Shamus Baker

Bachelor of Music (Academic Stream)

Master of Music

Music & Philosophy

Key Info

  • Bachelor of Music (Academic Stream)
  • Master of Music
  • Music & Philosophy

Philosophy crept up on Shamus Baker. He came to the University of Waikato to study for a Bachelor of Music, and out of interest picked up some philosophy papers too. And he kept on picking them until he’d found he’d done enough philosophy papers to earn a second major.

“I’m thankful that my degree was flexible enough to allow this kind of evolution as I studied,” Shamus says.

The child of two secondary school teachers, Shamus was home-schooled and was initially interested in science, wanting to become an inventor.

He became interested in music when he realised how technically sophisticated and emotionally compelling it could be.

He chose to study at the University of Waikato after positive interactions and experiences he’d had previously with lecturers and associates of the University.

“I knew it was the right kind of place for me to study, with some of the best facilities like the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts,” Shamus says.

The most important thing he learnt during his studies was how to “think effectively” and believes his philosophy study has given him an understanding of the arguments and logic which structures practice, both academically and non-academically.

“My study of musicianship, harmony and counterpoint and aesthetics also made me aware of what it means to think musically, and how fundamental this is to musical practice,” he says.

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