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Traditional music has always been an integral part of Kayla Kissane’s life. Hailing from Castledermot, Co. Kildare, the former Coláiste Lorcáin student says she “researched many places and courses” before deciding on the BA (Hons) in Music at South East Technological University (SETU). 

Now a member of the university’s Traditional Irish Music Society, the guitarist and vocalist believes she’s found the right course for her – one that hits the right tone between musical discovery and community.  

Favourite modules 

My favourite module has to be Popular Music History. I enjoyed learning about the lives and works of some of the most famous musicians to have existed (The Beatles, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, and David Bowie) and how they applied the music theory they knew to pen some of the greatest songs ever written. 

Meeting like-minded people 

The course’s collaborative mindset offers the perfect platform to meet like-minded people. I’m a member of SETU’s Irish Traditional Music Society and over the years we’ve performed on numerous occasions throughout across Waterford’s Cork Road and College Street campuses. We also run table quizzes with live music in conjunction with SETU’s Irish Language Society, which is always fun! Through societies, you meet people who enjoy the same things as you, which is a great way to make friends! 

"Through our Community Connect module, I got to work with a local school and help kids there create a composition using sustainable instruments they made."

Kayla Kissane SETU BA (Hons) in Music student

Sustainability in the Arts Festival 

One of the major highlights of my university experience so far was participating in the Sustainability in the Arts Festival. Through our Community Connect module, I got to work with a local school where I helped kids create a composition using sustainable instruments they made. I also worked with them on body percussion, vocalisations and boom wackers. We then performed our composition at the festival, which was a proud moment.  

I benefited from this experience as teaching is a job I want to pursue in the future. A major help in pulling this off was a module we completed in music pedagogy. This enabled me to put all the skills I had learned to the test! 

Nightlife and wildlife 

Nightlife and wildlife 

Waterford is a lovely city with so much to do - you will never be bored! As someone who is a true home bird, moving down to Waterford was easy. The main nightlife area is just a two-minute walk from College Street, which is so handy! To be honest, though, I like to spend my free time with my friends at the beach in Tramore and along all the beautiful walkways along the Copper Coast. 

Diverse career opportunities 

My advice to anyone studying for their Leaving Cert would be to thoroughly research each course before ordering your options on the CAO. SETU’s BA (Hons) in Music course has so many career options. These include music therapy, teaching, sound engineering, and performance. Another great aspect of the course is that you pick up a new instrument every second semester - it's a great way to both push yourself and expand your understanding of music. It’s important to note that not all courses may be as diverse. I would recommend choosing my course as your first choice as you get to try everything, instead of specializing in one specific thing from first year.