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Yasmin playing guitar

Yasmin Corrigan  

BA (Hons) Popular Music Performance

Graduated 2014

Yasmin Corrigan

Winning the course competition to record my original song at Abbey Road Studios was a definite highlight of my time at Solent. It was such an incredible experience, and I'll never forget how I felt recording my vocal take into the same mic that John Lennon, Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra used!

Tell us a little about your career story so far.  
I have done quite a few different things. I moved to London soon after graduating to pursue gigging as an acoustic singer-songwriter. I have played at some great venues including The Bedford, Balham and The Ritzy Brixton. 

I’ve had a few jobs as a backing vocalist - recording a YouTube video with X Factor's Shayne Ward and performing live at The Mayflower Southampton with stars from The Voice. I am also part of a function band called Dr Vegas and we play at weddings, private functions and pubs around Hampshire and the South West. 

In the daytime I have worked as an Early Years Music Teacher at nurseries across London, which was a great opportunity to combine my love of music with the teaching and leadership skills that I gained at Solent.

I wanted to experience another side of the industry, so I've recently started the role of Music Services Administrator at music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins. I'm really enjoying learning more about music therapy and working within such a positive, musical environment.

Tell us about what you are doing now and what it involves – a typical working day. 
As Music Services Administrator at Nordoff Robbins, I play an important role in the charity's music services operation. This involves working closely with the team of music therapists, as well as the clients, to ensure that our services run smoothly and efficiently.

What’s your career highlight so far? 
Getting my current role at Nordoff Robbins. It combines my passion for music with the organisation and people skills that I developed at Solent. I feel very lucky to be part of such an amazing organisation, helping make music accessible for vulnerable people of all ages with a wide range of needs and abilities. It also works well alongside my own performance career.

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Adam Long DJing

Adam Long

BA (Hons) Digital Music

Graduated 2017

Adam Long

What is digital music?
Digital music is just an umbrella term for creative music production. It’s the process of using digital technologies such as computers, digital audio workstations and synthesisers to arrange, create and manipulate elements of music.

Who would you recommend the course to?
If you want to learn about a variety of key elements of electronic music production, this course is for you. With an emphasis on dance music, it also looks at key industry skills, such as music for film, live performance, and audio engineering.

How did university prepare you for your career?
Having a wider range of core units allowed me to experiment with different areas and then discover a further interest in digital sound design, which has led to me wanting to pursue a career as a sound designer for film or TV.

What’s your favourite Solent memory?
I don't think it's possible to pick one defining moment, but I think as a whole it's got to be the people you meet along the way. You meet some amazing friends and its extra special when you can find an instant common ground with your love for music.

Tell us your career story so far.
I really only started producing music as a hobby because I really wanted to learn how drum ‘n’ bass was created, but then I decided to head to uni and attempt to make my music more professional.

In terms of career, I've just graduated and am currently in the middle of a gap year. I plan on building up a sound design portfolio and gathering as much voluntary music-related work experience as i can in this time, and then hopefully return to Solent to study on a post-graduate course.

What’s your career highlight so far?
Having been able to network while at Solent I managed to play DJ support for Andy C – one of my idols within music - at Soundclash Festival 2016. This was extra special for me because I was able to play alongside one of my best mates from uni, too.

What tips would you give someone wanting a career in your industry?
Make sure it is something you are 100% passionate about. It's that passion that will keep the drive going to succeed or improve.

If you want a career in the industry, try and get out of your comfort zones and experiment with as many production techniques as possible to find a unique sound to your music.

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Jo Howarth's work

Jo Howarth

BA (Hons) Music Management

Graduated

Jo Howarth

Artist management is a 24/7 career and isn’t for the faint-hearted, yet can be the most rewarding career when you can find the time to look back and admire your handiwork! I’d really recommend my course to those with a passion for finding new artists, a business brain and the determination to succeed in a difficult industry.

Studying at Solent, I’ve been surprised by the number of people on the course who think the same way as I do, despite us all being vastly different in terms of backgrounds, music tastes and ambitions for the future. I strongly believe we’ll stay as a network beyond the course and into our careers.

My biggest hurdle coming into the course was a lack of confidence. The lecturers have really helped me overcome this by expanding my knowledge of the industry, so that when I meet industry professionals I can show I understand how the industry works.

A typical day consists of lectures and seminars with university staff who have worked within the music industry and can help us gain valuable insight into how it works and how to get into it.

One of the best things about Solent is the many opportunities that can arise, both through Solent and the lecturers themselves.

9am lectures, or trying to find a spot in the library around deadline time, not so much!

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Francessca Rusling in a performance

Francessca Rusling  

BA (Hons) Performance

Graduated 2017

Francessca Rusling

How has Solent prepared you for your career?
Solent’s performance degree immersed me into a varied and exciting course of study. I explored a variety of performance techniques including body and voice skills, musical theatre, and approaches to stage and screen acting.

I was given the opportunity to gain a vast amount of experience through various recorded and live performance projects, as well as industry work experience teaching at a variety of local infant and primary schools and working professionally on the feature film The Pugilist.

What’s your favourite Solent memory?
During second year when I was cast as Sally Durant-Plummer in the musical Follies. It was my first time being cast as a lead in a musical and from the casting, throughout the rehearsal stages and finally the performance week, Follies for me was one of the most educational and rewarding experiences I have taken part in throughout my training. 

What’s next for you? 
I am about to start working in an administrative role for a local college, while studying for my PTLLS (Preparing to teach in the lifelong learning sector) with the end goal to become a lecturer of performance for the college.

I am also attending casting workshops, applying for a variety of stage and screen roles and auditioning for local pantomimes. I am also working on setting up my own performance academy that will offer a variety of classes to children and adults.

What top tips would you give to other students wanting a career in your area?

  • Believe in yourself. If you don’t, you can’t expect industry professionals to either. 
  • Keep training – never stop learning. Get as much experience as you can, whether it be attending local workshops, appearing in performances at local events or theatres, or being cast in student films, the more people you know in the industry, the more opportunities open up to you.

Be prepared to be judged, to accept criticism and to work long and varied hours. If you have the passion and drive you will get to where you want to be.

  • Sign up to casting websites.
  • Do what you love but don’t be afraid to try new things.

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Miles Hobbs playing with a band

Miles Hobbs

BA (Hons) Popular Music Performance and Production  

Graduated

Miles Hobbs

Music is pretty darn therapeutic, and it’s fair to say I’ve found Solent University to be somewhere I look forward to going to every single day.

Lessons range from the analysis of pop songs to understanding the business itself. Rehearsal sessions are timetabled for the assignment gigs and can be strenuous, but the hard work pays off when you set foot on various stages around Southampton. Being taught the production element really puts this course above others in its class.

The sheer amount of paid performance opportunities that are thrown at us has really surprised me. The lecturers genuinely want us to succeed in becoming a full time musician or artist.

We have free rehearsal and recording spaces, free weekly instrument lessons, and we’re able to use professional standard musical equipment. While packing up the van after a gig isn’t the most fun, we have inspirational teachers, and there’s amazing camaraderie between fellow musical course mates – if you show up to their gig, they’ll show up at yours.

At Solent, you’re encouraged to build up a portfolio of your musical outputs and be proactive in finding your calling within the industry. The lecturers themselves are a huge inspiration in terms of the different routes they have taken and will guide you on a one to one basis throughout your time at university.

The highlight of my time here so far has been the enrichment week in Amsterdam. We spent six days playing and watching gigs and getting to know people on other music-related courses – they’ve become valuable contacts for the future. It made me think about a career on a global scale, not just within the UK bubble.

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Olivia Squires in a performance

Olivia Squires

BA (Hons) Performance

Graduated 2017

Olivia Squires

What is performance to you?
To me, performance is expression. When I leave the stage after a show or finish a day of filming I have felt like I have given something, and I have felt a range of emotions in the space of a few hours. Performance is powerful.

How did university prepare you for your career? 
I have gained experience in acting, movement and voice (singing and speech). It has also made me consider my personal needs as a performer and the things I need to do in order to give the strongest performance I can.   

I knew I always wanted to be a performer but university gave me opportunities to explore the industry I want to go into.

What have you been up to since graduating this summer? 
This September I begin my new job as a graduate intern for the performance courses at Solent. I’m also working on establishing a theatre company with another Solent graduate. We will be working as a duo, devising original theatre work.

At the moment, we are both working with a final-year student on a theatre piece we have written about the lack of physical touch in society, due to be performed in October. 

Tell us about what you are doing now and what it involves. 
During my internship I will be working to build more connections with people in the industry. I’m also now exploring theatre writing as I’m wanting to create new work so I’m always looking for inspiration and making a note of any ideas.

What’s your career highlight so far? 
Being able to study performance is a highlight for me because I have learnt a lot; for example, how important it is to have individual preparation before a performance and which area of performance I’d like to focus on in the future.  

What tips would you give to someone wanting a career in your industry? 
Be experimental and always focus on what you have to do. Set yourself goals you want to achieve whether it be by the end of the week/month or in a couple of years time. Always be willing to learn!

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