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Since 1995, ACM the Academy of Contemporary Music has been educating the next generation of musicians, producers and business executives and we love to hear how our Alumni have been developing their own careers in the music industry.

One such Alumnus – Luis Aguilar – recently got in touch to tell us about what he’s been up to since he graudated from ACM’s then HND in Contemporary Music Performance (Guitar), in 2002. Here’s Luis’s update.

What have you been up to since graduation?
Here’s a quick summary of what I’ve been up to since leaving ACM in 2002.

From 2002- 2005

  • Played at a number of London venues, session recordings and joined a charity teaching music to disabled kids.
  • Completed recording sessions and jingles in Mexico.
  • Toured Cuba for a month with a rock band.

From 2006 – 2009

  • I relocated to China, worked editing and composing music for video games.
  • Budweiser/Corona contracted me to perform in 10 cities around China.
  • I was part of a small tour in Japan and Korea after signing a sponsorship deal with Coca-Cola.
  • I started as a formal music teacher for an academy teaching guitar, percussion and DJ- music editing.

From 2010 – 2011

  • Volvo, Cadillac and Coca Cola hired me to play with a Latin jazz trio to support their promotional events.
  • Won ‘The best act of the night’ playing a fusion of rock and flamenco on guitar at Beijing’s Music Conservatory
  • Opened the ceremony for the 50th Anniversary of cultural relationships between China and Latin America in Beijing playing a solo number of Latin jazz on guitar.
  • I also gained a BA in Chinese language.

From 2012 – 2013

  • I did a series of gigs with a Ska band in Beijing to raise money for a charity to buy books and desks for rural schools outside Beijing.
  • China Radio International hired me to produce two documentaries about western music and it’s influence in China – I was also the presenter.
  • I appeared on Chinese TV for a documentary about my music career in China and my music projects in Asia.
  • I signed a contract with Chinese private TV to appear as a Music Judge on a series of talent shows, sort of ‘China’s Got Talent’.

Tell us about your plans for the future
I have a number of objectives, which I’d like to focus on over the next year or so including:

  • Be more involved recording my own material.
  • To produce and manage talented bands from the west and bringing them to play in China at various musical events since now I speak fluent Chinese and I’m familiar with the Asian market.
  • I’d also love to have the chance to return to ACM and give a talk for the students and share with them what I’ve learnt about the music industry. It’s been more than 10 years since I was last at ACM so I’d love to see how the facilities have progressed and also personally thank the tutors and people who made it possible for me to study there.

Any words of advice for current students with regards to ACM and writing/publishing content?
This is what I can tell the ACM guys: ACM is a golden opportunity to enjoy music, studying it and converting it into a successful career. Approach your experienced teachers for all the tips and advice.

Make the best use of the rooms, equipment, etc. and get on stage and perform relentlessly, talk to your classmates and cooperate with each other because you never know who’s gonna be doing the big tour soon!

Why you chose to study at ACM and the best parts of studying here?
ACM provided me with a unique curriculum based on modern music and performance plus, offered a professional qualification. From the theory up to the business side of music, ACM had it all. The facilities were amazing and designed for anyone who loves music. The teachers were professional and still active in the music industry so they were able to guide us wisely.

ACM would like to thank alumnus Luis Aguilar for getting back in touch and wish him well for all his forthcoming projects.