Blog 9: Farewell Mannheim!


The first two weeks of February were sadly my last in Mannheim. The bassoon class and I enjoyed having Ole in Mannheim for a week where we had group classes and had my final lesson. I also played in a conducting exam and a clarinet exam which was nice to have an extra project at the end of the semester playing Stravinsky’s Octet.

I hosted a leaving party in my flat and had lots of my friends there which was so lovely, yet hard to say goodbye to everyone. We also had the Hochschule end of semester party and many class meet-ups including going bowling and playing badminton (always fun!). I had a lovely trip to Frankfurt with Bettina as well as having a dinner with her family to say goodbye before I left. It was a busy two weeks socially and I was out most evenings seeing friends.

I am now back in London and thrown straight into an orchestra project which is a great way to immerse myself back into RCM life. I am really glad to be back as I’ve missed my friends and everything else in London, but I’m now (of course) missing my friends and my life in Mannheim.

I just wanted to use this space to say a few thank yous to acknowledge the many people who helped make this experience so wonderful.

From the RCM I’d like to thank my professors Joost, Sarah, Martin and Simon for their support. I’d also like to thank Nicola Peacock for organising the exchange from the RCM side, as well as Frau Fundinger and Frau Rusch from Muho. Thank you to my Mum for being always supportive and proud, as well as Hannah for always being there for me throughout my time in Mannheim. My family friend Bettina and family for being so welcoming and showing me Germany. My wonderful flatmates Anna Lena and Lyson, you have been amazing and I am so lucky to have lived and met you both.

Thank you to all my new friends in Mannheim particularly my wonderful bassoon classmates for making me feel so at home as soon as I arrived – I have learnt a lot from all of you. Thank you to Prof. Mikko-Pekka Svala and Prof. Hans Agreda for your reed & contra teaching and finally to Prof. Ole Kristian Dahl. Thank you so much for everything this semester, I have learnt so much from you and it was such a privalige to be part of your class, I really hope I come back soon!

If you are ever thinking of doing an exchange or living abroad, you HAVE to do it! I could not recommend it more and I promise you will have an amazing time.

Thank you for following my blog over the past six months. It has been an incredible adventure and I’ve enjoyed every moment.

Ashby x