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Our next intake of students will start on 15 February!

We're so excited to be welcoming a host of new students to AMSonline next month, who will be joining us to start on our online courses like the Foundation Degree, BA (Hons) and M.Mus in Popular Music Performance.

It comes after we saw record levels of students join AMSonline courses in September 2020. Despite Covid, we've been lucky enough to run our courses as usual, with all the regular content, seminars and tutorials, with little interruption!

Take your learning anywhere
Pre-Covid: Take your learning anywhere

Whilst most of standard university and college teaching in the UK and elsewhere had to adapt to online delivery in 2020, and is still going on, its perhaps unsurprising that musicians and those interested in studying music, might chose more established online learning platforms at this time.

“In a funny way I never thought my choice to study online in 2018 would eventually be the only choice most students have all around the country. In hard struck times of COVID, I barely felt it negatively impacted my course at all.”

“I would just like to say thank you more than anything for the help I had over my foundation degree!”
George Chambers, student

But that's not to say we've not been impacted by Covid-19 – everyone has felt the impact, and while we might be able to run courses as usual, the year has been a challenging one for us all. But we have good reason so hope that live musicianship can continue very soon! And we're planning on being ready when it does.

More news from us here.
We just relaunched our Instagram!
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Eddie with AMS director Shaun Baxter

Eddie Van Halen in conversation with AMS director Shaun Baxter

Eddie Van Halen, who passed away last week (6 October 2020) was a pioneering and hugely influential rock guitarist. For many he re-invented the rock style and it was never same again. His career was eclectic and powerful, he played the solo on ‘Beat It’ by Michael Jackson and was notable for the techniques he brought to the masses like pinched harmonics, left and right hand tapping, legato (hammer-ons and pull-offs) and fast picking. His flamboyant and exciting style captivated the 80’s scene and his band Van Halen, reached immense heights.

Academy director Shaun Baxter was a teacher at the Guitar Institute in 1995, and had the opportunity to interview his guitar hero for his first ever interview as a journalist, at the Park Lane Hotel in London. What follows is that very conversation. The interview has been edited for this platform – you can download the complete, unabridged transcript here.

tapes and papers

On a train to our rendezvous at a hotel in Marble Arch, I couldn’t help wonder what it was going to be like to finally meet Eddie Van Halen. Van Halen are very powerful these days, having gone from strength to strength over their impressive 15-year career. With the last two albums going straight to the top of the American charts. I entered the foyer of the very impressive Park Lane hotel only to wonder how long it would take before I was being carried back out by one of Mr Van Halen’s burly minders after exception had been taken to one of my questions…

I was met by Amanda, Van Halen’s ultra-efficient personal assistant, who ushered me to the interview suite where the photographer and his assistant were setting up. I introduced myself and admitted to being a little nervous as the photographer returned my sweaty palm. I picked up a copy of Metal Hammer from the coffee table and my buttocks clenched tighter at the sight of the recently-bearded, short-haired and totally unrecognisable face of my interviewee staring menacingly out at me from the cover. It was my first ever interview and I couldn’t possibly start any higher up the ladder. Edward Van Halen, easily the most influential rock guitar player since Jimi Hendrix

Just as I was wondering how we were going to cram an interview, a lesson and a photo session with the great man into the space of an hour, he entered. He was dressed in black and looked quite tanned. I knew he’d be small, but he was a lot sturdier than I expected. The new beard, which was now trimmed to the chin, and short spiky hair were in direct contrast to the long-haired, clean-shaven and elfin-grinned look I’d always come to associate with the hero of my formative guitar years. 

Eddie Van Halen Guitar Solos

As we shook hands, I suddenly realised that although I’d probably read every interview that Eddie Van Halen had ever done, nothing could have prepared me for his voice. His penchant for cigarettes and alcohol are almost as legendary as his guitar playing and his broad West Coast accent has been fermented by well over a decade of indulgence to produce a heady brew somewhere between Dennis Leary, Leslie West and Edward G Robinson; however, the most remarkable thing of all was his total lack of pretention. Within minutes, I’d forgotten my earlier worries and, by the time that Eddie grabbed his guitar and joined me on the sofa, I completely relaxed.

I started telling Eddie how at the Guitar Institute, our Rock programme is split into two distinct areas – pre and post Van Halen. Such is the magnitude of his influence over the genre. I also told him, however, that a lot of young guitarists today are listening to third-generation Van Halen copyists and yet have never heard any of his earlier albums. Therefore, I wanted to devote the bulk of this interview to the origins and development of his unique style, the influence that he’s had on rock guitar and then bring things right up to date by talking about his new album ‘Balance’.

To resort to conventional punctuation when writing an interview with Halen would only betray the enormity of his personality. When I listen back to the tape, it’s as though I could be in conversation with a loveable cartoon character. The cadence of Eddie’s voice demands that certain words are written in CAPITALS if you are to get a proper sense, not only the rise and fall of the sentences, but the animated way he communicates. He does so with patience, enthusiasm and ALWAYS with good humour.


One noticeable aspect of Van Halen’s style, when he first burst on the scene, was that it seemed geared towards catering for a low boredom threshold. Every solo was a balanced mixture of new and ear-catching techniques. I asked him how calculated he’d been in putting together a style that was so stunningly different from anyone else?

“It really wasn’t calculated at all. Meaning, I just stumbled onto this shit. I’m telling you man, it’s all a coupla beers and wingin’ it. I’m serious,” he laughed. I told him that most guitarists wanted to emulate their heroes and yet he sounded different. “Yes, ‘cause I grew up on [Eric] Clapton and ended up not playing like him at all, so it’s weird to me too.”

It seemed to me that one negative aspect to Van Halen’s influence was that a lot of players started producing horribly formulated solos in an effort to dish up the same wide range of musical ingredients. “They used the techniques that I used as a TRICK.”

I understood his use of the word ‘trick’ to mean using a technique more as a cosmetic effect, rather than a vehicle for expression. I agreed and pointed out that, suddenly, players started approaching a solo as though they were baking a cake: “a hand-full of whammy bar histrionics, a touch of tapping and a pinch of harmonics and ‘voila’ a successful solo.” To me, the results always sounded stiff and contrived.

Rock legend

“Exactly! Very stiff!” Whereas he never sounded like that? “No, because I played that way for YEARS before we even had a record out. So like, for ME, it wasn’t a trick. For me, it was just the way I played.”

Obviously, thinking that my use of the word ‘formulated’ was curiously at odds with my profession, Eddie continued, “Yeah, I think the main reason behind that is because [leaning forward he gives me a reassuring touch on the knee] and I don’t mean to say that you’re part of the problem, but YOU’RE TEACHING THESE PEOPLE.”

I felt like pointing out that actually I was also completely self-taught and I always stress to my students the need to be both expressive and different, but time was short and, besides, I was too busy laughing. “No-one taught me. I stumbled onto this shit.” He paused. “I guess my point is – and I don’t mean to say [he puts on an important-sounding voice]: ‘Hey, well I’m bitchin’ because I never took a lesson.’ What I mean is NOBODY I knew played guitar. I was very isolated.”

Eddie explained how his original style developed from trying to figure out how people played certain things and, because he didn’t know any better, he discovered his own way of doing them. “If I had something in my head, I would figure out some way to do it. I’d hear Segovia’s stuff and go [whispers]: “No…I can’t fingerpick, so I CHEATED… And it worked [demonstrates pseudo-flamenco beginning to ‘Little Guitars’ from the ‘Diver Down’ album]….and [what with] playing classical piano – you know, doing arpeggios – I’d go like: ‘How can I do that?’ [demonstrates right-hand tapping]… ’Cause I sure as hell couldn’t do it any other way so I had to cheat. You know. I’m actually a good cheater,” he laughed.

Eddie with his band

I assumed then that Eddie spent hours and hours experimenting just to explore the potential of each separate technique. Like harmonics for example? “Yes!…and they just CAME! I just stumbled across those….[he demonstrates fret-tapped harmonics] and I found out later what the ‘correct’ way to do it is. You see people [demonstrates the ‘orthodox’ method of creating artificial harmonics]… Picking them out like that. You know what I mean? I CAN’T DO THAT!”

He couldn’t.

“It’s a fuck! So I just cheat and go…[demonstrating the Intro to ‘Women in Love’ from Van Halen II]… And it works.” [laughs]

Not only that, but it sounds different. I put it to Eddie that his celebrated experimentations on guitar were more akin to Avant Garde ‘art’ guitarists, like Fred Frith, who hang paper clips from the strings of the guitar and then beat it with a hammer. “Actually, THAT I do more on piano. I don’t know if you’ve heard the new record?” 

I told him that I had and asked him to tell me the story behind the piece in question, ‘Strung Out’. “Back in 83/84, my wife and I ran into [Marvin Hamlisch]. We went to rent his beach house and he had this beautiful white Yamaha Baldwin and I, you know, proceeded to cop a buzz and destroyed his piano. For three days in a row, I used forks and knives on the strings and, I don’t know, if you asked me: ‘What possessed you to do that?’ [lowers voice] I’m fucked if I know. I just felt like playing around. I would hit notes and do harmonics on the strings and stuff and I’d just have a lot of fun doing it… And wasted his piano while doing it.”

Eddie with his music

Legend has it that an extremely irate Hamlisch presented Van Halen with a bill for $15,000 upon his return.

“….And then I found out that he was coming back home and I said: ‘Oh Shit! What am I going to do?’ There were cigarette burns on it and everything. You know, I had to buy him a new piano.”   I mischievously added that it was probably the piano on which he wrote ‘The Way We Were’ – the guilt became too exquisite and he threw his head back and laughed out loud.

I reminded Eddie that he’d also trashed a few guitars in his time while subjecting them to the same investigative torture. The fact is that Eddie Van Halen’s creativity and thirst for adventure go far beyond the average guitar player when left to their own devices. He’s always maintained that most of his ideas came as a result of practising while watching television. But I told him that I frequently had problems teaching his stuff to a classroom of unamplified guitarists as a lot of the techniques that he uses are inaudible when the guitar is not plugged into a distorted amp.

Eddie Van Halen Hit Parader Cover

“Yeah, for years, what I’d do is that I’d have a Marshall cabinet with an old Fender Bandmaster [like an old light tweed head] and, on a Fender, if you take the speaker output to the cabinet you get full volume. If you plug it into the external output [whispering] it’s really quiet. It’s no good for the amp. Yeah, you’ll fry the amp after a while, but I used to play for years, you know, we would live in a small house and my mom would go [imitating]: ‘Why do you have to make that high crying noise?” [laughs]. The distortion and the characteristics of the amp were EXACTLY like it would be if it was plugged in normally, except it was really quiet – like a Rockman or something –you know what I mean? It was great. All the harmonics and all the shit came out that way. I probably saved myself a lot of hearing by that too.”

“The left is kinda shot,” he said after I asked about his hearing. “When I had it checked to see…at 10k I have the hearing of a seventy year-old.”

The photographer and I looked at each other with a mixture of amusement and horror.

I started talking about his domination of rock guitar in the ’80s, but was cut off mid-stream. “That sounds so funny,” he retorted, “I just feel like I’m this punk kid. I don’t know what the fuck I’ve done. It’s almost like it’s not me. I really don’t feel like I’ve done Jack shit, because I would love to be someone like Steve Lukather who is a TOP studio musician who can play you anything you ask him to play, whatever you ask him to play. I CAN’T DO THAT. It used to drive me crazy when we used to play clubs and we’d have to learn other people’s songs and it would NEVER sound the way it was supposed to.”

methode times prod

I told him that I’d always been curious as to how somebody with such an inquisitive mind and strong creative drive should still claim to be in the dark when it comes to music theory: especially as he’s so enamoured by the playing of people like Allan Holdsworth. Doesn’t he find it restrictive as to what progressions he can function over?’

“Yeah, I CAN’T DO THAT. It’s very confusing to me. I mean, I’ve tried, believe it or not. I took piano lessons from the age of six to twelve and I fooled my teacher. I would play something and it was my EARS… I would REMEMBER. Granted, it was simple stuff, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to fool him, but I never learned to read.”

I told Eddie that I was referring more to the way that harmony functions rather than knowing how to read; after all, Allan Holdsworth can’t read. I suggested that the reason that he had never actually got round to learning theory was because he never has to play outside Van Halen. Most musicians, who learn theory, do so in order to be able to function over any chord progression that may be thrown their way when playing with somebody else; whereas, in his case, he only ever has to play over Van Halen’s stuff, so he’d have time to work something out beforehand if he found a passage difficult.

“EXACTLY! I’ve always been in, kinda like, my own little world, so I can do whatever I want.” [laughs] 

So that doesn’t leave him feeling restricted? “WELL, what I’m saying is I wish I COULD DO. I guess I do feel… limited… as a musician. That’s why it’s hard for me to get up on stage and play like say… uh… Branford Marsalis, the sax guy on ‘The Tonight Show’, you know, he’s playing for Sting. He calls me all the time. He wants to JAM! I feel like an IDIOT! I’m scared to death because I CAN’T KEEP UP WITH PEOPLE LIKE THAT.”

“It was obvious that Eddie found it farcical to talk about music in these terms. Where I used a scale name, he would use an adjective. He doesn’t recognise a note as a word or number, it’s an intention or an emotion. As with most passions, where the magic seems to be directly proportional to the mystery, Edward Van Halen seems to have sustained his enduring romance with the instrument by refusing to demystify it. To him, music is a purely spiritual thing and so any attempts to quantify or label a ‘feeling’ are seen as both clinically and comically academic.”

Part of the interview was dedicated to a lesson. Click here to read more from Eddie on improvisation, and his relationship to the world of guitar theory.


Recently I’d read Eddie saying that he was becoming “more bluesy and traditional” in his guitar playing. In fact, he’d gone as far as to confess to feeling slightly embarrassed for being associated with techniques such as right-hand tapping. I was curious as to why he would want to move away from the very thing(s) that had set him aside from the competition in the first place and made him a star?

“I guess because there isn’t a whole lotta sillier shit you can do with the guitar. What else can you DO? At the same time, I guess I don’t want to have to keep coming up with tricks in order to be respected as a player.” He continued, “I pull out the tricks – if you want to call them that – all the time.”

I wondered how much Eddie was interested in keeping up with new developments and trends in guitar playing. I remarked that I’d noticed that he doesn’t seem to sweep pick much. What did he think of it as a technique? “What does THAT sound like? Like Country?” Reluctantly, I quickly showed him how some players use it with arpeggios. “That sounds more like an Yngwie thing.” I agreed and said that it was also associated with players like Frank Gambale.

“Who?” I told Eddie that he was a fusion player and showed how he applied the technique to scales. “So THAT’S how they do it so fucking fast!” The photographer and his assistant started laughing– so does Eddie.

“WELL, I DON’T KNOW! I’ve heard stuff where people are kinda just goin’ [gestures with his hands on the guitar in time with his voice], “RAAGROO! RAAGROO!… and I’m going, ‘What the fuck?… I ain’t playing like that’. See, to me, I’m TOO OLD to start taking lessons and figure that shit out. It’s just for years that I’ve been doin’ my own thing, you know, and I’m quite happy doing it.”

It was another testimony to Eddie’s modesty and TOTAL lack of pretention that we were able to talk like this without him getting the least bit defensive. He doesn’t seem to entertain ANY competitive thoughts, but then why should he? He’s got nothing to prove.

“Yeah! I was NEVER out to prove anything in the first place. You know? To me music isn’t a competitive thing. It’s very personal, It’s ME, it’s MY emotions, MY vibe and NOBODY can copy that.”

Eddie with AMS director Shaun Baxter

Eddie Van Halen is an incredible paradox. I’ve never met a player who’s less competitive and, yet, no one is more responsible for making guitar playing more competitive than him. The legacy, it seems, is completely at odds with the man. 

“But it’s ALWAYS guitarists! What’s the fuckin’ deal? I don’t get it.”

I told him that it was because they are all influenced by him. He changed it. “Yeah, but I’M not like that,” he laughed. “See that’s the WHOLE POINT. They missed the WHOLE DAMN POINT. It’s not about who’s FASTER or BETTER or whatever. It’s what’s INSIDE of you. What makes YOU want to play guitar, you know? Do you want GIRLS? What do you WANT? I did it because I’ve got nothing better to do, you know, and I LOVE DOING IT. It’s something that nobody can take away. It’s a way to express myself ‘cause I’m actually kind of a SHY, QUIET GUY, believe it or not, and it was a way for me to express myself.”

The photographer asked Eddie to get into position for the main cover shot. I started opening another cassette. In the background I can hear Eddie practising his sweeps (Raagroo, Raagroo), he calls over to me: “I couldn’t THINK that fast!”

He had me laughing again. I found it amazing to think that Eddie seemed to have remained so cocooned from other guitarists. For some reason I’d imagined that he would have his ear to the ground as to new developments in guitar. Instead, I learned that he’s very content to continue as he is. In fact, being around somebody of Eddie’s stature and modesty was starting to make me feel guilty for ever having entertained any competitive thoughts as a guitarist, but the truth is that most guitarists have to be competitive in order to get anywhere near the standard that Eddie has set, furthermore, the music business is fiercely competitive for any young guitarist and only a few survive. If we were all as free and easy as Eddie, we’d probably still be in our bedrooms strumming a few open chords.

Amanda reappeared. She stood there and pointed at her watch as the cameraman took the final few shots. Eddie talked to me throughout (unwittingly frustrating the photographer by not looking into the camera).

Just before he left, I handed Eddie a copy of my CD [Jazz Metal] and assured him that I sounded as much like him as he did to his hero, Eric Clapton. “Yeah, Cool! I might have to steal some chops,” he laughed.

I told him how I’d felt a bit nervous before meeting him, but now realised that I needn’t have been. “Oh shit no! I’m just an old fuckin’ Joe, you know. Yeah, I find it really amusing, it’s like you find some guys are just COMPLETE pricks and it’s like, ‘Hey buddy! All you do is play the GUITAR’, you know what I mean?” he laughed, “I mean Jesus Christ!”

As I was leaving, I met bassist Mike Anthony in the doorway. We chatted and, like Eddie, I couldn’t help but think what a friendly and unaffected guy he was. In producing two successful players who seem so at ease with themselves, the close-knit environment of Van Halen seems to have produced a true rarity.

If you play rock guitar, you are influenced by Edward Van Halen. If you are influenced directly, Eddie’s earlier works will need no introduction; however, if you’ve only ever listened to guys playing pale imitations of what Edward Van Halen was doing 16 years ago, why settle for second best when you can listen to the real thing? 

The king is Ed. Long live the king.


Words: Shaun Baxter, 1995

Read the full interview on the main AMS blog here, or download the original interview transcript.

More from the AMSonline blog.

student news film offer ams online

Student gets offer to compose music for a William Friedkin film

A current student of AMS Online has recently been offered an exciting deal to compose music for a film by William Friedkin, the American "New Hollywood" director, best known for The French Connection and The Exorcist.

Mik Davis, who is studying with AMS Online for a BA Hons in Music Production, spoke with us recently about his career progression since AMS, revealing exciting new plans to produce his first feature length film score for an independent film, financed by Universal Studios and produced by a Lancashire based film and media company.

The opportunity shortly after Mik completed his final 'Production Project' with us, submitting three tracks he used on this very assignment to the film company, who made him an offer within days. He's had to keep stum about the films title, but he can certainly tell us a lot about how he got there.

See Mik's piece for us below.

"Having worked in the music industry as a musician and music producer for the last fourteen years (at varying levels), I have had many wonderful and rewarding experiences, whether on stage or in the control room.

In recent years I had fallen out of love with performing and music production, this was mostly due to the simple fact that the music industry is a hard industry, and it’s increasingly difficult to earn a living from an industry, that changes so rapidly from day-to-day, where geographical location and expensive equipment is key to ‘getting ahead’ – or so I thought.

Instead, I chose to pursue a split career as a person-centred counsellor and as a tutor, teaching ESOL English - both rewarding experiences, both very far away from music.

An opportunity arose September 2018 when I was offered a BA Hons in Music Production (fast-track) with AMS, based on the vast portfolio I had built over the years, this meant that I entered as a non-traditional student and only had to complete the third and final year.

At first, I was cynical as to what I would get out of the course? Whether I would learn any new skills? Or if I even needed the degree at all?

In fact, it wasn’t until I recently completed the course where I could reflect and see how much I had actually gained and developed over the academic year.

Firstly, the course allowed me to submerge myself in music and creativity for a whole year. As a result of now completing the course, I have managed to re-establish my own music career as a producer and found my passion for music once more. I have a legitimate music studio ‘Atelier Noir’, which was developed as part of the ‘Independent Study’ assignment, without this assignment and the criteria I had to meet I would never have been able to realise my full potential as a producer and that producing music wasn’t about money, geographic location or owning expensive equipment – instead it was about producing good work, being enterprising and creative with the space and the equipment I had built up (no matter how dated), focusing on the unique selling point of the studio and myself as a producer, also entertaining a variety of recording opportunities that were offered and available on a day-to-day basis.

This approach has lead to securing a number of avant-garde recording sessions, that I would usually not have entertained, this includes producing a concept album for international best-seller Joanne Harris (Chocolat) and her progressive folk band ‘Storytime’ – I’ve also taken on a permanent contract recording voiceovers for and organisation called Gatehouse Awards for their international ESOL speaking and listening qualifications, although this project isn’t music based I have enjoyed the editing process and helped the organisation to build a library of recordings.

Furthermore, the most exciting news came May 2019 when I was offered a contract to produce my first film score composition for an independent movie financed by Universal Studios and produced by a Lancashire based film and media company, this opportunity came after submitting the tracks created and produced as part of my final ‘Production Project’ assignment. I submitted three tracks created as part of my final assignment for AMS – the film company pretty much got back to me the next day with an offer. I cannot disclose the title of the movie as I’m bound under strict confidentiality regulations - but I’m looking forward to writing and producing this project.

I would highly recommend AMS to any music producer of any age and level, who’re looking to focus on a music project and build a body of work – ok, so the writing elements of the course can be tedious at times, I personally found the written assignments particularly frustrating, but overall, the pros of completing this degree outweighed the cons. AMS have a great team of mentors that offer lots of sound advice, help and support throughout the academic year – my own mentors Robin and Kimwei were extremely helpful, encouraging and were always at hand with a solution, should any question or problem arise.

To conclude and reiterate, completing this degree has certainly helped me to realise my own potential and to identify areas for improvement and further development. For the first time in four years, having rediscovered my love and passion for music, I’m once again optimistic about the future, my own music career and where it may lead."


13 different countries now have AMS Online Students

Since becoming a global music educator, we reflect on the diversifying effect of online study, and the benefits a flexible degree can have for working musicians or practitioners.

We are now officially an internationally reaching resource - with students studying AMS Online courses in 13 countries including Nepal, China, Thailand, Spain, Australia, and Nigeria, as well as Philadelphia and New York in the States! The universality and accessibility of our courses has been a really attractive option for many students who want the benefits of a UK led university course, with international and global access and possibilities. You can take a degree (literally) anywhere in the world, with the hope it can take you wherever you need to be in your career as well.

It is exciting to have watched AMS Online become a global resource and community, connecting passionate musicians everywhere through an education platform which is specially designed to be flexible and fit around busy working or touring lifestyle. Being able to study through AMS Online wherever you are in the world, at whatever time or pace suits your existing commitments, means that we have become a digitally diverse community, comprised of like-minded, self motivated musicians from all corners of the globe.

Online study is becoming more and more popular, and perhaps even more vital in a time where cuts to music and arts is stifling creative education in the UK mainstream. "It’s intriguing to think of the barrier-breaking impact it may have on seemingly ‘specialist’ arts subjects like classical music" says the BBC of the rising trend in online learning. It seems digital study has its part to play in diversifying education and providing access to what might otherwise be limited or exclusive academic arenas - to the masses.

Our students can really benefit from a flexible approach to study, and the ability to learn, communicate and practice anywhere in the world, means working or touring can be done alongside working towards a degree.

Kiran Shahi is is drummer of Rock, Jazz, and Latin and Fusion styles who is based in and studying in Nepal via the AMS Online resource. In a recent interview he did for us, Kiran talks about how he got involved with AMS study online, "I was actively involved in the music industry for so my years but my academics were always left behind since there aren’t many music colleges in Nepal but after I found out about AMS Online course I was very excited to continue my studies since it was very flexible and that’s exactly what I was looking for." You can read the full interview here. 

“The course was, without a word of a lie, the most important thing I have done in my life! It’s made a real difference to how I regard myself as a creative professional"

Jena Thomson, former student

James Gordon, a UK-based AMS masters student talked to us about how "flexi-study" meant he could teach guitar and tour with his band on the side, whilst working towards his degree at his own pace. "Learning through performing, and learning while performing" he states. While fitting both passion and study into your lifestyle is important, this also means that real gigging experience can feed back into and provide case studies or experience to degree work.“The course was, without a word of a lie, the most important thing I have done in my life! It’s made a real difference to how I regard myself as a creative professional" - Jena Thomson, former student

Easy access to course modules and real-time communication with course tutors and staffs means that musical and creative projects can operate alongside academic study. In fact, they can positively impact learning. Our students are great at keeping us in the loop with what they're up to in addition to their degree. Drew Lowe chatted to us recently regarding his part-time study and how he fits this into a busy touring schedule with both his band and the musical Rock of Ages - you can read the full interview on our blog and check out his band Temple of One's debut single here. And you can read our full interview with James Gordon on our news page. He chatted to us about his band Akoosticka who have been very busy, and his solo projects he has got in the works.

Words: Izzy Trott

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