Music – Week 1:

TICE are currently delivering creative courses in collaboration with Generator and their new project, Ladders. This course enables young people between the age of 18-24 to explore their inner creativity and help them improve their knowledge of their chosen field. I have the delight of looking in on their music course and it has certainly been a brilliant first week!


The mentor of the group, Sam Burt, puts his heart and soul into music and really gives the group an insight into what is expected in the music industry and the best ways to get involved. In the first session, Sam told the group his experience and the music he has created during that time – everyone in the group seemed enthusiastic and excited about the programme. He gave some friendly advice to the group “How can you educate yourself?” as he went on to explain that the music industry is so competitive. It was clear as day that everyone in the course can learn throughout the eight-week period, but also find their inner creativity and musical talent and flourish in their work!

After introductions and getting to know the group a bit better, they took part in an exercise which involved letting the group express what they wanted to find out and what they find difficult. “I’d like to know more about the music industry” was favorably mentioned, which is great for this course as I can tell from only being there for the first week that the group is going to find out so much information about the industry itself. Another exclaimed that it’s “hard to find opportunities” which is exactly why Ladders exists – it opens many doors for young people and exposes fantastic opportunities via. growth in contacts. There’s a wide range in what people aspire to do but the course has been able to accommodate everyone.


During the second session the group had the delight of visiting Loft Studios – a cosy studio based in Newcastle City Centre. It was a great way for the students to look around and get a feel of what they could be involved with in the future. They spoke to the co-owner of Loft, John who is a producer, worked for games and well known shows like CSI – a really interesting perspective for the group. He let us listen to a piece that he is currently working on and all the individual samples he uses to get the piece completed and up to the standard that he wants. It all seemed very complicated but the group were in a trance as he did it. He was extremely helpful talking to the guys about editing and talked of various software that they could use. He described it as “making traditional sound modern” which is exactly what he achieved! There were no questions from the group as he pretty much covered everything they needed to know and the guys seemed enthusiastic about everything that John was saying. “Be a songwriter, be a producer, then put on a lab coat and be a scientist” were his words of wisdom.

img_2815We then met Wayne Mcdonald who is the cofounder of Generator, or as the mentor Sam said in the first session “The Godfather of Generator”. Wayne exclaimed “we all have a passion for music, you can indulge”. He gave us a bit of background of how he first started out and explained he started out in radio and that “DJ’ing comes hand in hand with producing”. I think he made a really big impact on the group as he talked about working with big named artists and gave some really good advice. The one thing he couldn’t stress enough was contacts, contacts, contacts!


“Your network is your net worth” and “everyone starts somewhere” is possibly the best advice Wayne could’ve given about the music industry and due to his experience the group hung on to every word. Wayne was an inspiration who gave a real insight into the potential of a successful career in the music industry.

The whole group seem to be incredibly enthusiastic about the course and are thrilled to continue the course over the next few weeks!

By India Kennedy.