Students discover life on the road as they prepare for musical careers
By YouPR | Monday, February 18, 2013, 17:02
Weston College students have been experiencing life as a professional touring musicians by playing gigs across Somerset and beyond.
Bozanne Bozie (16)
Bands formed from the College's BTEC Extended Diploma in Music Performance and Foundation Degree Arts (FdA) courses are showing off their skills in London, Bristol, Bath and Glastonbury with a series of gigs.
And once they've switched off their amplifiers they're back in the classroom to learn the finer points of life as freelance musicians under a programme specially devised for their courses.
Bands including Wolfhound, The Bad Habits, Access Denied and singer-songwriter Lauren Cahill, have been staging their own shows, taking along technical crew from among students on the College's Music Production courses. Venues played so far include the King William in Glastonbury and the Good Ship in Kilburn, North London.
Upcoming gigs will see bands play at the Thunderbolt in Bristol, Scallys in Weston and the George in Wedmore.
Michael Gillett, course tutor responsible for organising the programme of gigs, said: "The bands are playing in venues where they aren't known at all, so they have to work hard to win audiences over, which they're doing every time. They practice stagecraft and musicianship very intensively before they go out and this is really paying off. The audiences love them."
College tutors are keen to prepare students for the real world of working musicians, so a module showing them how to survive as a freelancer has been introduced to their courses. This includes elements such as finding revenue streams from music-making and teaching, managing cashflow, keeping accurate accounts and marketing.
Michael said: "The playing live part is fun, but it's not the whole story and we want to make sure our students know what to expect. You can make a freelance living as a musician but you need to be clever about it, and it's this resourcefulness that we're passing on to the students."
Many former Weston College music students are now employed full-time in the industry, as musicians, technical and stage crew, sound engineers, composers and festival organisers.