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The Corporation

Posted: 01/10/20

Music students on path to career success

Aspiring musicians, recording artists, songwriters, sound engineers and music producers are a step closer to securing their dream careers, following a link-up between West Nottinghamshire College and Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies.

  • Confetti music students at work in one of Metronome's control rooms
  • Music students learning in Confetti's industry-standard facilities

Level 3 music students who achieve their qualification at the Mansfield college will gain automatic entry onto degree-level music courses at the Nottingham-based creative institute – part of Nottingham Trent University (NTU).

It is the latest spin-off from a formal partnership between the college and NTU, which is delivering higher education provision from the college’s Derby Road campus in Mansfield, having sole use of its university centre; and is also set to deliver courses in health and allied professions from a separate building on the site.

Learners who achieve a RSL Level 3 Diploma for Music Practitioners at the college can choose to automatically move on to a foundation or full three-year degree programme at Confetti depending on their grade – with no interview or audition required – provided they pass their course, have a GCSE pass in English and maths, and apply through UCAS.

It means further education students in Mansfield and Ashfield have the chance of guaranteed progression to higher education at the renowned institute. Furthermore, music students will continue to receive expert tuition while enjoying some of the best technology, studios and equipment in the region throughout the duration of their studies.

Those who meet the criteria will be able to progress onto foundation degrees or full-honours degrees in either music performance or audio and music technology – equipping them with the professional, creative, intellectual and technical skills to succeed in the music and live events sector.

These subjects are taught from the state-of-the-art facilities at Confetti’s commercial venue and studio complex Metronome – designed by world-renowned audio architects White Mark Ltd, who have also designed studios for clients including Abbey Road and Damon Albarn.

Acclaimed by leading music figures including Jools Holland OBE, facilities at the 3,500 sq. m site include a 400-capacity live music venue, 15 rehearsal spaces, six recording studios, mastering suites, surround-sound and post-production studio facilities, a vinyl-cutting room, critical listening seminar room, and live events production space.

Located next to Confetti’s main campus on Convent Street, Metronome is considered the natural destination for West Nottinghamshire College’s music students, who study at its flagship Create building on the Derby Road campus using industry-approved equipment. The area comprises of a 197 sq. m live performance space known as the Hub and a 150-seat theatre. Multiple rehearsal spaces, a live room, two recording studios, mixing suites alongside Apple Mac suites enable learners at the college to develop their skills and knowledge in preparation for working in the industry.

Kerry Pilcher, head of creative arts at West Nottinghamshire College, said: “We are delighted to be working with Confetti and NTU to offer this excellent opportunity for our students. Our talented music staff, who all work in the industry alongside their teaching, will be able to fully prepare learners for their next steps.

“This new and exciting partnership provides our students with a much-needed local progression route and is likely to encourage more learners to continue their studies at a higher level without having to move away from home.

“Our learners progress in to all aspects of the industry including live events management, music production for film and computer gaming, and of course songwriting and performance. Developing and growing these skills locally will contribute to a UK industry already worth in excess of £5.2b and employing over 191,000 people.”

John Meredith, curriculum leader for music at Confetti, said: “This progression route is another example of Confetti engaging regional creative young people and allowing them to progress into a quality HE provision.

"We couldn’t be happier to work with West Nottinghamshire College to ensure tomorrow’s creatives can stay in the region and benefit from our HE offer – not to mention that the quality of students we’ve had in the past from the college has been of a really high standard. We’re looking forward to strengthening our links with the college moving forward.”

Confetti’s audio and music technology degrees focus on the creation, mixing and promotion of tracks, with students moving into careers as sound designers, audio producers and engineers, mastering engineers, technology R&Ds, acousticians, and post-production engineers.

Music performance degrees at Confetti focus on helping would-be artists to create a stage presence and learn the ‘tricks of the trade’ for successful performing. Career paths include performing, touring and session musician; music composer, songwriter, music journalist, music teacher, music producer, and promoter or booking agent.

Amongst Confetti’s lengthy list of alumni are internationally-renowned beatbox artist Pete ‘THePETEBOX’ Sampson, professional drummer Laura Moakes, who has toured with the likes of ZZ Top, and musician and songwriter Duncan Lloyd, part of Mercury-nominated Maxïmo Park and Nano Kino.

Students at the institute recently produced the Confetti Album, a 20-track digital download consisting of original compositions, as part of their course.