Matt Dowson

Course: Level 3 Music

Matt was over the moon when he found out he could study a full-time music course at New College Durham.

He said:

“I attended an Information and Advice event and was blown away by the music department, the equipment available and how knowledgeable the staff were. Hearing more about the content of the course, and about the opportunities to perform live at big venues, sold it for me. I remember being really excited to start the course and learn more about the music industry from experts.

“The facilities were fantastic! The College had an amazing Mac suite and the workstations came fully equipped with industry standard software and equipment, allowing you to produce professional recordings. The rehearsal spaces were incredible too, they held enough equipment and instruments to allow a full band to rehearse.

“The course itself covers such a wide range of material, preparing you for a career in the music industry. The opportunities to learn the ins and outs of the music business are fantastic, and the course offers such a variety of exciting content. Everything from performing and recording as part of a band, to music theory and the history of music. I gained a lot from this course as it has a lot to offer. It also taught me self-promotion, something very important in the creative industry.

“It was clear all of the staff had real-life experience working in the industry. I gained knowledge from experts as all of the music tutors had specialisms, such as song writing, music theory, sound, lighting and business strategy.

“Studying at New College Durham definitely helped me to expand my musical skills, and advance professionally when it came to live performances. Without the skills I gained at New College Durham, I don’t think I would have had the work opportunities I have been so lucky to have, or performed in such big venues, such as the Sage in Gateshead and the Manchester Academy.

“I went on to study at Leeds College of Music and graduated with a first class honours degree. On completing my degree, I secured full-time employment with Apple but knew I wanted to get into teaching. After such a positive experience studying at New College Durham, I decided to return to complete a PGCE. I was delighted to become part of the music department once again, but as a teacher. I now teach drums and Apple technology at New College Durham, and I could not be prouder to be working alongside some of the people who helped to define me as a musician.”

Matt progressed to Leeds College of Music where he graduated with a first class honours degree. He returned to New College Durham to complete a PGCE and teach in our music department.