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2nd Week HT24 Newsletter - Michelle Stanley

Each week, the OUMS newsletter features an interview with someone who positively contributes to the Oxford music scene. This week, we sat down with double-bassist Michelle Stanley to ask her about her musical experiences at Oxford, as well as her future in music education! 

Michelle Stanley


Tell us a bit about yourself!

Hi, I’m Michelle, a 3rd year music student at Somerville. I play the double bass in far too many things but have gone into hiding this term to enter my academic weapon era. Most of my time is spent either transporting my bass through groups of tourists or trying to be in two places at once. My main focus is education, and being at Oxford really highlighted to me how elitist music education is- everyone deserves a right to a good music education. 

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m currently in the early stages of planning an alternative canon concert for GCSE students to attend. I’ve visited a few schools in the area, and because of the national curriculum and available resources, students only seem to know about dead, white male composers. Hopefully, the Alternative Canon concert can start to change this. My new love is Samba drumming, and will hopefully be part of the May Morning parade. I also have to shout out the OUO tour to Italy. 

What has your favourite musical experience been at Oxford so far?

Nothing can beat Sweeney Todd at the Playhouse in my 1st year. Outstanding musicians and outstanding shenanigans. The experience I’m most proud of is my placement with Turtle Opera. For over 10 weeks, music students helped autistic children create and perform their own opera. The final performance was such an incredible day. 

Where can you see yourself going in the future?

Definitely in some form of music education. I have an offer to go to the other place cough cough, Cambridge to complete my music PGCE and then education masters. I don’t know whether I’ll end up in a classroom, the head of a school or trying to change education policy, but I want to do something that can help broaden both the types of music children are taught, and the types of children who receive it. I want every child to feel creative and feel they deserve to call themselves musicians. 

Give us a music recommendation! 

I’m a proud Olivia Rodrigo fan. The album Guts is 10/10 no notes. If you think you’re too good for her, think again.

To find out more about the OUMS newsletter and our interviews, email Christopher at



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