The Music Federation is to offer a world-beating, commercially driven accelerator platform for ACM students.

ACM and The Music Federation (TMF) have come together to bring the professional services of the industry, direct to students across the creative industries spectrum on programme at ACM. The key aim of this unique partnership is to accelerate learning and translate this into a valuable experience by integrating all elements of professional services into and around the student experience. The curriculum is also based on real-world projects, and this integrated approach provides crucial industry context to all aspects of learning and shapes art into enterprise which better prepares students for that critical transition to becoming future artists, managers and entrepreneurs who will go on to shape the future of the industry.

The range of commercial services and facilities includes manufacturing, digital distribution, neighbouring rights administration, PR, radio and DSP playlist pitching, advance funding, legal aid, merch infrastructure, recording studio services and video production.

The Music Federation provides scalable label services and distribution to its membership of collaborative, independent music companies and operators and artists. Just some examples of members and partners include Mayfield Records, Young Music Boss, Metropolis Studios, Perceptible Records, The Killing Moon Academy, 2000 Trees Festival, Emprise Records, and more both within the UK and internationally.

TMF commercial partners also bring a vast array of knowledge and experience. Just some of those that TMF work with include AIM, Music Ally, Festival Republic, Dice,, Help Musicians, Believe, Serenade, Jellysmack, BeatBread/ChordCash, Fanbace,

The first of many projects under this partnership is underway and we are creating live opportunities for performance, artist, songwriter, production and venue staff careers. In consultation with the learning experts and students at ACM we are also going to create:

The ACM Passport: Selected performing students will be invited to tour international showcase festivals worldwide, with TMF and Killing Moon previously having had stage and curation presences at events such as The Great Escape, Live At Leeds, SXSW, Break Out West and many more.

Commercial Development Pathway: Qualifying students will be able to enjoy a robust live development platform delivered by TMF Live, enabling them to take their live careers from a free entry showcase to a hard-ticketed headliner.

Work Placements: Students will have access to a range of live production, marketing, booking and promotion work placement opportunities across TMF’s venue, agent, promoter, and audio-visual/live streaming partners.

Mentorship & Masterclasses: The Music Federation will use its wide array of relationships and partnerships in the broader commercial music industry for the benefit of instructing, mentoring and advising students keen on a career in live music.

Students will also benefit from ongoing guidance across other associated areas such as ticketing, sponsorship and live streaming, as well as being able to take advantage of TMF’s array of automated online tools to make navigating their chosen career path more straightforward.

The Music Federation’s founder and CEO, Achal Dhillon, brings over 20 years of hands-on experience, having spent the prior 10 years creating and running the prolific tastemaker label, live promoter and management company, Killing Moon.

Dhillon is also a former director at The Association of Independent Music, a booking consultant for Festival Republic, and one of the first graduates of the music industry to participate in the CLOCK Sector Expert Bootcamp in 2021. He was also named on the most-recent Alternative Power List in the Record Labels category in December 2021, affirming the unique community-based model he created at The Music Federation.

Dhillon says:

By lowering administrative barriers in music for our members sinch launch, we have come to realise that The Music Federation’s core role is to be a commercial accelerator for new entrants to the music business – those who have historically been excluded or obstructed from accessing earnest industry opportunities, in order to make their career both a commercially viable and creatively satisfying one. I am immensely proud of our purpose and now also incredibly excited to be able to bring this to a community of talented students where it could have the greatest impact. I have known Kainne Clements and Richard Connell for some time and have always admired their laser focus and relentless commitment to doing what’s right by their customer and the industry and of the many institutions we have worked with and come across in general, ACM and its sister company, Metropolis Studios are, for me, in a class of one and I am delighted to be part of this amazing community of professionals.

The ACM tutor and student communities are also incredible, from the emery to the skills I have seen so far, this next chapter for both organisations will be as exciting as it will authentic and that’s what drives me and my team. Together, we will offer a world-beating accelerator platform that truly is unique in the music business and importantly, in education.

ACM Executive Chairman Kainne Clements said:

For education to be relevant and to be effective, it must forge intrinsic links to the industry and this partnership with TMF represents a landmark moment in education across the creative industries. Employers and investors alike constantly cite a lack of learned experience and applied skills at the point of graduation and this partnership provides a key building block to bridge this divide, and give greater value and opportunities to our students on their journey to becoming a professional within the industry.

As professionals, we learn in communities of practice, and we rely on networks of professional support. We develop through mentoring, and we are assessed through peer review and the closer education can get to this industry practice-based model, the better the match will be for graduates to professional careers.

Simply put, TMF and ACM will provide our students with that essential network of professional support and the experience which we know to be so crucial to sustaining a career in the music business and indeed across the whole creative industry spectrum.

On a personal level, I enjoy working with people who are themselves, committed to learning and growing as this is also key to any successful relationship and with Achel and Nadia, whose enthusiasm for bringing the music business into ACM is very clear, we have expanded and strengthened a team that emits the energy and provide the agility to make good things happen at speed, without compromise.

About ACM

Established in 1995, The Academy of Contemporary Music has since produced more than 25,000 graduates and has pioneered many programmes for the creative industries within education. From the first Rap-Degree programme in the UK to the first ‘and only’ integrated-accelerated master’s programme which launches this year, where students join at A-Level and graduate in 3 years as opposed to the traditional 5 years, with a post-graduate masters in Creative Industry Futures, ACM continues to pave the way for education to map industry practice, in real-time and based on real-world projects.

Learning through collaborative projects, with students coming together from across disciplines to work on solving an industry problem or developing an opportunity, is exactly how the industry works and evolves.  This approach takes an inordinate amount of planning which is why it tends not to exist. It is, however, the only real way to offer enhanced value and greater opportunities to all students and to close that gap between what education does and what industry needs and so we have created this learning environment with a great investment of time and resources and without compromise.

For example, in a traditional degree programme, you tend not to have a personal tutor with whom you can talk, reflect and plan your learning journey. At ACM you will have a dedicated personal tutor and will be able to work together to select specialist skills modules for upskilling and broadening your ability to apply what you learn and these modules can be selected from other disciplines. So, you could be on the production pathway and want to learn about specific elements of business such as publishing or management. You can apply this learning to the collaborative projects which then form part of your portfolio, demonstrating what you have learnt in real-world projects while showing the application of your learning. This translates to learned experience – which is what the industry is constantly looking for.

With state-of-the-art facilities, world-class faculty and extensive connections within the music industry, ACM offers a direct line of sight to career paths with options and extended reach that simply isn’t there with traditional programmes. The exposure to all aspects of the creative industries goes deep and wide and helps students make clear choices to build the knowledge, network and experience needed to lock in and enjoy a sustainable career in the music or gaming industries.

About The Music Federation

The Music Federation provides a scalable services-based distribution, label and non-label services solution for members both great and small.

With a focus on the holistic and robust artist and business development for the next generation of music industry stakeholders, The Music Federation is committed to pulling together a diverse range of skill sets unique to each of The Music Federation’s members. This is to procure the best possible prospects and opportunities for the rightsholders, and present the only viable solution to the broken models of the existing distribution landscape by accounting to its members at the release level as a matter of course; which in turn allows the Federation to attach services.

Services provided by The Music Federation to its members include free-at-the-point-of-use recording studio services, promotional services (PR, radio, DSP playlist pitching), access to The Music Federation Advances, free/discounted legal services with professional lawyers, merchandise facilities that are free at the point of use in respect to tour supply items, general training and expertise provided by Music Federation staff, video production services, access to artificial intelligence-based scouting, and more, to address what the Federation believes to be its membership’s most commonly encountered issues on a day-to-day basis.