Joint Honours Music and Classical Studies, 2015

marina gallagher 2019For Marina the best part of studying at the University of Waterloo was the ability to be interdisciplinary. During her time here, she pursued both Music and Classical studies. “They overlapped quite a lot actually,” Marina recalls. While it was a rewarding experience, it was also a difficult one, as a Joint Honours meant Marina had to dedicate more of her time hitting the books. Studying both at the same time really enrichened her experience as an undergraduate just as much as the community at Grebel did as well.  She recalls in particular, the summer of 2014, she was in the Instrumental Chamber Ensemble (ICE) and that term had the pleasure of being a part of a trio. The friendships made between the three have lasted, and the bond formed is one of Marina’s fondest memories.

Marina graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor’s in Joint Honours Music and Classical studies, from there she went onto pursue her Ph.D. with graduate studies at the University of British Colombia (UBC).  Her reasons for going onto to further her education have a lot to do with a particular Grebel professor.

Dr. Laura Gray was always encouraging,” Marina, says, “She supported me all the way along.

It was during her undergraduate studies that Marina discovered the current topic of her Ph.D. Dissertation. After taking a landscape course, Marina became increasingly interested in how music in video games shapes the players reality and immerses them in the game. Upon graduating the here at the University of Waterloo Marina headed out to British Colombia to pursue this topic among other courses.

When choosing the University of British Colombia Marina wanted to make sure that she could take the courses, she liked, even if they were in a different discipline than her own focus of study. Like the University of Waterloo, “They [UBC] are okay with you doing what you like.” Marina recalls that she even, “…took a Greek course last term,” She has a little connection to Grebel out there as well, she’s kept in touch with Dr. Laura Gray, as well a friend of the Doctor’s happens to be working at the University, and Marina has enjoyed the connection.

Marina has already started thinking about what will happen after she finishes her Ph.D. “If I finish it,” she jokes. She currently takes on private students for piano, she loves being able to see the moment when they really begin to connect with the discipline. “I would like to expand my piano studio,” she says about her future plans, “As well teaching as a Professor.” If there ever happens to be a course on video games music Marina will be the best person to teach it! However, having also studied classics she is also interested in teaching Latin. Regardless of where she ends up Marina will continue to bring her passion for music and classical studies to the table.  As she continues her graduate studies, Marina reflects on her time as an undergraduate and has some advice for anyone currently in or about to start their undergraduate degree. She says,“Be open to trying different courses and try whatever interests you.”.