Reporting on Insight Stage Music…by Megan Savage. #TICEmusic



In 2011, I spontaneously took part in the Insight Stage at my high school with an organisation called ‘This Is Creative Enterprise’. At this point in my life, I was really confused about what I could do with my passion for the thing that I fell in love with from the very beginning – music. From a long story to short, this experience changed my perception of what the whole industry was about. This immediate assumption that the music industry is an easy path to success can is not exactly true. If you want proof or you want to know what the creative world has to offer then TICE is the place to turn to.

It’s 3 years later and I have had the pleasure of taking part in TICE for two consecutive years (2011 and 2012). But to top it off, I’ve had this incredible opportunity to do some work experience this year with the extraordinarily talented Sam Burt (Music mentor) and Jenny Barrett (Managing Director of TICE and Fashion mentor). I am going to be blogging my adventures with the TICE team this year in the music department through each stage: Insight, Explore and Create. I will also write about the fabulous Final Show which is held at Northumbria University to showcase the talented students. Keep yourself updated!
The Music Insight Stage was at Burnside Business and Enterprise College in Wallsend, which is the school that I’ve been attending for the past 7 years. It was interesting to see who was taking part – some people I knew but never actually realised that they were musicians. It was noticeable to see the people who were passionate about music and who had the potential to really succeed in the industry.
It was insightful to look from a different perspective today and actually become both a teacher and a student. It turns out that even though it’s my 3rd year of taking part in TICE, I’m still managing to learn new things. Hard to believe, but it’s true.The workshop was run by the Music mentor, Sam Burt. I remember my first day at the Insight Stage when I met this guy for the first time and I must say, it’s a pleasure to know him. His talent is exceptional and I’ve learnt more from him more than any other professional I have met. It was relatable to see the students so fascinated with his vast knowledge and experience. I strongly feel that we need more people like Sam to educate those who are dreaming big.He began the day with useful exercises and warm-ups.
One little warm-up that I loved in particular (which we did in my first year of TICE) was ‘I don’t like you, don’t you like me?’. The class divides into two different groups and face each other. As they slowly shuffle forward to end up face to face, they say:
Group 1: I don’t like you.
Group 2: Don’t you like me?
As they continue to shuffle in, they get rid of a word in the sentence, e.g ‘Don’t like you’.
It was great to see the students have so much fun!

The class also discovered things that they never truly new about, such as the real meaning of a ‘Music Engineer’ or ‘Music Producer’ and what their roles are. One interesting topic that many of the students were surprised about was the difference between a Publishing Company and a Record Label. The students did a little task in relation to this by having to figure out the meaning of different people’s role in the music business. It was clear to see that they learned so much from this. In fact, so did I!

The main part of the day was to have an idea of who has the potential to go to the next stage in TICE. 4 groups were created and their challenge was to have a little idea of an original song, to then perform in front of the class at the end of the day. They only had 30 mins-1 hour to come up with something that would take them to the next stage. But as Sam explained, it was better to have a few lines of good quality lyrics rather than an average, complete song. Many of the students took inspiration from popular songs such as ‘Stand By Me’ for chord ideas. I noticed that the vocalists were particularly struggling with lyrics, and so I encouraged them to base lyrics on personal experience. Also earlier on in the day, Sam highlighted the key topics to write songs about and I think it really helped the students in finding their sound.

The result was amazing to see. With the very short amount of time that the students had, they managed to create some impressive sounds. Of course, there were nerves and uncertainty in what they were performing but with time, that is what TICE helps people with – the chance to build confidence, contacts and commitment to your work in the most creative way possible.

Overall the Insight stage has been wonderful and I can’t wait to see the chosen students progress onto the Explore Stage.
MS x