Masterclass with Dan Jones Of PRS For Music

22 October, 2015

Students and staff were joined by a special guest speaker last week as Dan Jones of PRS For Music delivered the latest popular BIMM Manchester Masterclass.

PRS For Music are a crucial organisation who work at the heart of the music industry, overseeing and consulting on important aspects of performance and pay to ensure composers and musicians are treated fairly and properly recompensed, just as their mission statement and description explains:

‘We are a society of songwriters, composers and music publishers. We license organisations to play, perform or make available copyright music on behalf of our members and overseas societies, and distribute the resulting royalties to them fairly and efficiently. We promote and protect the value of copyright.

Writers and performers both benefit from the important work PRS For Music undertakes, which of course means they are of interest to the BIMM undergraduates who are headed towards careers in the musical industries.

Dan himself works as Outreach Manager for the organisation, and his talk explained both the inner workings of PRS For Music and his role at the company, taking in some of his personal and career background along the way, including his early days as a musician and later as an industry professional. 

Dan helpfully shed light on key topics of interest for musicians, including royalties and the proper method for their collection and distribution. He explained some of the complex world of music copyright, focussing on the rights of the songwriter and what they are entitled to receive from a fair deal. He also touched on some essential changes that have occurred in the age of digital distribution and the importance of ensuring artists receive what they are owed.

Students left with a key sense of the importance of protecting oneself as an artist. Jennifer Hyman, studying a Songwriting Diploma, told us:

It was a very interesting Masterclass with really useful information,” while Angus Whyman, Guitar BA1, agreed: “It was very informative. I learned a lot about publishing and performer’s rights I might never have known about otherwise.’”

Even host Jeff Thompson, tutor for Engaging with Industry, learned a thing or two:

It was a very beneficial Masterclass, I learned a lot about the benefits I never knew existed, like how much you should get per gig, and per play on the radio.”

Sensibly, our students are never ones to miss out on an opportunity for networking and Dan was more than happy to swap contact details after the Masterclass – no doubt more than a few future members of PRS For Music were in the audience!

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