Lessons in being the next big star

Ex Kajagoogoo bass player Nic Beggs gives a bass master class at the academy
Ex Kajagoogoo bass player Nic Beggs gives a bass master class at the academy

Budding pop stars can take their first step on the career ladder when a unique national contemporary rock and pop performance college teams up with Aylesbury College in September.

The Academy of Music & Sound has been asked to run its most popular course, a two-year BTEC Level 3 diploma in music performance.

Students go on to work in the music industry as performers, session musicians, sound engineers, tour managers, producers and teachers. And universities welcome students who have completed the course, which has an academic element including music theory and sight reading, attracting 480 UCAS points.

Academy centre manager Steve Leigh said: “Students love us and parents are sceptical until they realise we have a strong academic basis. We focus on modern music since the birth of rock’n’roll in the 1950s with particular appeal to singers, drummers and guitarists.

“We also do a lot of music technology, with the emphasis on recording software.

“We teach the students to sight read so that they can gain employment as session musicians and teachers. We run master classes with our great contacts in the industry. We have had musicians from Lily Allen and Dizzee Rascal’s bands talking to our students, they tell them the good and the bad about the industry.”

Students, aged 16 to 24, have weekly live performances and end of term gigs. Recruiting and auditioning has started now for a September intake of 40 students. A big launch event with a big name act, currently under wraps, is planned for the beginning of June, and Mr Leigh will be at the college open day on Thursday, June 13.