Chris Cowan

Chris Cowan

Curriculum Manager Performing Arts and Music

Member of Society of

Length of time worked at New College Durham:  10 years

Describe your academic experience:

My Level 3 Music was achieved here at New College Durham. This gave me a great foundation from which to build my professional career. I have a BMus (Hons) Jazz, Popular and Commercial Music and I am currently planning for a PhD in Roots and Popular Music.

Describe your experience working in industry/the workplace:

I am an active professional musician. I perform weekly live shows with Claypath at some of the UKs most prestigious venues. I have written, produced and published 4 studio albums which have achieved international sales and enjoyed critical acclaim. As well as my performance and recording career with Claypath, I work as a freelancer session musician and songwriter.

Describe your role at New College Durham:

I oversee the Performing Arts and Music provision at Level 2, 3, 4 and 5, and I design and deliver across the Music programmes.

Why did you decide to teach at New College Durham?

Because of my experience as a student here. I learned more at New College Durham than I did on my degree course and my ambition at 17 years old was to be my New College Durham tutor.

What is the best part of your job?

Developing student live performances and teaching music theory.

What are your research areas/interests?

Songwriting and live performance.

Tell us about any current/recent projects:

Recently published Antidotes and Anecdotes.

 What has been your best moment at New College Durham?

All of the students live performances.

What inspires you?

Good people.


Related information

HE Music


A career in the music industry is hard work but if you are passionate about music very few industries are as exciting to work in!