WaterBear, the leading music college based in Brighton and Sheffield, recently concluded its highly anticipated Student Development Week, providing independent, DIY artists and musicians with enriching industry experiences.
Throughout the week-long event across Brighton and Sheffield, which replaced a traditional university Reading Week, students had the invaluable opportunity to participate in a variety of masterclasses, interactive sessions, engaging talks, gigs and networking opportunities while exploring their musical potential.
Students were captivated by the intriguing connection between music theory and the universe in Guy Jones' 'The Musical Theory of Relativity, Planets and Celestial Bodies' masterclass, and were empowered during the 'Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway’ workshop, delivered by Performance Scientist Rasha Shaheen and Transformational Coach Carina Loweth. Other notable sessions included a masterclass with singer-songwriter Anastasia Walker, of Bang Bang Romeo + Star, and an A&R feedback and talk with Toolroom Records discussing ‘Music Release Strategies for Independent Electronic Music Artists’.
Further highlights included representatives from Universal Music Group A&R, who shared valuable insights on the music industry’s current landscape, and Sam Wilce, Partnership Manager from Ditto Music who discussed key strategies for independent artists to thrive in the digital era. Later in the week Rich Goodwin, manager of The Reytons, an indie-rock band from Rotherham joined students for a masterclass and Q&A ‘Mastering the Art of Independent Artist Management’.
In another session, 'Reality Check Your Career’, students gained an insight into all aspects of a professional artist’s team. Speakers included a booking agent, music manager, PR agent and indie label - Josie Faulkner (Big Scary Monsters), Katie Pilbeam (Inside/Out PR), Maria Torres (Mother Artists), and Jule Konrad (FMLY Agency).
Significantly, independent artists and musicians at the college attended immersive experiences including live soundchecks and insightful Q&A sessions with prominent bands such as The Rosadocs and Tigercub. In Brighton, a String Quartet workshop was held whereby students had the unrivalled opportunity to play and record their original songs with the musicians; Sontronics, a UK-based Microphone specialist was on hand to record their live tracks. During the session, WaterBear’s BA (Hons) Production students shadowed the group, learning how to properly mic and record a quartet.
With a focus on student support, WaterBear organised a wellness session delivered by Mike Ross, Student Wellbeing Manager at the college. The session provided attendees with practical tools and techniques to maintain harmony between their musical pursuits and personal wellbeing.
Reflecting on the success of Development Week, Damian Morgan Head of Careers and Industry Liaison at WaterBear expressed, “At WaterBear we prioritise a ‘learning from inside the industry’ approach by partnering with some of the biggest names and brands in music. The unrivalled access to a diverse range of masterclasses, talks, interactive sessions and gigs during Development Week empowered our students to explore their potential, gain invaluable industry insight and come away with new ideas and contacts.”
WaterBear offers BA (Hons) degree and master’s courses made for today’s musicians, artists and industry professionals. The college has built an unrivalled reputation for its dedication to specialist one-to-one mentoring, focused class sizes, flexible course delivery and exclusive career development opportunities. WaterBear colleges are based in the heart of Brighton and Sheffield, and also offer a range of online distance learning courses.