Music students inspired by industry professional workshops

May 31, 2024

Students from all levels of music courses at NESCol were recently invited to join workshops led by two music industry professionals.

Former student and current marketing executive for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Megan McQueen, and accomplished session musician, Craig McMahon, visited Aberdeen City Campus last month to share their insights with the students.

The workshops gave students the opportunity to learn about the array of careers available in Scotland’s thriving music scene, and how to get started in the industry.

Megan McQueen studied HND Music at NESCol in 2011. She continued her studies at Perth UHI and the University of Glasgow, ultimately deciding that she wanted to focus on business and marketing.

As well as working for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Megan is a Press Assistant for the Belladrum Tartan Heart festival every year.

Headshot of Megan McQueen

She said: “If music is a big part of your life, and it’s a passion, absolutely try it, study it. You’re not just learning how to be a musician; you’re learning about all the aspects that pull the music industry together.

“I came to NESCol thinking, ‘I want to be a performer, I want to sell out venues across Aberdeen and Scotland’, and actually I discovered my love for marketing and the music business side. There are so many options in the industry, and you’re not pigeon-holed into the few you think about at school.”

Craig McMahon is a multi-instrumentalist and composer, currently performing as part of the band for Glaswegian artist, Joesef. With Joesef, Craig has toured the USA and supported Paolo Nutini at the OVO Hydro in December.

Craig studied music at the University of Strathclyde and had been active in the music scene from a young age, including playing trombone as part of the Junior Conservatoire of Music.

He hosted two workshops for the students, one about his career as a session musician, and a second workshop teaching practical sound production skills.

He said: “There are a multitude of things you can do after college and a variety of paths to take in your life. It’s important for students to see the range of careers out there and what a career in music actually looks like. You’d be lost without some sort of guidance.”

A key focus when studying music at NESCol is learning the transferable skills and industry knowledge to succeed after college.

Tony Young, Curriculum Manager for Creative Industries, NESCol, said: “It’s incredibly beneficial for students to meet professionals active in the career paths they aspire to follow, and at NESCol, we are dedicated to creating these opportunities.

“Engaging with industry experts like Megan and Craig is truly invaluable, and the fact that Megan is a former NESCol music student makes it even more special.”

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