Live music and education – Guardian newspaper article

My thoughts on the proposed National Skills Centre appeared in the Guardian newspaper April 22nd.

The link is here:,,2275374,00.html

Obviously I am not against relevant education for those wishing to enter the live production industries – I now lecture at a university on live sound production!

However I do think that the money and time involved in setting up and running the NSA could be put to better use. (The article states one of my ideas on this).

There is a big pot of money earmarked for the NSA. How about we use that money to encourage the technicians/road crew/’roadies’ already out there to contribute their knowledge and time, in order to nurture and encourage the next generation of touring professionals?

I know from many heated discussion in the back lounge that ‘you cannot teach this job, and even if you could, who would teach it?’ The argument being is that freelance professionals cannot block out time to deliver teaching (even if they wanted to) due to the complicated financial and logistical reasons that are the bane of a freelancer’s life.

The industry needs input form the existing technicians/road crew/’roadies’. What if we could offer these existing freelance professionals a significant sum of money to be available for teaching? Or to write a manual, record an instructional DVD or help to promote online resources?

I don’t think many freelancers would like a full-time teaching post but might be really interested in properly contracted consultancy and delivery of teaching and learning content. Especially if they knew they would be paid well for a set time and be home every night while they did it.

I am sure retaining a set of skilled and current industry professionals would be cheaper than building a brand new training centre and filling it full of equipment, even if you did pay the equivalent of professional touring rates.

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