology Today


Instead of having a little moan about conference organisation (see my last blog), this time I only have good things to say about the opportunities I’ve had to attend and present at conferences during my PhD. On 5 November, I headed to Poland a couple of days in advance of the ‘Young Musicology Today: Tendencies, Challenges […]

By: Jessica Beck

Since my last post, a lot of my energy has been directed towards this potential career path – probably more than I would have liked to be honest. This is not my first experience of being part of an organising team for an academic conference (and it won’t be the last), yet I’m still overwhelmed […]

By: Jessica Beck

Jessica Beck

Anyone who has seen the musical Avenue Q may recognise the title of my blog from the first line of the opening song, ‘What do you do with a BA in English?’. While this may have been sung with a slightly ironic tone, the question about my PhD was one that I have been asked on […]

By: Jessica Beck