Award-winning Musician and Access to Music patron, Ed Sheeran MBE, gave the college’s Manchester-based marketing team a backstage exclusive interview recently, where he talked Glastonbury, Game of Thrones and how the college helped him get where he is today.
Access to Music is celebrating its 25th anniversary and has its flagship centre in Manchester at the former legendary Jilly’s Rockworld and Music Box nightclubs (AKA Fagins and Rafters), on Oxford Street. The college has eight centres across the UK and Ed (who closed Glastonbury with Pyramid stage headline slot on Sunday), studied at their London centre in 2008. Ed has follows in the footsteps of former college patrons Sir George Martin CBE and Jools Holland.
Adrian Armstrong, Chief Executive of Access to Music said: “Ed is a fantastic role model for our students and we are delighted he is our patron. As a student, it was obvious that he was a very talented, highly driven young man who could really go places. As a college, we’re very proud to have been part of his journey and to see just how far he’s gone. It’s great that he found the time to us about his studies and to share his thoughts about what students can do to make it in the music industry”.
Ed Sheeran said: “What I think is great about (Access to Music) for young kids is you’re around kids that want to do the same thing and adults that understand that you don’t have to be the best singer, songwriter or guitarist to start off, but there’s something there to work with.”
Established in 1992, Access to Music provides a wide choice of courses covering all aspects of the music industry and now also offers specialist courses in games design and creative media training. Its music curriculum has been developed in partnership with Rockschool, the UK’s only popular music awarding body. To date, the college has trained thousands of successes in the music industry including Rita Ora, Jamie Morrison (Stereophonics) and Stephanie May (Head of Music at Virgin Radio).
The Oxford Street centre is a purpose-built facility which has breathed new life into a building where many household names have performed in the past, including Depeche Mode, Joy Division, Lisa Stansfield and Edwin Starr. It includes a suite of rehearsal rooms, a full-size recording studio, spacious class rooms and a committed performance space (with a capacity of approx.100 people). The college also has a dedicated Games & Media centre on Hulme Street which sits in the converted Chorlton Mill.