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BIMM A&R Music Business Apprenticeship in association with EMI Music

BIMM, the UK’s leading rock ‘n’ roll college, is announcing an educational partnership with EMI Music, the result of which will be a ground-breaking new course – The BIMM A&R Music Business Apprenticeship. This is an innovative new initiative where students can be trained in the core area of the music industry from the experts, while the industry can benefit from the opinions of the people at the cutting edge of music.

EMI Music is a label with an impressive and diverse A&R heritage, committed to creativity in signing artists and developing the careers of those artists for enduring success. Over the years they have signed artists as varied as The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Blur, Robbie Williams, Coldplay and Kate Bush and more recently Tinie Tempah, Lily Allen, Eliza Doolittle, Hot Chip and Katy Perry.

Miles Leonard, President of A&R Parlophone, responsible for signing Coldplay to the label says: “A&R is very much the lifeblood of the company. Without artists and their repertoire, we don’t have a business. EMI has a long history of investing in future talent, not only with artists but also within the professionals of the industry. BIMM is a great source for that talent.”

Artists and Repertoire (A&R) is the division of a record label that is responsible for discovering new talent, recording and overseeing the artistic development of that talent. The BIMM & EMI Apprenticeship is designed to develop abilities in specific A&R practices along with the history of A&R and an understanding and overview of the music industry.

Kevin Nixon, President of BIMM and himself a former Director of A&R at V2 Records says: “Many young people have heard of A&R but know nothing about it, and people tend to drift into the job from places like Student Unions and record shops. We feel this lack of proper training is a contributory factor into why the UK is producing fewer long-term artists than ever before. The depth of talent in the UK is being squeezed out by the growing disposability of music.

We wanted to address that and make sure that BIMM offers a new path to people who are passionate about great records and great artists, but who are maybe not artists themselves. We are very proud that BIMM has become known for the kind of artist development that used to happen within record labels, giving young people time, resources and advice. There is no reason why that should not extend to the developers too, and offer training for a legitimate career in a key but unsung aspect of music making. EMI Records is a new model of a major label and we have found EMI Music President Andria Vidler and her team to have a very forward-thinking attitude that matches our own. With its unbeatable history of UK signings we are proud to be working with EMI on this project.”

Students on the apprenticeship will gain experience of how vital A&R is for all aspects of the music business. They will also have Masterclasses with EMI Records key staff – learning directly from the people at the very heart of the industry and gaining an overview of the workings of a global major record company.

The year-long apprenticeship will be based at BIMM’s West London campus, Tech Music School, where students can benefit from the rich diversity of venues and burgeoning artists. The course comprises of seven specialist modules all designed to integrate A&R into a broad overview of the music industry. Modules include:

  • Working with Artists and Repertoire – where students will learn the general principals and history of A&R.
  • The role of the A&R professional and the key principals of artist development.
  • The role of the Record Producer.
  • Planning and budgeting Recording Sessions.
  • Assessing the Creative Impact of Emerging Technology on the Music Industry.

On-the-job-training will include going to gigs and scouting for bands, meeting artists, managers, and record producers – whilst being mentored through the whole process by BIMM and EMI. At the end of the year, students will be assessed on how their A&R abilities have developed.

The BIMM A&R Music Business Apprenticeship will commence in April 2011 with a further intake of students in September 2011. The course will be open to students from age 16 and upward and is equivalent to ‘A’ level study.
BIMM (Brighton & Bristol Institute of Modern Music) is the UK’s leading provider of modern music vocational and higher education courses. The college opened in Brighton in 2001 with BIMM Bristol opening in 2008. Earlier this year, BIMM secured £10 million investment from Sovereign Capital to build the BIMM Institutes worldwide and in June acquired Tech Music Schools (TMS) in West London.

BIMM offers its students a broad range of course levels, from diplomas through to BA (Hons) degrees. Its 2000 students can study guitar, keyboards, bass, drums, vocals, song writing, live sound and tour management, plus the entrepreneur’s diploma in music business. The BIMM curriculum includes a mixture of classroom study, live performance and specialist workshops from BIMM’s studios and lecture rooms, equipped with a choice of vintage and state-of-the-art music gear. BIMM’s courses are delivered by over 100 trained, active professional tutors, all of whom have a variety of touring, performing and session experience, and a background in the professional music industry.

BIMM enjoys outstanding retention and achievement rates, excellent student feedback and a strong track record of alumni success; BIMM students have scored an unprecedented thirty UK Top 40 singles and have been involved in successful UK Top 20 albums including The Kooks (who have sold over 2 million albums), Beth Rowley and Kate Walsh. Many more are working throughout the UK music industry within artist management, record labels, music publishing and live music production.


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