WaterBear Sheffield, the pioneering college of music opening to students in September 2023, is celebrating a hugely successful launch event held at the college’s new state-of-the-art campus in the heart of the city centre.
A culmination of hard work by the passionate WaterBear team has created an unrivalled learning space for students starting this September. Over 250 people visited WaterBear Sheffield for an afternoon of live music and networking, including the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, WaterBear’s industry partners, tutors, offer holders, parents and those interested in finding out more about the various BA and MA music degree courses on offer. At the event, the college’s Co-Founders and music education pioneers Adam Bushell and Bruce John Dickinson welcomed guests and shared an insight to the college, before WaterBear Sheffield was declared officially open by Sheffield-based rapper, songwriter and producer Coco, who cut the ribbon.
Following the success of WaterBear’s inaugural college in Brighton, WaterBear Sheffield will offer a rich programme of BA (Hons) Degree and MA music degree courses, embracing the college’s unique founding ethos of supporting DIY musicians, artists and industry professionals in building a sustainable career in the music industry.
Throughout the day, live performances were enjoyed from local artists including singer, songwriter and social media phenomenon ADMT, Harri Larkin, Kid Blu3e, Simsimsosa and WaterBear’s very own electronic duo from Brighton, Voicenotes. Guests also had the invaluable opportunity to explore the new facility, discover more about the programmes on offer and speak with members of the WaterBear team.
In another key highlight of the event, Sheffield-based rapper Kid Blu3e was celebrated as the recipient of the much-coveted WaterBear Pattern + Push Scholarship. The newly launched scholarship in collaboration with Pattern + Push, a platform which supports new and emerging talent to achieve their goals, aligns with the college’s work to support widening participation and access to higher education pathways.
Before the anticipated ribbon cutting, guest speaker Coco addressed the audience:
“This is an amazing opportunity for young kids in South Yorkshire. I have been creating music since 2006 and there hasn’t been anything like this, as far as I’m aware, a hub for music, in a college where you can hone your craft, work with people, and network. I’m lucky enough to do music full time now, but it was a struggle. It is just great to see everyone come together and see something feasible. When you are coming up and doing music, people don’t always see it as a real job, you get judged along the way. So, I’m honoured to be here, and I am excited to come down and see what everyone does.”
WaterBear’s Co-Founder Bruce Dickinson welcomed attendees and said:
“This college in Sheffield for us, is a culmination of over 25 years in music higher education. In that time, music colleges have changed a lot, but the music industry has changed more in a really fundamental way. By 2018, Adam and I realised that we had to ‘get back on the horse’, because the UK needed a new type of music college, we felt the music industry had changed so much, that music education needed to catch up and do the same.
“We set off in Brighton and we stuck to our core values; small class sizes, supported by a strong community spirit, underpinned by a DIY ethic with a city-wide campus – working with the local studios, venues and rehearsal spaces, investing in the music community and being a part of it. Hand in glove with that, you get these strong career outcomes which are central to what we do, and we look forward to echoing that here in Sheffield.”
WaterBear offers BA (Hons) degree and master’s courses made for today’s musicians, artists and industry professionals. The college has built an unrivalled reputation for its dedication to specialist one-to-one mentoring, focused class sizes, flexible course delivery and exclusive career development opportunities. WaterBear colleges are based in the heart of Brighton and Sheffield, and also offers a range of online distance learning courses too.