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WaterBear Development Week Supporting Careers in the Music Industry

Posted on December 14, 2023

Instead of being closed for ‘Reading Week’ as is usual for universities, we scheduled some great opportunities and events during ‘Development Week’ in Sheffield, Brighton and online. 

Upholding our emphasis on ‘learning-by-doing’ the WaterBear Careers and Industry team organised a week jam packed with activities from masterclasses, Q&A’s through to soundcheck experiences. The events were curated to give DIY artists and music business entrepreneurs invaluable music industry insights. 

Music industry speakers

During the week students were joined by some fantastic speakers across all areas of the music business with lots of stories to tell and advice to offer. Here are some of the highlights below: 

Universal Music Group A&R advice 

In Sheffield we were joined by Ellie and Arnas, representatives from Universal Music Group A&R who shared valuable insights into the current landscape of the music industry. They also shared A&R advice to students who had the opportunity to perform their tracks. 

Key strategies for independent artists with Ditto Music 

Sam Wilce, Partnership Manager from Ditto Music, discussed key strategies for independent artists to understand how to grow commercially as an artist within the digital era. Ditto Music are an online music distribution, management and record label services company supporting over 700,000 independent artists. Ditto also partner on our BA (Hons) Professional Music (Business) degree

Insights into the music business

The 'Reality Check Your Career' masterclass provided students with invaluable insights into various aspects of a professional artist’s team, featuring booking agent, music manager, PR agent, and indie label representative: Josie Faulkner (Big Scary Monsters), Katie Pilbeam (Inside/Out PR), Maria Torres (Mother Artists), and Jule Conrad (FMLY Agency). 

Masterclass with Anastasia Walker of Bang Bang Romeo

Singer and songwriter Anastasia Walker of Bang Bang Romeo + Star led a captivating masterclass with our Sheffield students discussing her growth as a musician and how to market yourself as an independent artist. 

Toolroom Records masterclass and Q&A 

Dance label Toolroom Records discussed 'Music Release Strategies for Independent Electronic Music Artists.' And offered A&R advice to those presenting their tracks. 

The Rosadocs Soundcheck and Q&A 

Students experienced a live soundcheck and Q&A with The Rosadocs before their huge headline show at the Sheffield City Hall. The Rosadocs are a 5-piece anthemic indie-rock band from Sheffield, UK. 

Tigercub Live Soundcheck 

Students were treated to a live soundcheck experience with Tigercub before their gig at The Leadmill and 10 lucky students received tickets for the gig itself. Tigercub are a three-piece rock band from Brighton, UK who in 2022 completed a huge US tour from Nashville to New York. 

Mastering the art of independent artist management 

Rich Goodwin, manager of The Reytons, engaged students in a masterclass and Q&A session on mastering the art of independent artist management. The Reytons are an indie-rock band from Rotherham and in January 2023 reached number 1 in the UK Album Charts, have just sold-out Sheffield Arena and announced a 20,000-capacity show in Rotherham for July 2024. 

The musical theory of relativity, planets and celestial bodies 

Bringing a touch of science into the week was Guy Jones (The Sound Guy) a composer, performer, educator and multi-instrumentalist from Brighton with his Music Theory Masterclass. Students delved into the intriguing connection between music theory and the universe. 

Feel the fear and do it anyway workshop 

Performance Scientist and Rasha Shaheen and Transformational Coach Carina Loweth empowered students in a workshop focused on overcoming fears. 

String quartet workshop at the WaterBear Venue

A Brighton based string quartet joined us at the Waterbear Venue where students had the opportunity to play and record their original songs with them. Sontronics recorded their live tracks and WaterBear students from the BA (Hons) Professional Music (Production) shadowed them, learning essential mic and recording techniques. 

Wellness session 

Mike Ross, our Student Wellbeing Manager undertook a wellness session sharing practical tools and techniques to balance their musical pursuits and personal wellbeing. 

Eve Massaad, Director or Marketing explains: “It was an exciting and invaluable experience for our students, and hopefully they went away with lots of ideas, new skills and new contacts to support their ambitions and future career within the music industry. It is essential students are exposed to the workings of the music industry from the start to discover the different opportunities available to give them the confidence to pursue them. It also is important on many levels for students to engage with as many experiences and opportunities as possible. This will help them navigate and steer a career path in the music industry that really motivates them whilst broadening their network.” 

WaterBear - The College of Music

WaterBear offers BA (Hons) degree and master’s courses made for today’s musicians, artists and industry professionals. Our colleges are based in the heart of Brighton and Sheffield, two amazing UK cities with incredible musical roots and heritage. We also have a range of online distance learning courses too. 

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WaterBear is a College of Falmouth University, a pioneer in creative industries education, entrepreneurship and innovation. Run by musicians, for musicians we are about smaller class sizes, flexible course delivery, bespoke one-to-one mentoring and exclusive work experience and career development opportunities. 

By Waterbear

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WaterBear Education Ltd, Hanover House,
118 Queens Road, Brighton BN1 3XG, UK  Map

Email: [email protected]
Tel: +44 (0) 1273 726230

WaterBear Sheffield, Unit 4, Gatecrasher,
49 Eyre Lane, Sheffield S1 4RB, UK

Email: [email protected]
Tel: +44 (0) 1143 992720

Why We're WaterBear...

- ‘Water bear’ is the common name for a Tardigrade.
- Tardigrades are micro creatures, found everywhere on earth.
- They are the most resilient creatures known.
- They can survive and adapt to their surroundings, even in outer space.
- Their resilience and ability to adapt and survive inspires us in everything we do. We love them.

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