College Harmonises with Music Industry’s Biggest Names

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Blackburn College students have been provided with the opportunity to work behind the scenes with some of the biggest artists in music today. Funded by the Education and Training Foundation, the scheme is a collaboration between the Music and Media departments at Blackburn College and the National Skills Academy for Creative and Cultural Skills.

As part of the collaboration, lucky students have already had the opportunity to go backstage with Grammy Award-nominated band Florence + the Machine at their recent Manchester Area show, where they learned about events management and what goes into running a successful tour.

This experience will soon be followed by a similar backstage production tour with Ivor Novello Award-winning alternative rock band Snow Patrol and an all-access pass to Download Festival. Annie Kerfoot – Head of School – Creative & Digital said: “Aligning ourselves with some of the biggest names in industry ensures the curriculum at Blackburn College is a step ahead of what other institutions are doing. There are no substitutes to learning from the best and this is an opportunity that will benefit both staff and students tremendously.”

Staff at Blackburn College will also benefit from the collaboration, with several staff members having already attended a master class at the O2 Arena in London with renowned tour manager Steve Cheney.

Steve is a 30-year music industry veteran who has worked as a stage manager for the main stages at Glastonbury, Latitude, Big Chill, Leeds and Reading Festivals. His association with Blackburn College is a direct result of the collaboration with the National Skills Academy – where he works as a Music Industry Liaison Officer.

Annie Kerfoot added: “Working with Steve was a fantastic experience for staff and the opportunity to align teaching skills with the upper echelons of the music industry is something the College will now be able to use directly for the benefit of students.”

Blackburn College continues to innovate within the sector and a new partnership between the College and BBC Music Introducing will further benefit students from both Media and Music curriculum areas – with live briefs involving the filming and recording of unsigned music talent.

Last month also saw students visit leading audio company AMS Neve – whose technologies have been used in some of the world’s most critically acclaimed films; including Academy Award-winning blockbuster Titanic, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Frozen and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Funding from the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) was provided as part of a national initiative titled Taking Teaching Further – which supports the ongoing exchange between FE providers and industry so that students can gain the knowledge and skills that employers need.

10 Dec 2018, 15:56 PM

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