7 Amazing, Virtual Masterclasses during the ‘New Normal’

3 June, 2020

The world may have ground to a screeching halt over the last few months with the COVID-19 lockdown, but here at BIMM Institute, our dedicated Careers Team continue to adapt and innovate when it comes to the ‘new normal’,  including hosting some pretty incredible virtual Masterclasses.

An impressive roster of guests have graced our virtual classrooms, bringing the intimate setting of our renowned workshops and in-conversations to the digital world. Here is a list of 7 exclusive online Masterclasses we were lucky enough to host in this unprecedented last term, from award-winning artists to inspiring business gurus.

1) Joss Stone

Live from the U.S., acclaimed BRIT Award and Grammy award-winning artist, Joss Stone joined us at BIMM this term for an exclusive online Masterclass and acapella vocal workshop session.

During this incredibly inspiring Masterclass, Joss discussed her experiences as a young artist in the music industry, her advice both creatively and financially, performing live on stage with the legendary James Brown, and the ‘Total World Tour’ that saw Joss visit every UN-registered country around the world. She also let our student in on her impressive vocal techniques, including acapella vocal examples of some of Joss’s songs!

Joss has released seven albums to date, with sales in excess of 15 million copies.  A truly independent soul and free spirit, Joss Stone gave us a truly unforgettable Masterclass that was full of positivity and gave everyone an incredible insight into the day in the life of a successful recording artist.

“It was as definitely one of the most enjoyable (if not the most enjoyable) Masterclasses of my time at BIMM Institute. It’s truly great to have somebody speaking openly about their experiences and in a manner where everybody listening can relate. HUGE thanks to Joss and the BIMM team.”

– Samuel Fox, BIMM student

2) Amelia Hartley

Amelia joined us recently to discuss sync opportunities for artists and musicians on TV, the selection process for music scores and songs, licensing, PRS, sync fees and job opportunities in sync production.

Amelia is  Head of Music for Endemol/Shine TV and has worked as the music supervisor on such projects as Peaky Blinders seasons 1-5 (BBC/Netflix), Black Mirror seasons 1-5 (Netflix), Fortitude seasons 1-3 (Sky Atlantic), Delicious seasons 1-3 (Sky 1), Bounty Hunters 1-2 (Sky 1), Curfew (Sky), Turn Up Charlie (Netflix) and many more. Amelia was nominated for a US Guild of Music Supervisors award and won Best TV Music Supervisor of the year at the Music Week Sync Awards in 2015 and 2018.

3) Jamiroquai Rhythm Section

Jamiroquai band members Derrick McKenzie (Drums), Paul Turner (Bass) and Rob Harris (Guitar) are regular session guests at BIMM and hosted a Q&A/music workshop.

Jamiroquai were the third biggest selling UK act of the ‘90s after the Spice Girls and Oasis, securing three No.1 albums, selling in excess of 26 million albums around the world.

Between Jamiroquai commitments, Paul, Rob and Derrick are active in many genres of music and projects.

Derrick McKenzie has been recording, doing regular online teaching and masterclasses, writing with various dance producers as well as starting a new weekly radio show on ‘MyHouseRadio’ every Wednesday, 3-5 pm. Derrick is a sought after session drummer having worked with countless artists including Jessie J, Alex Clare, John Newman to name a few…

Paul Turner regularly teaches and hosts masterclasses to students around the world. He is also part of new collective ‘Trioniq’ alongside Rob Harris & acclaimed keyboardist & trumpeter Iwan VanHetten. Paul’s diverse career also includes recording/live credits ranging from Annie Lennox to Lamont Dozier and Jeff Lorber to Omar, and many others.

Rob Harris currently lives in Cambridgeshire where he records and teaches in between tour dates at his well-equipped studio. Outside of his work in Jamiroquai and Trioniq, he has also featured on numerous albums and #1 singles with the likes of Beverley Knight and Kylie Minogue.

During this virtual BIMM Masterclass, the band members discussed how to create functional, interesting and balanced parts. Students also had the opportunity to send in their Guitar, Bass or Drum covers of the Jamiroquai track ‘Starchild’ for the chance to get live feedback from the band members!

4) Zara Mcfarlane

BIMM London alumni Zara McFarlane first caught the attention of world-renowned DJ Gilles Peterson on the release of her self-produced EP in 2010. He was so impressed that he released her debut album Until Tomorrow (and subsequent albums) on his label Brownswood Recordings in 2011.  With three critically acclaimed albums to her name and multiple awards wins, such as a Best Jazz MOBO Award, an Urban Music Award for Best Jazz Act and two Jazz FM Awards for Vocalist of the Year, Zara has a stronghold on the British Jazz vocal scene.

In our exclusive Masterclass, Zara talked about the UK jazz scene, the process of releasing records and finding her record label through contacts, management, TV appearances such as Later With Jools and her incredible work ethic!

5) Charlie Pinder

A music industry executive with over 25 years of experience, Charlie Pinder is the former Managing Director of the biggest music publisher, Sony ATV. He has worked with influential writers and artists, including Gary Barlow, Oasis, KT Tunstall and Robert Plant.

Charlie is currently the Head of A&R/Creative at Reservoir Music, working with world-class songwriters and artists including Jamie Hartman (Celeste, Rag’n’Bone Man), David Sneddon (Lewis Capaldi, Lana Del Ray) and John Fortis (Ellie Goulding).

Interviewed by Anna Neale, Charlie discussed his extensive career, music publishing and answered all of our students’ brilliant questions.

6) Natasha Khan, Bat For Lashes

Natasha Khan – who performs as Bat For Lashes – took part in an exclusive online Q&A with questions from BIMM students. Natasha is known for her avant-garde creativity, working within conceptual music as an art form and has released five studio albums. She has received three Mercury Prize nominations for ‘Fur and Gold’, ‘Two Sun’s’ and ‘The Bride’. Singer-songwriter Natasha has also won an Ivor Novello Award for her song ‘Daniel’ (released in 2010) and also for best TV soundtrack for Requiem.

The Q&A discussion included topics on creative direction, writer’s block, working under pressure, artist inspiration, working with the legendary Scott Walker, and conceptual projects.

7) Will Young

BRIT Award and multi-million selling artist Will Young joined us at BIMM for a series of exclusive 1-2-1 online vocal and songwriting workshops across our UK colleges.  Will has achieved incredible success since winning Pop Idol in 2002, including two BRIT Awards and four No.1 albums. Will Young still holds the record for the fasted selling debut single in music history with the double A-side ‘Evergreen/Anything Is Possible’, selling 1.1 million copies within the first week.

Will has previously visited our Bristol and Birmingham colleges for exclusive performance-based Masterclasses, so we were very excited to have him back at BIMM this term to mentor our vocalists and songwriters for over 9 hours of expert tuition online!  Will listened to our performers’ original songs, as well as cover versions and gave his feedback and advice on songwriting, diction, breathing techniques and how to emotionally connect to your song through performance.

Our dedicated Careers Team have gone above and beyond to ensure that our students have every opportunity available to make the right connections to the right industry professionals and develop the skills needed to succeed in music. If you’re interested in learning more about our exciting Careers Programme and more about BIMM Institute, we are now offering Virtual Open Days. Sign up here.

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British and Irish Modern Music Institute