The biggest names in the music industry launch a diploma program to discover the stars of tomorrow
Young people who dream of breaking into the world of music have been stimulated by the creation of a new diploma.
And the program, launched by the prestigious Ivors Academy and aimed at breaking down barriers of origin and encouraging diversity, comes with the support of some big names in the industry.
They hope to identify the likes of the next Sam Fender, the Geordie songwriting sensation who won Best Song Musically and Lyrically for his single Seventeen Going Under at the prestigious Ivors Awards earlier this month.
The new academic qualification, called TheWRD, is a two-year degree in creative entrepreneurship. The UCAS accredited course was created by key music insiders to directly improve access and increase opportunity for participants with a keen interest in popular music.
And among those leading the charge are Academy Award and Grammy Award-winning record producer Paul Epworth and Brit Award and Ivor Novello award-winning songwriter Jamie Hartman.
“It took me 30 years to go from busking Portobello Road to winning the Ivor Novello Award for Songwriting last year,” said Hartman, who wrote worldwide hits with Lewis Capaldi, Calvin Harris, Jennifer Hudson, Celeste and Rag ‘N Bone Man.
He added: “And that’s only because a music producer heard my songs and gave me my first chance. I was very lucky. How lucky a kid with no connections to a place like Barnsley has he, if he does not have access to local mentors, instruments, the right facilities and technology?”
Hartman argues that local and regional live scenes have all but disappeared and pathways into the sector are narrowing, “especially if you’re not excelling in school or going to a top university” .
“It is innovative projects like TheWRD that will revolutionize the company. Everyone from songwriters and managers to editors and label heads came together to create a benchmark course, with real opportunities.
Epworth, who won the Oscar for Best Original Song with Adele’s James Bond song “Skyfall,” and whose production credits include Rihanna, Florence and The Machine, U2, Coldplay and Lianne La Havas, will be him. -same tutor and mentor on the degree and warned that Britain risked “losing future music superstars because the music industry was too expensive and too exclusive”.
The course will be delivered through a combination of AI-based distance learning, as well as regular group sessions and mentorship days at local music venues across the UK.
Students will be taught and mentored by top music artists, publishers, producers and composers and study all aspects of the industry including music, technology and culture, live music, entrepreneurship and image brand.
The course will be publicly funded for those who qualify, or it may be privately funded, and scholarships will be available to help pay for fees.
Graham Davies, CEO of Ivors Academy, said: “Music was the only thing I was good at when I was at school, and I was lucky enough to take a music course, but financial pressures then have nothing to do with what they are today.. I doubt I could have taken the same course today and that’s why I’m so excited about TheWRD. really going to help break down the barriers that keep people from entering this industry.”
The Ivors Academy was founded in 1944 and its annual Ivor Novello Awards recognize the best songwriters and composers from around the world.
The Academy itself is the leading independent professional association of songwriters and composers and its members include Ed Sheeran, Annie Lennox, Stormzy, Paul McCartney, Joan Armatrading and Elton John.
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