My name is Sam Burt and I have been the TICE Music Mentor since we started in 2008.

Over the years I have formed a number of artist projects and worked with record labels and publishers such as Universal and BMG. My music has been featured on TV, radio, computer games, adverts, animations and short films worldwide. Together with my brother my current artist project is Border Scout. I also write songs and produce for other artists – from local talent to major label signings. I compose film trailer music under the name Frontier 35 and have a number of tracks published by Hollywood based companies. I am a music journalist too and write for the music production specialist website Sample Library Review. Alongside all of this, I maintain a role as a primary, secondary and community music tutor. I have a BA Hons 2.1 in English Literature and Archaeology from The University of Newcastle but surprisingly have no formal music qualifications. I am entirely self-taught and as such this has enabled me to develop a unique pedagogy that works extremely well alongside more formal courses in schools and colleges.

When I am not in the studio or teaching I will be running, preferably up in the mountains, on trails or along the beach. I also grow bonsai trees, orchids and whatever other plants I can get my greenfingers on. There is something about planting seeds and watching them grow that I love, whether that is a sweet pea in the border or sowing ideas and inspiration in young people!

My aim on TICE courses is to give students a broad view of the entire music industry, including the full range of careers available. A foundation in the art and craft of writing, producing and performing is also paramount in my tuition. But perhaps more than anything the vision in my education work is to encourage, inspire and empower young people to go ahead and pursue their dreams. A life in music is a rewarding but very challenging endeavour on many levels and even when my formal time with students has finished I am always available to offer help and advice, sometimes years down the line.

I am involved with TICE because I feel there is a huge amount of mystery and uncertainty between jamming in the bedroom to working at a professional level, which often deters young people from considering it as a serious career option. TICE Music helps bridge this gap. Purely academic courses often fail to prepare students for the real world of the music industry, like we do in TICE. The course is a clear introduction to a vibrant creative industry, which hopefully sets many students on course to a happy and fulfilling career in music. Even if this should not happen the students acquire a range of skills – communicative, business and social – that can easily be applied to other disciplines. I have also found, during the past 10 years of the programme, that the particular type of student TICE attracts are by far the most talented and rewarding young people I get to work with. I am now getting to see young people I worked with at age 14 mature and have real success with music into adulthood, which is hugely rewarding and long may it continue.


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