Category Archives: Music

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

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

Rhythm of London Award winner starts out at the Institute

The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance is proud to welcome Charlotte Campbell, the winner of the Mayor’s Rhythm of London Award (part of the Mayor of London’s Gigs 2012 competition), to its student body.

Charlotte was one of hundreds of young Londoners who entered the Mayor of London Gigs Competition through an online application earlier this year and was selected to go through to the public voting stage. As one of the successful competitors, the singer-songwriter from South Rusilip took part in a five week programme of performances (21 July – 25 August) in a range of locations, including Network Rail stations, London Underground busking pitches, Olympic Park and iconic locations in the City of London including St Paul’s Churchyard and The Royal Exchange.

The judges chose their top five in each of the three categories (Youth: Soloists/Duos aged 11 – 15 years, Soloists/Duos aged 16 – 25 years, and Groups aged 11 – 25 with 3 or more members) to enter the final with a sixth performer being chosen from each by public vote.

The final took place on 1st September, at which judges chose a category winner and from those three the overall Gigs champion was chosen.  The Judges were also able to award 2 discretionary prizes, one being The Mayor’s Rhythm of London Award in Partnership with the Institute.

As the winner of the Award, twenty-three year old Charlotte won a scholarship to study on the one-year Songwriting CertHE at the Institute, worth £5750. Charlotte expressed her gratitude in gaining the place: “I’m so proud to be part of The Institute, and after my short time studying with them I feel I have progressed so much already! I am constantly being challenged to write, it’s exactly what I need to develop my skills are a songwriter. I think the best thing about it is being surrounded by like-minded individuals and taking time to really analyse the art of song-writing.”

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: ‘One of the reasons we established Rhythm of London was to give more talented youngsters the chance to perform live. I am thrilled that Charlotte Campbell has won the opportunity to study at the prestigious Institute of Contemporary Music Performance, where she will develop her craft and gain the experience to equip her for the rough and tumble of today’s music industry. This is a fantastic break for a very talented musician and I wish Charlotte every success as she develops her career.’

This is the first year the institute has partnered with the Mayor’s office on the Gigs Competition. The predecessor of the competition, the Rhythm of London Busking Underground, was won by Institute Alumnus Robbie Boyd in 2011.

Charlotte Campbell

Posted in Education, Music, News

Korda Marshall visits the Institute

Students at London’s Institute of Contemporary Music Performance were given direct access to the heart of the modern music industry recently when Korda Marshall dropped in to deliver a masterclass specifically for the business students.

Since launching its business school, the Institute has welcomed some of the music industry’s key players and Korda is no exception. He has worked with artists including Muse, ALT J, Ash, The Darkness, Take That and Seasick Steve and has been A&R director at RCA, launched Infectious Records, was managing director of Atlantic Records for 9 years and is now on the board of the BPI and OCC. Korda’s visit to the Institute coincided with him winning the Mercury Prize, AIM prize and video awards with ALT J.

Institute students were treated to a close study of Korda’s approach to artist development over the years including a fascinating case study of Muse and their rise to fame, alongside Korda’s unique view on the current state of the industry and what the future holds.

Institute business tutor Ian Ramage said “we want to say thanks to Korda for affording so much time. I saw the students after the masterclass, and they were totally knocked out by getting so much insight and detail.”

“The Institute insists on engaging the best faculty and guests to ensure the students have the most up to date information,” said Ken Foreman, business programme leader at the Institute. “Korda is among the very best in the industry and for him to take time out of his schedule to chat with the students displays his belief in the future of the industry and in what we are doing here.”

For more information about Music Business courses at the Institute contact the Institute at the following;

Korda Marshall

Posted in Education, Music, News

Rock Your Way To GCSE Music Success! With new resources from Rhinegold Education and Rockschool

Out now, Rock Your GCSE Music, bought to you by Rhinegold Education in association with Rockschool, is a set of easy-to-follow resources specifically designed to help you get the most out of your GCSE Music course and achieve your full potential in the exam. This brand new series provides eight complete half-term projects, which support theory, performance, composition, and listening, all through the medium of great music.

Rock Your GCSE Music consists of eight performing projects plus activities for listening, appraising and composing. The featured songs cover fifty years of rock classics and a wide variety of styles. They enable students to explore the language of music and different music techniques while encouraging the use of this knowledge in their own compositions. The featured tracks are: Jailhouse Rock, We Can Work It Out, Clocks, Lean On Me, Ruby, Live And Let Die, Rolling In The Deep and No Woman, No Cry.

Consisting of three distinct books, the Student Handbook, the Teacher’s Book and Ensemble Pieces, Rock Your GCSE Music is aimed at the performing element of the GCSE course and can be used with any exam board., as well as being a valuable resource for BTEC projects. The series editor is the widely respected Andrew S. Coxon, a senior GCSE music examiner with over forty years’ music education experience.

The Student Handbook provides fascinating background and context to the songs and artists, plus expert tips and advice on how to perform the songs both individually and in groups. The Teacher’s Book provides detailed lesson plans, composition and listening activities, and includes specially-composed music for aural training. The Ensemble Pieces book presents the full band scores and comes with two CD-ROMs containing all the individual parts (including tab for guitarists) and high-quality backing tracks with minus-one options – ideal for students to practise and perform with. The CD-ROMs also include additional parts for other instruments – flute, trumpet, clarinet, saxophone and keyboard – offering you the flexibility to tailor the pieces to your group.

Rockschool’s CEO commented: We are delighted to have collaborated with Rhinegold on this series of innovative books. Teachers and young rock and pop musicians can use these materials with great confidence in their exams. Andrew Coxon’s lesson plans are a model of their kind and the songs are great to perform, particularly in groups.

Rockschool provided consultancy for the project during concept development, collaborating with Rhinegold’s Managing Editor Emma Cooper and advised on the content for the Student Handbook as well as the supplementary online content. Music teacher Liz Olner commented that Rock Your GCSE Music is “a very impressive – and much needed – series!”

Rockschool staff have also recently worked with Rhinegold on their GCSE Performance Pieces series, which provides repertoire for students’ individual GCSE Music performance exams. Executive Director Jeremy Ward compiled the Piano repertoire book and the Chief Examiners for Music (Noam Lederman) and Performing Arts (Alison Pyne) worked on Drum and Voice books, respectively. Senior examiner Brian Ashworth compiled the Guitar book, while our bass specialist Stuart Clayton, compiled the Bass book.

For further information and to purchase the books please go to

Rockschool’s new (2012) Guitar, Bass and Drum syllabus is also available from and all good music shops.

Rock Your GCSE Music Student Handbook Rock Your GCSE Music Ensemble Pieces Rock Your GCSE Music Teacher's Book GCSE Performance Pieces Guitar GCSE Performance Pieces Bass GCSE Performance Pieces Drums

Nitin Sawhney ‘In Conversation’ at The Institute

On November 27th 2012, the Institute welcomes British Indian musician, producer and composer Nitin Sawhney for an ‘In Conversation With’ talk at its London facilities. The talk will take place during an Outreach Event the Institute is hosting with BASCA (British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors), as part of its developing partnership with the association.

Now signed to Universal Publishing, Nitin has made 9 studio albums, been nominated for a Mercury Music prize, received an Ivor Novello nomination, and won a MOBO, two BBC Radio 3 awards and a Southbank Show award. He has also scored over 50 films for cinema and television. His career spans production and composition work with Sting, Cirque Du Soleil, Shakira, Paul McCartney, Jeff Beck, Taio Cruz, Imogen Heap, Anoushka Shankar and many others.

This event demonstrates the Institute’s commitment to supporting the creation of original music and engaging with and recognising the positive influence of differing musical cultures. BASCA has been developing an outreach project with Diaspora, the music foundation that supports the wealth of musical talent found throughout the UK’s diverse communities. The project’s goal is to build stronger relationships with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) music creators and represent a broader range of musical genres.

This unique event will include a short presentation by BASCA followed by the ‘In Conversation With’ talk with Nitin. It is free for invited guests from Diaspora and Institute students who will benefit from an exclusive opportunity to hear from arguably the busiest, most versatile and most sought after composer and producer around.

For further information on this event or other Institute activities and courses, please contact:

Nitin Sawhney

Posted in Education, Events, Music, News

£5000 Music Business Scholarship to be won with ATC Management and the Institute

London’s Institute of Contemporary Music Performance is proud to announce its partnership with leading artist management firm ATC Management to provide the ATC Music Business Scholarship. ATC’s forward thinking approach to artist management and development makes them the ideal partner for the Institute’s innovative music business curriculum. ATC’s artist roster includes Faithless, Eliza Doolittle, Hadouken, Fink, Ethan Johns, and Kwes.

The ATC Scholarship will provide one deserving student with a fully funded place on the one year Higher Diploma in Music Business course (equivalent to the value of £4,950) to be taught at the Institute, London. The Music Business courses at the Institute are designed and delivered by leading music industry professionals and offer a unique opportunity to learn and apply management principles and business skills through working alongside talented artists and composers. The ATC Scholarship and wider collaboration brings the reality of the commercial music industry into the classroom from day one.

As part of the partnership, ATC will provide a panel of experts to judge and decide on the winner of the scholarship. The winning student will also get the opportunity to spend time working at the ATC London offices gaining experience and learning directly from the professionals.

In addition to the Scholarship, ATC will also be providing guest speakers throughout the year to teach on the Music Business course. Students will get the opportunity to learn first-hand about the processes specifically involved in the artist management side of the music industry.

Music Business Programme Leader Ken Foreman added: “ATC is one of the leading artist management companies at the forefront of the new music industry. They are driving huge changes in the methods by which young talent is scouted and how careers are driven forward from a business perspective.  We are extremely pleased to welcome them as part of the fabric of the new business school.”

Hopeful applicants wishing to apply for the Scholarship will need to submit a 1000 word business case for a new music business idea or concept. Proposals will be judged on their creativity and viability. For more information about the ATC Music Business Scholarship or the Higher Diploma in Music Business course, please contact the Institute directly:


ATC Music Business Scholarship

Posted in Education, Music, News