Monday, 22 October 2012

Week 3: Life Of A Commercial Music Student At Westminister


Week 3 of the 'Learning Burst Module' was already upon us. Today's lecture was called 'Blackboard, SRS and Research Skills 3' and the topic of focus Plagiarism. Plagiarism 'Passing other peoples' ideas as you're own.' Failing to acknowledge other people's ideas can result in penalties:disciplinary action. 

Referencing Skills


Italic font for item that can be held, for instance a book, along with publishing details and author, year of publication. An article needs to have a volume number. 

When referencing one can either paraphrase in which one summarises a section of the article of interest, or quote the exact sentence(s). This must end with the surname of the author and year of publication.


The bibliography is always at the end of the document.

For journals and articles put author and books include title, page number and publishing details. Television programmes need not have the page number included. For websites the full URL included along with the date the site was accessed.


Today was all about Studio Skills, led by Glen Skinner. This was an exciting day for me since I have very little skills when it comes to logic. The questions answered were: 'How does Logic work?', 'How do plugins work?' 'And what about the outboard stuff?'.

Command Tool- Cut up
Edit sounds via EX524 plugins
Automation- 'A' arrange
Sampler- manipulate vocal audio
Back up audio
Scoring- To change notes
Key Command- Snap- click bar
                     Smart- in beat
Loop- drag top bar to number of loop required

I noticed that one of my fellow students smartly brought her laptop to the logic tutorial. She said I can get Logic 9 on CHEAP! 

After the lecture I had a radio meeting with Smoke Radio where we suggested potential shows. Exciting stuff! Cannot wait to bring Fresh Kutz back on air.


We started at 3pm today! Had a lovely lie-in that was desperately needed. 

Today was 'Thinking and Arguing Skills 1' and we listened to 3 tracks selected by three different students in the class.

Student 1 tracks:
1- Forgot About Dre ft Eminem
   -this track reminded him of his mum, youth; being 8 years old.
   - less mainstream

2- Cuba Electronic- Mala
-dark,brooding, low frequency
-identified with artist

3-Touch- Holy Other
-massive,minimal, subculture bass

All three tracks are connected in some way.

Student 2 tracks:
1- Soul- Candy Rain
-reminded her of mum, and youth; being 4 years old.

2- Made In New York- Tanie Maria- 1985
-abstract rhythm
- interest in song from parents- 14 years old onwards

3- Earth Wind And Fire- Wanna be With You
-harmonies and riff makes song appealing

Student 3 tracks:
1- Justin Timberlake- Like I Love You
- reminds him of his mum

2) Fallout Boy- Sugar We're Coming Down
-reminds him of youth at 14 years old

3) The Elijah- I Loved
-deep memories, goose bumps.
-this song isn't very well known

As we can see each persons' life experiences/lifestyle affect life and music listened to.

We also had a listen to Medieval Music and Classical Music which was interesting to compare commercial music of today with the past.


Today was 'Music Business Skills 1' with Simon Goffe.

-to be active
-read Ann Harisson book-  'Music: The Business: The Essential Guide to the Law and the Deals'
-be passionate and have opinions

Who do you need help from?
-record label
-tour manager
-agent (to make bookings)

Anatomy of the music business and how it works:
-communication between band is crucial
-teamwork working with support
-image is important
-creative industry- challenge
-new technology- new connections

An artist who writes as well as records makes more income

Recuperable costs- advanced, tour costs, recording costs, videos.

We also learnt about the different types of record deals. Managers typically get 20%- the infamous 20%!

Publishing is very,very important also, especially for songwriters! Publishers namely ASCAP/PRS- which have merged.

Final steps after building a team:
-Get gigs
-recording a demo
-getting attention from the public
-building an audience


Today was test day! We had a studio skills test with Sam Bennett. First she showed us how to power up and power down the studio correctly. And getting sound out of the live room.

Each one of us then had to either power up or power down the studio! I had to power down, my first try was no bueno, but second was excellent! So we can now use the studios, awesome!

I then hung out in the studios to listen to some friend's tracks that he already recorded and had a mini jam session, always nice to listen to new music! Love!

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