My name is Louis Wild, an aspiring composer, producer, and pianist. From January to March 2019 I was lucky enough to be part of cohort 6 of the Ladders Music Programme. Being involved in Ladders has really broadened my horizons about what careers in the music industry I could pursue, which was especially helpful for me as a sixth form student, as this is a time in my life where I am about to make some important decisions that will shape my future.

I started having piano lessons at the age of 9, but my passion for music didn’t become fully fledged until I began making my own music in my GCSE lessons. Since then I have been constantly composing, and I am now in the final of the ORA Singers Youth Composer Competition.

I first found out about Ladders online (my mum sent me a link!) and I signed up for it not really knowing what a great experience I was getting in for, but I am so glad that I did. The huge range of places we visited really gave me a taste of what the music scene in Newcastle is like. Also, the amazing people who were kind enough to tell us about their roles in the music industry (guest speakers and course leader Sam Burt) were all incredible!

It is difficult to pick out my favourite moment from the whole course when we had so many varied and enjoyable experiences. From having a behind the scenes tour of the O2 Academy to visiting the Lit and Phil for an insightful session about songwriting, Ladders had it all. However, my personal highlight was when we got free studio time at Blank Studios as an opportunity to create our own musical projects. I decided to make a piece in the style of movie trailer music after taking inspiration from Sam Burt who is well versed in this type of music. While it was a steep learning curve, I am very pleased with how it has turned out (so far) and I’m looking forward to making more music like this.

All the guest speakers and people we visited were informative and unselfishly shared with us knowledge they had gained from their years of experience in the music industry. Andrew Archer (co-owner of Loft music studios) introduced us to the world of licensing, Dr Kitty Porteous of the Arts Council England and Ellie Turner of Community Foundation discussed how arts funding works and mentioned different funds that we may be eligible to apply for while Roma Yagnik told us about her life as a professional composer. It was a great opportunity to learn from these people and all the other interesting people that we met, and I am thankful to them for taking time out of their schedule to speak to us.

Most of all though, I can’t stress enough how kind and enthusiastic the music mentor Sam Burt has been since we met on the first week of Ladders. He is always willing to help, and any time I have a music related question he always replies to my emails! It encourages me to become a musician knowing that there are people as talented as him in the industry in Newcastle. He’s an inspiration.

I am very excited about what is to come in the music industry for me. Being creative and making music is what I enjoy the most, and Ladders has made the possibility of this being my full-time career much more likely, so for that, I am incredibly thankful. I would definitely recommend Ladders to anyone who wants a career in the creative industries as it has given me a huge push in the right direction to the point at which I now can’t see myself having a career in anything except music.