Course director John Hart, of MBT, said: “The music industry has undergone seismic change in recent years and access to market is now easier than ever for aspiring artists through a wide range of internet provision. However, it is difficult to grasp the opportunities out there if you are a young person lacking core business skills and key music industry knowledge. Our intensive one-year course is run by the industry for the industry and tailor-made to give young people the essential e-commerce and business skills they need to promote and sell their product – their music, their performance, their creativity.”
My Music: My Business is a new initiative working in partnership with Rotherham College of Arts and Technology and funded through them via the government’s Skills Funding Agency. Participants will achieve a creative practitioner extended diploma at level 4. This is equal to the first year of a degree. The new course will be run two days a week, Fridays and Saturdays, for 36 weeks, at the Steelworks studios – one of Sheffield’s premier music industry venues, which has been recording hit albums since the 1980s.
It will be led by John Hart – director at MBT who has nearly 30 years’ experience in the UK music industry and training sector, working now as an artist manager and artist development consultant.
Also part of the team will be Sheffield entrepreneur and business start-up guru Ruth Amos, who will be course tutor, and Sheffield singer-songwriter Sarah-Jay Hawley who has performed and written with Massive Attack, The Longpigs and Finlay Quaye. The course also aims to attract big names and experienced music industry practitioners from Sheffield and beyond as guest speakers.
Every participant will also have the opportunity to work one-to-one with Steelworks producers to help them develop and release their music via digital platforms such as Spotify, iTunes, YouTube and Amazon.
My Music: My Business is a national first for Sheffield. MBT is piloting the course here and then plans to take it to other UK cities with strong creative and digital sectors such as Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham.
John said: “Sheffield has such a strong music industry heritage and we are delighted to work in partnership with the Steelworks and RCAT to launch our new course to help nurture new talent in the city. There is a strong music industry infrastructure already in place in Sheffield and many local success stories such as Pulp, Arctic Monkeys, Richard Hawley, Heaven 17, Human League and Joe Cocker, have come out of the city.
“We aim to build on this heritage, and help consolidate Sheffield as music industry hub for the future too by developing a new generation of collaborative artists who can succeed here and don’t feel the need to leave for London, as has happed so often in the past. The course aims to find and develop talent and boost the local music economy too.”
Subjects covered in the course will include brand and repertoire development, market analysis, handling intellectual property rights, attracting online sales and developing performance, gigs, CDs and merchandise revenue streams. John said: “By combining these skills with their creativity we hope to give our course participants the option of building their own careers as self-employed musicians without the often costly support of big record companies handling the business side of things for them. The course builds skills and confidence.”
Up to a fifteen free places are available for 18-year-olds through RCAT’s further education funding. Nineteen-year-olds and above may also apply but may be asked to contribute to course fees. The course is open to musicians from any contemporary music genre. To apply go to www.musicbusinesstraining.co.uk/my-music-my-business or call 01332 793497.