From education to employment

Did someone say road trip? Revolutionising the way that musical education is taught

Resonance takes new approach to recruit students

New music institute Resonance is taking a unique approach to attracting students – by taking a band on a roadshow tour of colleges across the country. 

The Resonance Roadshow band of music professionals will show prospective music students what the brand new state-of-the-art music institute is all about. 

Based at the spectacular Waterfront in Brierley Hill, Dudley, just over half an hour from Birmingham City Centre, Resonance will be opening the doors to its first cohort of students in 2020. Organisers of the roadshow will use the tour to highlight the myriad of careers available in the music industry – many of which are covered by the degree courses on offer at Resonance.  

Co-director Rick Benton, who currently plays keyboard with West Midlands icons Magnum, has assembled a band of talented musicians to help demonstrate how Resonance could kick-start a career in the music industry. 

Singer with the roadshow band is Samantha Dorrance, 27, who while being a singer/songwriter in her own right, is also a children’s TV presenter and face of the Disney Channel. 

She is joined by guitarist Greg Platt Lake, a session musician who has been working professionally since leaving school at the age of 16, and has worked all over the world with acts such as Steve Winwood and Robert Plant.  

They will be joined by session drummers Lloyd Draker and Richard Kirk, who has played with the likes of Scorpions guitarist Uli Jon Roth, Limehouse Lizzy and the Grey Goose Blues Band; bassist Dan Clark who has played alongside Steve Vai, Scott Matthews and Beverley Knight; and Rick himself on the keys. 

“We’re all looking forward to packing up our instruments into the back of a van and heading off around the country to spread the word of Resonance,” said Rick.

“For us it’ll be like gigging as many of us have done for years, but these roadshows will be a unique way for us to demonstrate to young people considering a career in music how great coming to Resonance will be for them. It will be one of the best institutes of its kind in the country and I have no doubt that a lot of people will thrive in the learning environment we are creating.” 

As well as performing songs and engaging students in music techniques, the sessions will also aim to provide a wider picture about careers in music.  

“One of the things we are keen to stress here at Resonance is that while a career on stage is something that many will aspire too, there are lots of other careers in music you can follow,” said David Barnard, fellow co-director at Resonance.  

“From the expertise needed for a live show to happen, to things like music teaching, the opportunities within the industries are endless. The point of these shows is to show the students that whatever their ambition is within music, Resonance can help them achieve it.” 

Resonance will be offering degree courses in Popular Music Performance, Popular Music Production, Popular Music Performance & Production, Digital Music and Music Business from 2020. 

Councillor Ian Kettle, cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise at Dudley Council, said: 

“The roadshows are the start of an exciting journey which will bring hundreds of students to the new music institute in the borough, really putting Dudley on the national map. 

“Resonance will be at the heart of DY5, Dudley’s Business and Innovation Enterprise Zone, and will massively boost both our local and regional economy.” 

What is Resonance?

Resonance is a brand-new, multi-million-pound, state-of-the-art music institute coming to the West Midlands in 2020.   

It’s taking over the Cable Plaza building at The Waterfront Business Park in Brierley Hill, Dudley, and is set to open its doors in September 2020.   

The previous reporting incorrectly detailed that the project would cost over £30 million.   

On its own, Resonance is a £9.5 million project, and is supported by:   

  • Black Country LEP – £7.16 million
  • Unity Trust Bank – £2 million
  • Arts Impact Fund – £300k   

Places at Resonance will be limited to ensure that students get the best teaching and practical experiences. Applicants will need between 96 and 112 UCAS points before being invited to audition for their place.  

Undergraduate degrees on offer (to start in September 2020):-   

  • BMus (Hons) Popular Music Performance
  • BA (Hons) Popular Music Performance & Production
  • BA (Hons) Popular Music Production
  • BA (Hons) Digital Music
  • BA (Hons) Music Business  

By its third year, Resonance is hoping to offer an MA in Contemporary Music Performance. 

Resonance will be offering a suite of courses under a franchise arrangement from Solent University in Southampton.

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