Providing education for the audio professionals of the future is one of Sennheiser UK’s core policies. Early Autumn saw that commitment bringing benefits to 200 first year students at Bucks New Uni, as they enjoyed a Sennheiser-run education day at the British Music Experience, the interactive museum of rock and pop within London’s The O2.
Sennheiser UK has a close working relationship with the British Music Experience, which benefits students from a number of educational establishments. This, however, was the biggest session the company had hosted so far, with no less than six coach loads of eager new students on the Music Management and Audio & Music Production courses at Bucks New Uni attending.
As the number of students was so high, the party was split into two halves. The first half of the students toured the museum and its many iconic exhibits, while the other half enjoyed a seminar provided by Sennheiser. For the second part of the day, the parties swapped over.
The seminar was presented by Sennheiser UK artist relations manager Phil Cummings and the company’s live sound specialist, Dave Wooster. It included a presentation about the company’s history, the role of artist relations and relationships with engineers, as well as the live tours that Phil and the Sennheiser UK team have been involved withover the past 12 months.
“The idea was to give the students a taste of who we are and what we do within the industry,” says Phil. “We had one of our up and coming endorsees, Laura Steel on hand and her band, who performed acoustically through the KR200 K-Array [one of the brands that Sennheiser distributes in the UK] system, which was mixed by Dave.
“We then had a Q&A session hosted by Andrew Reynolds (Senior Lecturer in live music at the university), which involved Laura, Dave and myself answering questions from the students about our jobs, the industry and Sennheiser as a company.”
Meanwhile, the students who were looking at the British Music Experience’s exhibits were not only experiencing the colourful history of British music through Sennheiser headphones, but Lucinda Bristow from vocal school Vocadamy was also running vocal coaching around the company’s vocal booth in the interactive studio, which the students really enjoyed.
The day was a huge success for all involved, as witnessed by a number of comments from both the students and those involved with running it.
“This is the second year that, with the support of Sennheiser, we’ve taken our freshers to the British Music Experience and they really loved it,” says Frazer Mackenzie, head of school for Production & New Media at Bucks New Uni. “It’s a great chance for students to meet music industry professionals and Sennheiser-endorsed artists, as well as finding out a bit more about the UK’s incredible music heritage.”
“The university is committed to giving students real industry experience and giving them the opportunity to meet people who actually work in music,” adds Laura Steel. “The students got to meet industry professionals first hand and see where they are heading when they graduate.”
The British Music Experience’s Education Manager, Susanne Buck, was equally happy with the day, saying, “Sennheiser is an integral part of our Industry Insiders series of seminars. They enable students to see how technology is at the heart of the music industry. Events such as these are invaluable to students across the curriculum and, from the enthusiastic reception we see from the students, we know they are enjoyable too.”
Further educational days to be hosted by Sennheiser at the museum in the coming months include RF master classes and live mixing workshops with Bucks New Uni, LIPA and the National TV & Film School.
“At Sennheiser UK, we strongly believe that ‘putting something back’ is a key part of our role within the pro audio industry,” says Phil Cummings. “As well as offering professional support, by working closely with the British Music Experience and leading educational establishments, we can ensure that the next generation of sound engineers gets the best possible start.
“How much someone enjoys learning is usually key to how much they take onboard, so these educational days are the ideal way to give the students a head start.”