Access To Music is an independent training provider with colleges across England – based in London, Brighton, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, York, Mansfield, Lincoln, Great Yarmouth and Norwich. It was founded in 1992 to promote and improve music education and quickly expanded, now offering diverse, creative learning opportunities and qualifications for over 16s – from level 1 to BA (Hons). Current, notable alumni include Ed Sheeran (pictured above with Ian Johnson – Partnerships Manager and Head of Artist Development for South/South East), Rita Ora, Jess Glynne, Ria Ritchie, Vanessa White, ‘Let’s Eat Grandma’ and the founders of Takeover Entertainment.
Today, the Norwich centre (based at Epic Studios) runs courses in music, media and theatre, with games design set to launch in September 2017.
Access To Music Norwich has been based in our building since 2013 and provides the perfect creative learning environment for its 275 students. Alongside well-resourced seminar & lecture rooms, sound-proofed production/post-production and live recording spaces within the college itself, they also benefit from ‘real-world’ TV production and event technology experiences in our fully operational and adjoining, 10,000sq ft. studios.
I asked centre manager, Dan Foden, what else he attributes the success and growth of Access To Music to – and requested some information about upcoming events / dates of interest associated with the college. This is what he had to say:
“I think our success is down to the fact that our courses are enjoyable, practical and hands-on experiences. As a provider, Access To Music has always adapted to the changes in the creative industries and our courses reflect that. For example, Gaming is a growing area of employment, yet there are few courses offering specialism in the field. We’ve seen a lot of uptake in this new area and our students will be feeding those employers as the industry grows.
“We provide a really good, industry focused learner experience for young people which is an excellent alternative to sixth form. We work hard to connect our students up with opportunities that will aid their progression and our industry links are excellent. As we are specialists in the creative industries and also the largest independent Further Education provider, we have a lot of connections and some influence, which means people want to work with us. This all adds to making the student experience a really relevant and exciting one.
“Since we moved to the Epic premises, we have seen major growth. The facility almost seems purpose built for the areas we deliver. We have studios, tech suites and a venue in-house, a venue upstairs and many opportunities for our students to get involved. We are very excited about the ongoing development for Access To Music as we move into new areas. It’s a great place to be – a really good community for young people.
“There is an Access To Music Taster Day on June 2nd and Open Days throughout the year. We are also at Norwich Gaming Festival, Latitude and Sundown festivals with our students during the next few months.”
There is a thriving local music scene and vibrant creative community in Norwich and Access To Music has a multitude of established relationships with other local venues and businesses that further enhance student experiences. Meanwhile, aside from Access To Music’s unique facility and creative connections here, Norwich attracts students with 23 parks, 150 acres of historic woodland, one of the lowest crime rates in the UK and a better-than-average success rate for new businesses. Maybe this is why they refuse to leave! Over 40% of graduates continue to live and work locally after completing their studies, with 26% of the city’s total population currently between the ages of 16-29.
Access To Music is still interviewing candidates to start in September so, if you’re interested in studying music, media, theatre or gaming, you can apply via their website – www.accesstomusic.co.uk.