I get emails every day, asking if people can come and work with me to get some experience. I also get people asking me whether they should go to music college rather than trying to get hands-on experience.
I was always of the opinion that getting hands-on experience from a studio lets you learn more than you would in college, which was true when I started. But there’s been a lot of changes in the music industry since the 90s, mainly in technology, and a great deal of colleges have sprung up too. There is a massive amount of education and opportunities now for the music industry.
Today, there are so many different courses in a wide variety of niches, and there’s no reason, when you’re in your 20s, why you shouldn’t go to music college to learn something in an area you’re passionate about. Music college lets you try ten different things at a time, so you get a bit of the various aspects of it, and you can follow whichever one sparks your interest afterwards. You may even find your niche there. Remember, however, that most people who teach there only work to a certain level, or else they’d be doing it full time, although it’s probably enough to give you a taster.
Life is like a sine wave. On days when you’re on the drop, you want to be in a job that you enjoy, that will help you push through. So yes, go to music college, but go there mainly to find the niche that you then want to go into.
And while you’re in there, gain some experience. Find your niche and try and get a job within that part of the music industry later. That will also go alongside what you’re learning And then by having that job outside of college, you’ll be able to network in the right circles for exactly what you want to do.
By the time you graduate, you know how things work, and that’s going to give you a massive head start against anybody that’s just sent letters off to people. There’s nothing worse than starting on a career path, doing it for a few years, and realising it’s not for you. The best thing to do is to try and get an education in an area that you want to do. Find that niche, hone in on it, get some work outside, and then go for it.