One college has the team to get your music career going

(Last Updated On: August 5, 2022)

Music is one of many creative sectors that sets the United Kingdom apart from the rest of the world and is a huge global industry. Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan said in UK Music’s 2019 Music by Numbers report: “The industry is worth an amazing £5.2 billion to the economy and the live music sector is breaking the £1 billion barrier.” While the pandemic did have an impact on this sector, the industry is bouncing back.

Whether you view music and creative jobs as more of a hobby or as a viable career, there’s no denying the financial impact of the industry and the strength it adds to our country’s economy.

But sometimes, it’s hard to know where to start getting into the industry, especially for younger people. That’s where the music team at South Devon College come in.

Made up of iconic and successful local musicians, the music team at the college have an abundance of experience, from performing to running a business in this industry. Together, Barney Dine, Jon Lee, Connor Spring and Brandon Bolt create courses that are well-balanced and consider a wide spread of careers in this sector.

Lecturer for Music, Barney, has been teaching at the college for 3 years, and has always been passionate about music. He’s spent the last 25 years in the music industry as an artist, sound engineer and producer.

He said: “Outside of working at the college I run my own recording studio and play with various bands. This year I will be performing at Beautiful Days, Bestival and Boomtown, as well as a couple of international gigs I’ve got lined up.”

Barney continues to say what’s so great about studying music at South Devon College. “We like to teach the skills people need to be ready for the music industry. Whether that’s as a performer, a sound engineer, a producer, or even the business management side of it. We’ve got top notch facilities here that enable students to have a real hands-on experience and to build the skill-sets ready for work or university.”

Programme Coordinator for Music, Jon, also shares a healthy number of years’ experience spending the past 15 years working as a performer and session guitarist.

He said: “Music has always been my passion and as a teacher I love to get the chance to share my experience; how to approach composing music, recording and mixing in a studio environment, through to releasing music across all platforms. We give the students the chance to see their ideas become a reality and get released to a professional standard.”

There’s more to it than being able to play instruments and sing songs. Jon continues: “We also focus on marketing, help students become self-reliant and how to earn an income from their music.

Jon also highlighted that working with the team here, you have a great leg up into the industry. “We have many great connections with publishers, commercial studios, talent agencies and promoters.”

Brandon, Trainer Facilitator for Music, has like Jon been a musician for the past 15 years. He has had many different experiences within the industry during that time. He currently gigs as a drummer and guitarist playing in multiple bands performing covers and original music. Brandon also writes, records and produces his own compositions. These are on online platforms for people to either stream or buy.

He said: “My main passion within my teaching role is to be inclusive giving everyone the same chances and experiences as the more proficient musicians who do come through the door.”

Technician for Music and Performing Arts, Connor said: “For me it’s all about offering what we’ve learnt from our experience. Every teacher here outside of the college works full time in the industry. From running record labels, to hosting events, live performance to session work and more, we all have something to offer. Students leave with a wider perspective on the industry and how they can use that to further their own career.”

There are many avenues for earning potential in the industry that aren’t just about being the next chart-topping artist. And these pro’s can open the door to a wealth of opportunities.

It’s safe to say that if you are looking to work in the music industry, embrace your creativity and make a living from it, you’d be setting yourself up well for it by studying with the team at South Devon College.

To find out more about your options at South Devon College, visit and search ‘music’. To get in touch, call 08000 380 123 or email

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