New innovative music degree at University of Sunderland welcomes first students – Sunderland Magazine


We’ve been preparing for five years, but the wait is finally over as the University of Sunderland’s innovative new music degree, led by the North East’s top musicians, welcomes its first students.

The BA (Hons) Modern Music Industries is run by the University in partnership with the Northern Academy of Music Education (NAME) – comprised of Barry Hyde of the Futureheads and his business partner Dan Donnelly, who has performed with the Celtic Social Club, The wonderful stuff and the levelers.

The program opens its doors to students just one week after it was announced that the University of Sunderland was on the University of the Year shortlist, the main category of the annual THE – Times Higher Education – awards for this year.

Barry said: “It took about five years to develop the courses, the partnership, and the venues and facilities for NAME to start teaching this academic year.

“We are truly fortunate to have recruited extremely talented industry professionals and educators who are passionate about mentoring aspiring music creators. Using our experiential knowledge, we aim to provide relevant, high-quality advice to maximize individual student progress.

“Art is of course a subjective subject, but because we are very experienced professionals, we can give objective direction based on our collective industry expertise, which we hope will inspire our students to be dedicated. , ambitious and proactive in their efforts. It takes a lot of motivation to become a professional musician and we know exactly what it takes.

The first cohort of around thirty students will be based in music studios in the artistic and cultural heart of the city. The main conference room is in the new fire station venue, which also houses the Live Theater, Dance City, a bar and restaurant and an auditorium with a capacity of £ 11million. In the neighboring old Grade II listed pub, The Peacock, there is a 220-seat music room as well as Birdland Studios, a brand new recording and rehearsal facility.

The course is designed to fully equip students for life in an industry that has undergone radical transformation.

“The advent of file sharing and streaming services, along with the development of affordable music production software, has created a rich and diverse environment that has allowed much greater independence for emerging and established music artists.” Barry explained.

” The 21st The Music Creator of the Century has creative opportunities that just weren’t available until recently, and our course will give students the academic framework to develop the essential and diverse skills that maximize their individual potential.

“The course not only encourages live performance and traditional musical skills, but also event management. This is a crucial point of diversification that can allow our students to develop and prosper in the modern music industry.

Although the arts and creative industries have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, Barry still believes the time is right for a program like this.

“The world of the arts is populated by tenacious and innovative individuals who have found ingenious ways to survive under truly terrible conditions and pressures and it is fantastic to see theaters, art galleries and music festivals coming back. and prosper once again. he said.

“Art is such a crucial aspect of our society and civilization, and clearly by the newfound dynamism of today, we can see that people are hungrier than ever to experience it. Our course is perfect for the modern climate, which requires innovative people to bring new ideas and ambitions to further develop high quality art delivery.

“A modern musician must have a thirst for knowledge in broad areas of development to take full advantage of the opportunities available to him, and we are here to pass that knowledge on to them. “

Barry added: “We have been extremely fortunate to find such a fantastic partnership with the University of Sunderland, which has provided world-class education at Wearside for many years.”

“We look forward to doing justice to the incredible opportunity the University has given us and look forward to having a long and productive relationship with them. “

Professor Arabella Plouviez, Academic Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries at the University of Sunderland, said: “Students will not only have a wide range of resources and a professional environment in which to excel and be based in the heart of the Sunderland Cultural Center, but they will also be taught by a range of professional musicians and with Barry and Dan both musicians. experienced and inspiring as well as music teachers, this is a truly unique and exciting new venture.

“We look forward to seeing the graduates of this program and their impact on the music industry in the future.”


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