This post was written more than two years ago. The content or information below may no longer be accurate.

Having enrolled and completed ACM’s then Guitar Higher Diploma (now Cert HE) and Guitar Degree course in 2006, ACM Performance School Alumnus Richard Shaw always had his heart set on making his living from music. Now eight years since graduating, ACM caught up with Richard to see how his dream is panning out.

What have you been up to since graduation?
Since leaving ACM, I built up a career teaching guitar in primary and secondary schools as well as plenty of private lessons. I have two bands. NG26, a melodic hard rock band who have released two albums, multiple singles, EPs and also landing numerous music videos on Kerrang TV. My other band is Emperor Chung, a more progressive melodic rock band who released our debut album in 2013 to rave reviews, music video on Scuzz TV, and opening the Pepsi Max stage at Download Festival 2013. I also do a lot of musical theatre work, so I’m glad that ACM taught me the skills to be a good sight reader. I wouldn’t have got as much work without it!

Currently I am on a European tour playing guitar for Cradle Of Filth. I got the call after a friend of mine recommended me to the band. I was asked to learn two of their hardest songs (by ear, so practice your aural skills!) and submit a video audition. A few days later I got the call saying that I got the job. It’s been incredible and definitely the highlight of my career so far.

Your future plans during 2014
My plans for 2014 are to finish up the Cradle Of Filth tour, carry on with my teaching, recording and touring with both bands and possibly more work with Cradle Of Filth, playing festivals and one off shows.

Any words of advice for current students with regards to ACM and writing/publishing content?
My advice to ACM students is to work hard at all aspects of your musicianship and get networking. You might not want to sight read now, but if I didn’t work at it I wouldn’t be working in musical theatre. If I didn’t work hard at developing my ear I wouldn’t have got the Cradle Of Filth gig. You never know when you are going to need those skills at a moments notice. ACM gave me the work ethic that is needed to make a living as a professional musician.

Why you chose to study at ACM and the best parts of studying here.
I met some incredible people and learned so much from teachers, masterclasses and the friends that I made at ACM and am still close friends with to this day. You never know when they might help you get that ‘big break’. Be a good person and work hard. They will remember you for it.

Since completing this article Richard has since been on tour with Cradle of Filth and will be playing Amnesia Fest in Canada with the band. Richard is also confirmed to play guitar for a local production of Jesus Christ Superstar from April 8th – 12th. Richard is now as endorsed by PRS guitars!

ACM would like to thanks Alumnus Richard Shaw for getting back in touch and want to wish him well for all the projects he’ll be involved in.