Schoolteachers told Nimrita Rasiya that she would never get a degree because of her autism and dyslexia, but she’s about to prove them wrong by graduating from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).
The final-year Music, Technology and Performance student said: “It really got to me at first, but then it made me more determined than ever. I feel like I’ve been building up to a degree in music since I was about five years old and I’m really close to getting what I’ve always wanted.
“I can’t believe my dream is coming true.”
With both parents being Indian classical musicians, Nimrita was raised in a musical household.
“Growing up, music was often the only thing that made sense to me. If I had a bad day at school, I could go back to our home studio and get my frustration out. It allowed me to express happiness too,” said the 24-year-old from London.
“I couldn’t be more grateful for the life I’ve had and the way I grew up. Not only have I had great advice along the way, my parents are so supportive of the route I’ve taken.”
Nimrita chose to study at DMU after attending an Open Day, during which she was reassured to hear that performance was a strong element of her chosen course.
She said: “The other thing that really stood out during one of the talks was the fact that the academics are pushing the boundaries of what music is.
“DMU has definitely been the best choice I could have made.”
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Nimrita has enjoyed DMU’s unconventional approach to music and memorable assignments, including turning a soundboard into an instrument and taking time out in a public space to consider every noise as a composed piece of music.
“The course has really opened my mind. I had no idea what was possible - music is everywhere and literally everything can be an instrument with the right imagination,” she said.
For her final project, Nimrita is ambitiously building her own video game from scratch and composing the music for it. She said: “I like a challenge and I wanted to make something unique.
“It’s been a lot of work because as well as the music side of it, I’ve been writing characters and dialogues and learning animation and graphic skills. I eventually want to release it for free so people can play it and give me feedback.”
Starting university was not without its challenges.
Nimrita said: “I was afraid that I would feel rushed along and would fall behind. My tutors and the disability advice and support team have been incredible though - we had regular meetings and I was assigned a support officer.
“Writing essays was my biggest challenge, but the university runs regular workshops that I found helpful and I was given advice on finding books and websites in the correct format.”
Among Nimrita’s university highlights was visiting New York in January with #DMUglobal, and in particular, the chance to learn about the birth and growth of East Coast hip hop on a tour given by professional rappers.
She has also joined DMU’s Theatre Society, adding: “I’ve always been fascinated by theatre but I’m a shy person. It’s been nothing but wonderful since I started though. I was made to feel so welcome and I couldn’t be more grateful to be a part of it.”
Posted on Tuesday 11th June 2019