“I’ve always been into music, but I didn’t know anything about producing before I joined Nescot, and I’d never used any software before. It was a steep learning curve at first, and the first project was really hard, but the teaching is brilliant. It’s amazing to go from having no technical knowledge to confidently using industry-standard software like Ableton and Logic. One of our projects this year was presenting a radio show, where we had to talk about the culture and background of the music we played, and at the moment we’re working on our live performances. There’s a lot of emphasis on working independently, because that’s a skill you’ll need in your career, but the teachers are always there for you when you need them.”
Music Technology - Level 3
“Our very first project was to make a music track. We had to pick a genre, research it, give a presentation to the class about it, and then make a track in that style. It was pretty daunting at first, because I’d never done anything like that before, but I really enjoyed it and I’m proud of my work. I chose rock music, and in my presentation I talked about instrumentation and the types of rhythms. Then I made the track using Ableton, which is a type of software. I can’t read music or play an instrument, but that doesn’t necessarily matter. Next we’ll upload our tracks and our tutors will listen to them and grade us on the project as a whole. Initially it seemed really intimidating, but the tutors are really good at just breaking everything down and helping you to understand each step as you go along.
The way the projects are structured is really good, because you get to learn a lot of different things, like how to use samples or how to do research, but then you put everything together in the same way that you would if you were already working in the industry.
The teaching is great, and we’re actually taught by people who make and produce their own music. It means they can tell us about what really happens when you’re working in the industry, and they can give advice from their own experience. In the future I’m hoping to be able to get my own tracks out, and I think this course is going to help me to make better music, but also to have the confidence in myself to get into the industry.”
Music Technology - Level 3
Ellie Cole, in her second year at Nescot on the Level 3 music course, came through two heats to reach the national finals of the Zoom Dance Mix Master 2020 competition.
Combining her studies with part-time work at Flex FM proved to be both useful and inspirational for Ellie, who recorded her two 15-minuite sets for the heats at the station's studios. Qualifying for the finals is particularly rewarding for Ellie as voting in the heats involved both specialist industry judges and electronic music fans.
"I am loving taking part in the competition and pushing my skills to new levels. It's good to be able to use the knowledge from my college course to make my work more professional and successful. The radio unit our class covered last year was fantastic and gave me a great insight into radio DJing."
Her Tutor Neil Keating added: "This competition gets hundreds of entrants from across the UK so to get to the final is a massive achievement. Ellie's got the passion for music and radio but also works really hard on learning the skills and is totally dedicated to the course - she really deserves her success."
Specialising in electronic and dance music, Ellie produces and co-hosts shows for Flex FM.
In the future I’m going to BIMM Institute London, to study Songwriting. I’ve learnt so many skills on this course, from using software to live performance, and it’s made me a more confident musician. We’re taught by people who actually work in the industry, and it means a lot to have their experience to draw on.View our video