Category Archives: Education

The Institute to open in Cardiff with the University of Glamorgan

Having delivered cutting edge contemporary music education for 25 years, the Institute is delighted to announce the launch of a new partnership with the University of Glamorgan.

From September 2013, the Institute is extending its superior music education experience to the Welsh capital and will be, in partnership with the University, creating and offering a new and exciting Bachelor of Music Degree in guitar, bass, vocals and drums.

This will not only provide musicians the premier opportunity to study contemporary music to the highest standards in Wales, but will allow them access to the University’s inspiring facilities and environment. The programme will be delivered at the custom-built ATRiuM campus situated in the heart of Cardiff city centre, allowing student’s unrivalled access to work alongside fellow music production students and cutting edge music recording facilities.

Students on the BMus Contemporary Music Performance will also benefit from the opportunity to take an optional Rockschool Licentiate during their final year, allowing them to graduate with an additional and accredited teaching qualification.

Institute alumni have been playing and performing successfully across the UK for many years with artists such as The Vaccines, Jessie J and Radiohead. The Institute in London boasts an outstanding teaching Faculty with a wealth of music industry experience, and is thrilled to partner with the University of Glamorgan to expand its renowned teaching methods into another important music capital.

Pete Whittard, Operations Director at the Institute, commented “this is a wonderful opportunity for the Institute to partner with the University of Glamorgan in creating a new and exciting degree in Contemporary Music Performance. We know that it will offer a professional pathway into a career in the industry for aspiring musicians.”

Cardiff and Wales as a nation offers a diversity of cultural opportunities, and is built on a heritage of music, home to such musical successes as Manic Street Preachers, Tom Jones, The Stereophonics, The Alarm, Bonnie Tyler and Feeder who all continue to inspire generations of music makers.

Professor Peter Robertson, Dean of Faculty for the Cardiff School of Creative and Cultural Industries stated that “it is appropriate that we are launching in collaboration with the Institute, a flagship contemporary music performance course during this year when Cardiff plays host to the international WOMEX 2013 music expo and showcase event”.

More information about the partnership and the new BMUS Contemporary Music Performance can be found at


Posted in Education, Music, News

Jools Holland Bassist to Join The Institute, London for Learn to Play Day 2013

On 16th March 2013 Dave Swift, best known for being Jools Holland’s long term bassist since 1991, will be visiting the Institute’s campus in London, to support National Learn to Play Day.

Dave has played with just about every major name in contemporary music, from KT Tunstall, Lily Allen, Amy Winehouse, Adele and Richard Hawley through to some of the giants of the 20th century like George Benson, Smokey Robinson, Eric Clapton, Al Jarreau, Chaka Khan, Jeff Beck, Tom Jones, Paul Weller and BB King – Dave has laid down his immaculate and grooving bass lines for them all – live on TV, in the studio, and on tour.

A master on both electric and acoustic bass, his time with Jools’ Rhythm & Blues Orchestra, has seen him perform at a myriad of events including Dubai International Jazz Festival, Blue Note Tokyo, Amnesty International, the Montreux Jazz Festival, Glastonbury Music Festival, the G8 conference for world leaders including Tony Blair and Bill Clinton, and the Millennium Night celebration at the Millennium Dome for Her Majesty the Queen.

Dave is still in demand as a session musician, and has also played double bass and bass guitar for 80’s pop star Rick Astley, American soul singer Gary U.S. Bonds, Ben E. King and on ex-Kinks frontman Ray Davis’ album ‘Other People’s Lives’. He was also in the House Band on the ‘Johnny Vaughan Tonight’ show, and has most recently been playing bass for comedian turned singer Alexander Armstrong.   He currently performs on BBC Radio 2’s ‘The Jools Holland Show’, and on ‘Later…with Jools Holland’ on BBC2 as well as constantly touring around the UK and internationally. When Dave is not playing bass, he still finds the time to play his first instrument, the trombone.

On Learn to Play Day, the Institute will be welcoming people into its state-of-the-art campus to have a taster lesson in the instrument of their choice with one of its outstanding faculty members.

Dave expressed his enthusiasm for being involved in the day, saying: “I am so pleased that I’m able to visit the Institute for Learn to Play Day, which is a fantastic initiative from the MIA to get more people taking part in music. It will be such a great and unique opportunity to share my experiences of being a professional musician for the last 31 years, particularly my long association with Jools Holland, who is in fact a patron of the charity. I’m delighted to be supporting a world class education provider such as the Institute, which is the perfect place for your first introduction to a musical instrument.”

The day will run from 10.00am, with hour long sessions in each instrument, as well as a couple of other workshops. Participants who are 16yrs and over will be eligible for a 60% discount on Part-Time Courses throughout 2013. In addition, a partnership between the Institute and DV247, will allow attendees to receive exclusive packages/deals from DV Acton, West London

To get involved with National Learn to Play Day at the Institute please email to reserve your space. For more information please visit:

Dave Swift with Paul Weller and Amy Winehouse Dave Swift

Posted in Bass, Education, Events, Music, News

The Institute’s prestigious Higher Diploma welcomes April intake

April  marks the Institute’s first intake of 2013 with its ground-breaking Higher Diploma, a specialist one-year full-time course created to train, equip and inspire students of guitar, bass, drums and vocals for a career in the music industry. It was the first full-time course of its kind developed in the UK, and it continues to set the industry standard in its development of aspiring musicians.

The Institute is widely recognised as Europe’s leading school of modern music and features an unrivaled teaching faculty, many of whom regularly work and tour with the music industry’s biggest artists.

The long standing reputation of the course and its proven track record has produced alumni that can be seen performing with high profile artists such as Radiohead, Eric Clapton, The Noisettes, Kylie Minogue and Babyshambles.

This intensive course is specifically for musicians and singers wishing to study a wide range of contemporary styles and looking to fast-track the development of their performing skills and overall musicianship. Students will experience plenty of practical playing time through modules focusing on styles, instrumental technique and reading notation. Weekly live performance workshops provide the opportunity for students to perform in a live band situation and regularly apply their skills into a practical context.

Programme leader Mike Sturgis says:

“The Higher Diploma programme at the Institute is the most comprehensive and intensive course of its kind anywhere in the world. The curriculum, facilities, faculty and its unique positioning at the heart of the global music industry ensure that students are well equipped for a wide range of career opportunities. Our goal is their success.”

The Institute’s Higher Diploma has revolutionised the study of contemporary music in the UK. And the April intake of this unique course means that you will receive a saving of £200.

If you would like further information about applying for the Higher Diploma or other Institute courses, please contact:

Posted in Education, Events, Music, News

Free Instrument Lesson with National Learn to Play Day at the Institute, London

On Saturday 16th March 2013 the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance will be offering free lessons in guitar, bass, drums and vocals for anybody wishing to try out a new instrument.

National Learn to Play Day, was set up by Music for All; and is run in partnership with the Musicians Union,, Art’s Council England, Take it Away and, an initiative to encourage more people to take up an instrument,  by providing people of any age to engage in a free music lesson. Shops all over the country will be opening their doors and offering complimentary lessons in a wide range of instruments.

The Institute will be welcoming people into its state-of-the-art campus in NW London, to have a taster lesson in the instrument of their choice with one of its outstanding faculty members. All Institute tutors are highly experienced and active musicians so this truly is a unique opportunity to be inspired experts. As a world class education provider, the Institute is the perfect place for your first introduction to a musical instrument. Alongside the lessons, there will be many other ways to participate, including a choir and rhythm workshops and performances.

The day will run from 10.00am, with hour long sessions in each instrument, plus a Choir Performance and Workshop.  Participants who are 16yrs and over will be eligible for a 60% discount on Part-Time Courses throughout 2013. Institute Part-Time Courses take place four times a year and run over 10 weeks in acoustic and electric guitar, bass, drums, vocals, song writing and music business, helping participants to continue their musical adventure.

Through a partnership between the Institute and DV247, attendees will also receive exclusive packages/deals from DV Acton, West London

To get involved with National Learn to Play Day at the Institute please email to reserve your space. For more information please visit:

National Learn to Play Day

Posted in Education, Events, Music, News

Multi Award-Winning Songwriter for Britany, Kylie and Perry to Visit the Institute London

On Wednesday 13th March 2013 the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance and BASCA will be co-hosting a Q&A with five times Ivor Novello Award winning songwriter Cathy Dennis, at the Institute’s state of the art campus in Northwest London.

Cathy has had huge success as both a performing artist and a songwriter. She has penned eight UK Number 1 singles, including “Toxic” for Britney Spears and “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” for Kylie Minogue, and two in the US -“Before Your Love” for Kelly Clarkson and “I Kissed a Girl” for Katy Perry. Cathy also co-wrote the Pop Idol theme and many of the show’s contestants have recorded her songs, including Will Young, Gareth Gates and Clay Aiken.

Cathy will be revealing the secrets of her success at this special event, which is being held exclusively for members of BASCA and students of the Institute.

Songwriting BA Programme leader Sophie Daniels commented:

“We are very pleased to welcome Cathy Dennis to the Institute as part of our ongoing relationship with BASCA. Her huge experience and success as one of the UK’s best known songwriters mean that she can offer invaluable advice and inspiration to our students.’

For further information on the Institute’s courses and events, please contact:

Cathy Dennis

Industry experts deliver BA (Hons) in Music Business at the Institute, London

The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance is preparing for a new intake of students for its esteemed Music Business degree*. The course will be led by some of the industry’s most influential individuals and covers the principles of business and management both generally and in the music sector specifically.

The course gives students the unique opportunity to work hands-on alongside countless musicians, writers and performers, engaging in artist management, A&R, marketing, radio, PR and publishing. This provides students with real world opportunities to manage and learn throughout the course.

Based in the heart of London’s music scene, this custom built degree will give students the unique opportunity to build networks and connections in the centre of the UK music industry. With unrivaled ties to the industry, students will have access to musicians and events throughout the three year period of study from start to finish.

The faculty comprises of specialised tutors and industry professionals with valuable experience from the world of promotion, radio, PR and publishing. Current tutors include marketing specialist Graham Lee, whose career in the music industry has spanned over 23 years beginning at Virgin Records and has since worked in senior roles for Sony Music at Columbia Records and INCredible Records, and Becky Jones, the last front woman of Groove Armada.

Korda Marshall and Steve Ager (successful radio promoter of artists such as Nirvana, Guns ‘n’ Roses and Whitney Houston) are further examples of visiting tutors with the skill and practice to deliver module topics such as ‘marketing principles for music’, ‘music publishing & contracts’ and ‘strategic business management in the music industry’. They will be drawing on their experience and expertise to give students first-hand knowledge of what to expect and how to progress further within the music industry.

Programme leader Ken Foreman said:

I am delighted to be joined by such well established industry professionals and very excited to be a part of this amazing faculty. It’s so important that students looking to work in the music business are provided with the skills and expertise needed to succeed, and what better way to learn than from the most reputable and experienced people in the business”

The course also boasts numerous industry guest speakers including Debs Wild, discoverer and web ambassador of Coldplay, and Mark Gale from Universal Publishing. The programme is also supported by ATC Management, the innovative artist-development organisation set-up by Radiohead manager, Brian Message.

For further information about the BA (Hons) Music Business degree and many other courses, contact the Institute directly:

BA (Hons) in Music Business

Posted in Education, Music, News

Pop-Rock Royalty Set to Entertain the Institute, London

On 12th February 2013, Paul Winter-Hart and Alex Dickson will visit the Institute to talk exclusively to students about their careers and jamming techniques.

Alex and Paul spent much of the late 90’s jetting around the planet. Paul played drums with chart-topping, BRIT award-winning band Kula Shaker, whilst Alex was touring guitarist of choice with pop royalty Robbie Williams and Iron Maiden’s legendary vocalist, Bruce Dickinson.  Since then Alex has played with a who’s who of music including James Brown, Ben’s Brother and Calvin Harris. Paul, meanwhile, has been equally busy performing with Graham Coxon, Johnathan Jerimiah, Joseph Arthur and Aqualung.

During downtime between tours and records, Paul and Alex having been taking inspiration from their experiences playing with musicians in L.A. and New York, by jamming, writing and mixing together and trying to make sense of the ‘creative process’ involved in these.

In their workshop, Alex and Paul hope to convey how freeform playing can help in the writing process as well as the potential problems of devising music in this way.

For further information on the Institute’s courses and events, please contact:

Paul Winter-Hart Alex Dickson

Seminal Indie Guitarist Charlotte Hatherley visits the Institute

On Monday 21st January 2013, songwriter and former Ash guitarist Charlotte Hatherley will visit the Institute to give an exclusive masterclass to students at its Kilburn facilities.

Charlotte has been a professional musician since the age of fourteen. She first grabbed public attention when she joined multimillion album selling Irish rockers Ash, just two years into her career. Charlotte spent a decade with the band supplying guitar and vocals, during their most successful period.

Despite punishing touring schedules, Hatherley continued to concentrate on her songwriting skills; as well as contributing on songs with Ash she also wrote three  solo albums, Grey Will Fade, Deep Blue and New Worlds, which included collaborations with Squarepusher, Adem, Luke Smith (Depeche Mode, Foals), Alan Moulder (Nine Inch Nails, Smashing Pumpkins) and XTC’s Andy Partridge.

Charlotte has also toured with Bat For Lashes, KT Tunstall and many others.

Charlotte’s current project, Sylver Tongue, marks a new direction for her music, in which she composes on keys instead of guitar. Hatherley’s music inspirations include Japan, Tom Tom Club and Talking Heads but whilst for some, influences are used as a shortcut to their destination; Charlotte uses them as a direction to her own unique sound.

Charlotte will talk about her band experience with Ash; touring and recording extensively, and her career as a session guitarist and solo artist, which includes setting up her own label and releasing her own records. The session will also touch on aspects of songwriting and the process Charlotte follows to demo, produce and home record her material.

For further information on the Institute’s courses and events, please contact:

Charlotte Hatherley Charlotte Hatherley

Posted in Education, Events, Guitar, News

Institute launches new Masters Course For Guitar, Bass, Vocals and Drums

The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance has announced the launch of a new Masters Degree (MMus) for students of guitar, bass, drums or vocals. The course is designed to enable contemporary musicians who have excelled at undergraduate level (or who are demonstrably of this standard) to fully explore and develop their own unique, expressive and creative voices.

The Institute Masters has been designed and built using the same wealth of experience that over twenty-five years has ensured the Institute has been consistently recognised as one of the world’s leading providers of contemporary music education. Students will have the opportunity for both individual lessons and project-based study with a wide range of internationally acclaimed musicians, academics, educators and practitioners. And the course will be delivered at the Institute’s specialist facilities in London, UK.

Successful completion of the Institute Masters degree will position graduates for high level employment and/or progression to national/international PhD or DMA programmes. However, there are a limited number of places available annually and demand for entrance to this course is expected to be high.

Dr Gareth Dylan Smith, Programme Leader on the Institute Masters course, had this to say:

‘We are delighted to be launching this new Masters course for the contemporary musician, which we believe will quickly become recognised as one of the leading courses in its field.

With a teaching faculty composed of such luminaries as Professor Richard Smith from the world-renowned Thornton School of Music, Audrey Riley, with twenty-five years of experience in the rock industry and Laurence Cottle, a world-renowned bassist, students on this course will have access to a unique range of knowledge, experience and talent.

And since it is delivered in London, at the heart of the global music industry, I believe that there is no better place to continue building a music career at the highest levels’

For further information on the Institute Masters degree course, including details on how to apply, contact:

Institute of Contemporary Music Performance Masters Degree

Lick Library Bring You Jam With Foo Fighters Vol.2

LickLibrary have just launched their Jam With Foo Fighters Vol.2 guitar tuition DVD, which takes you step by step through five tracks from the Grammy award winning ‘Wasting Light’ album, plus classic tracks from ‘There is Nothing Left to Lose’ and ‘Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace’.

Top guitar teacher Danny Gill shows you how to get that unique wall of guitar sound produced by using two or three guitars in a song, looking at each part and showing you how they all fit together. Jam with Foo Fighters Vol.2 (RRP £27.99) is a double DVD complete with a CD of all the backing tracks and over two and half hours of guitar lessons. It features five tracks from the Wasting Light album; Walk, winner of Grammy Best Rock Song 2012, the melodic These DaysBridges Burningwith its gutsy machine gun guitars, Rope with its excellent demonstration of how three guitars can combine so effectively and White Limo winner of the Grammy Best Hard Rock / Metal performance 2012. Danny also looks at Breakout and Long Road to Ruin, both again from Grammy award winning albums.

If you want to play like the Foo Fighters and find out more about rhythm guitar then this is the guitar tuition DVD set for you. It is available only from where you can also find other Foo Fighters products.

Lick Library - Jam With Foo Fighters Vol.2

Posted in DVD, Education, Guitar, News