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Music Enterprise Outreach by Students from ICMuS

Music Enterprise Outreach by Students from ICMuS

Students from the International Centre for Music Studies (ICMuS) at Newcastle University have been showcasing their creativity and innovation, reaching out to audiences in Newcastle and Gateshead through a series of innovative music-related events. The students presented 16 highly successful events across a wide range of musical genres, raising over £1650 for charities, creating platforms for emerging artists and unique artistic collaborations, providing workshops for schools and performances in iconic venues. Audience and venue feedback has been extremely positive and as a result there have been requests for repeat performances and future events.
Module leader Jane Nolan said, ‘This exciting outreach work has formed part of the students’ academic studies through their Music Enterprise module. The module helps them prepare for their futures by gaining knowledge, skills and know-how to support employment, self-managed portfolio careers or to establish a creative and artistic practice’. Students form event management teams, come up with ideas, research and develop them, negotiate with venues and artists and create brands and marketing campaigns, leading up to the actual presentation of their event.

Events are often inspired by passion for a cause or an interest, with students engaging audiences with their vision, raising awareness as well as providing an enjoyable experience. An excellent example of this was Arts for Oceans, which drew attention to environmental issues by creating an event which brought together Newcastle University musicians, fine artists and marine biologists to showcase emerging visual and musical talent. Arts for Oceans raised over £400 for the Marine Conservation Society and the success of the event has led to plans for further events in the future.

Events often involve ICMuS musicians, both current students and graduates. Pop around the Clock featured music from 1950s to the 2000s, raising money for Oasis Community Housing. Music students performed songs made famous by artists such as Frank Sinatra and Neil Young in a musical journey through the decades. Abbie Allison, Community Fundraiser for Oasis said ‘We were delighted when the team decided to organise their very creative and enjoyable 'Pop around the Clock' event in aid of our charity. The students were highly professional and well organised , raising £237 for our work through ticket sales and a bucket collection on the night’. An innovative live music mystery quiz, Who Sang It, raised money for Macmillan Cancer support, with ICMuS musicians singing well-known popular songs. The evening came to a close with a memorable performance by ICMuS graduates Luna Blu.

La Vida Loca showcased the talents of the ICMuS Salsa musicians, with expert dancers teaching the audience Salsa dancing in aid of La Vida Charity, which supports grass roots projects in the fields of education and health throughout Latin America. Think Alternative, a night of rock music at the iconic Cluny in aid of Tyneside and Northumberland MIND raised over £300 for the charity; Time for Tyne helped to launch an EP at the Tyne Bar. Students have helped to share the talents of university societies, creating events such as And All that Jazz at the Newcastle Arts Centre, where the Newcastle University Big Band and Swing Dance Society entertained the audience during a 1920s themed evening. The specialist knowledge of two ICMuS postgraduate students was shared through a well-attended masterclass, Synthesis, which demonstrated techniques for electronic music production and featured an exciting performance of original work.

Many of the Music Enterprise students have a strong interest in education and this was reflected in a number of events for children and families. These included a very engaging workshop, Trad Littl’uns, at Bede Community Primary School in Gateshead, which was delivered by ICMuS graduate Arian Sterreveld. Seven Stories hosted two very successful events. Elmer’s Colourful Concert was performed to a sell-out audience and featured original songs written by the team, which were performed by ICMuS musicians and were very warmly receivedRockabilly Boogie, also at Seven Stories, combined dance with arts and crafts activities for young children and their families. Rachel Pattinson, Vital Partnership Manager at Seven Stories said, ‘Both events have received very positive feedback from customers and colleagues. It was great to work with the students, who put so much energy and creativity into delivering these events!’

In addition to Schools, Seven Stories and music venues, teams created events which brought music and visual art into local business Flat Cap Coffee and a ‘musical coffee morning’ to Basement Snaxx.
Students have commented on the learning which has come out of their work on their events, as they have put theory into action. Jade Pearson said, ‘The experience of curating a music event in a team was a very exciting opportunity which gave us many lessons in event management through experience. Being part of the team which created Arts for Oceans was more fun than anything, being able to showcase our talented friends and finding a charity which supported us. Our event was invigorating and rewarding. The Music Enterprise module has sparked a great interest in arts event management and taught me how to run an event like Arts for Oceans successfully, giving me and my team a drive to carry on with this pursuit’.

Their outreach and innovation through the module events has showcased musical and artistic talent and created value in a diverse range of settings from primary schools to iconic city centre venues. Students have enjoyed the ‘buzz’ and the impact they have created, making a difference through the application of their skills and knowledge and presenting events which have enabled their audiences to engage with and enjoy diverse forms and genres of music. Past students of Music Enterprise, now graduates of ICMuS, have commented on the value and experience of the module in gaining their current roles in the music industry and beyond, including Lewis Walker, Digital Marketing Manager of SSD Concerts and Chris Theobald, the Technical Supervisor looking after lighting, sound and incoming productions at the Royal Albert Hall. Chris said of Music Enterprise, ‘The module taught me key lessons that I will always be able to draw on.’ Graduate Izzy Galvin works as an Account Development Manager for Asahi UK. She has recently been involved with organising two weeks of immersive experiences as part of the “London City Hit Campaign” which ranged from open mic to quiz nights, a yard market and an evening party. Izzy said: ‘I feel these two weeks were the perfect example of when I really needed the skills I acquired during the Music Enterprise module. Everything from social media, event management, working within a team and time management, to the logistics of equipment, people and attendees are skills I had learnt during my time on the Music Enterprise Course. Most importantly, my long term career goals are to move into the marketing and events team full time, and having the Music Enterprise Module on my CV gives my degree true relevance. It also helps to facilitate a well-rounded CV, which is vital to prospective employers’.

Music Enterprise offers the opportunity to prepare for future careers and has been recognised by HE Advance (formerly the Higher Education Academy) as an example of national good practice

Further information

Jane Nolan, Lecturer in Music Enterprise, ICMuS