Bryony Marsh was educated at home throughout her secondary school years, during which she was encouraged to explore her personal interests rather than follow the conventional route of opting for a range of GCSE subjects. Bryony got her GCSEs in Maths, English and Music and to further her studies in music she attended an open day at Cambridge Regional College. After completing her Level 3 music production studies, Bryony applied to college and was offered a choice of locations, and soon after received an offer of a full-time technician position. at Cambridge Regional College, leaving him the choice to make his future. Bryony tells us about his journey from homeschooling to working in the music industry.
“I had been interested in music from an early age so decided to pursue this area of learning and studied rock and pop guitar in year 5 alongside my maths and GCSE in English. I wanted to further my education in music, so I attended a series of college open houses to explore what was on offer. The collection of music resources and facilities available at CRC was far more impressive than at any other college I had seen. The staff were also very friendly and welcoming and took the time to talk to me which helped me understand the course well and made me feel like studying at CRC was the right choice for me.
I applied for the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Music Performance and Production but having only 3 GCSEs encouraged me to enter Level 2. I was able to assure the tutors that I was ready for the level 3, and started my course in September 2018. I ended up excelling at level 3 and left the course with distinction in first and second year, which earned me two unconditional offers and 3 conditional offers to the university.
I studied music production, with the intention of learning how to record and mix my own music, but throughout the course I discovered many new interests that I didn’t know I had, such as sound for moving image, live sound, mixing and mastering, and marketing. The course covered a huge range of different industry skills in detail, covering all the essentials I needed to start my journey as a music producer and further develop my skills in the industry. I was able to focus most of my assignments on subjects that interested me, such as rock music and the live industry.
I showed a lot of interest in getting involved, which gave me many opportunities to gain additional experience, such as supporting the setup and engineering of concerts for other age groups or participate in additional recording projects as a sound engineer. My favorite part of the course was being able to gain real live sound industry experience, running the venue for gigs completely independently. I also liked being around other people who all had the same interests. We often learned from each other and came together to develop and produce exciting projects with our unique skills. I gained valuable contacts for the future that I would not have been able to get without the CRC, including the staff members who were all so helpful, knowledgeable and dedicated to teaching.
Studying with CRC has helped me immensely in my career. I was actively encouraged to apply for the position of Creative Industries Technician within the college based on the skills I had acquired and demonstrated as a student. I declined offers from the university and accepted the position at CRC. Before my course, I knew nothing about recording, mixing, mastering or live sound. Now I use these skills regularly at work and could never have fulfilled this role without them. I have since also been offered an apprenticeship at The Junction in Cambridge due to my experience with live sound, lighting and working in an educational environment. Again, I turned down this opportunity to pursue my career in education. Being able to explore many different aspects of music production has helped me discover what I love most and what I’m good at. It opened up many avenues for me in the music industry and helped me feel more confident about the direction I wanted to take my career in – becoming a lecturer in music production.
The four main pieces of advice I would give to those starting their educational journey with CRC are:
- Ask for help or advice when you need it. CRC tutors have invaluable industry knowledge and experience. You can learn a lot from them
- Seek out and accept extracurricular activities and work experience. There are so many opportunities for additional learning, collaboration, and additional projects at CRC that many are not taking advantage of. It is extremely valuable and gratifying
- Meet other people outside your field. In the creative industries in particular, there are so many opportunities for collaboration across departments to make things happen! It is worth meeting people from other departments, making friends and gaining valuable contacts for your future career
- Do your college work. If you can concentrate in college and do your homework in your classes, you’ll have less need to work from home. Using your time at university wisely will make a huge difference.
Learn more about studies music production at Cambridge Regional College.
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