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Work starts on new £9.5m music school at Brierley Hill's Waterfront

By Marion Brennan | Brierley Hill | Education | Published:

Work has begun on a £9.5 million music school which will offer degrees in a range of music industries.

Work has now started

Resonance, in Brierley Hill, with a capacity for 600 students, is due to open next year. It will teach everything from music performance and production to composition and business.

Based in the Cable Plaza building on The Waterfront, the centre is expected to become a focal point for musicians across the region, boasting top facilities and the latest technology.

It will include recording studios, practice rooms, teaching facilities and production suites.

The venture is being supported by £7.16m from the Black Country LEP and further financial backing from Dudley Council, Unity Trust Bank and Nesta's Art Impact Fund.

Co-director David Barnard said contractors had been on site for several weeks and the building was expected to be ready for staff to move in by the end of the year.

He added: “We’re absolutely delighted to finally be in a position where we can confidently say ‘it’s coming’.”

From 2020, Resonance will provide undergraduate degrees in Popular Music Performance, Production, Digital Music and Music Business. Also, in the pipeline is a degree in Education and Wellbeing, due in 2021.

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By the third year, following the graduation of its first cohort, the institute is hoping to offer an MA course in Contemporary Music Performance.

A range of courses will be provided under a franchise arrangement with Solent University in Southampton with courses uploaded to UCAS this summer.

All courses delivered will be led by industry professionals and focus on developing a broad range of skills needed by the sector, said Mr Bernard.

“The priority is to immerse students into a real-world environment working on project briefs designed in partnership with industry colleagues. People say the music ‘industry’ but really it’s music ‘industries’ as there are so many avenues and opportunities for students to explore," he said.

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“For every star on stage, there’s an army of people behind the scenes, be they session musicians, songwriters, producers, sound engineers, stage managers, PR agents and more.

“Our programme will blend musical, technical and practical skills with personal and professional development, entrepreneurship and enterprise. Our objective is to create ‘work ready’ graduates, who are not frightened to explore new ideas and have a go."

The Resonance Professional Diploma, running alongside the centre's degree courses, will develop ‘soft’ skills needed for an ever-changing global industry, he said.

Marion Brennan

By Marion Brennan
@Marion_EStar

News and features reporter, specialising in human interest and local history stories.

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