The Academy of Contemporary Music was founded 22 years ago on a single, fundamental principle: an absolute passion for delivering outstanding contemporary music education. Whether students choose to focus on music performance, songwriting, production, technical services or business management, we pride ourselves on delivering an immersive music industry education in which we match the highest quality of teaching and learning with an unparalleled student experience. Representing every corner of the field they hope to work in, ACM is, in this way, creating a microcosm of the music industry in which its students really can work together and learn by doing.
The talented students who join us from all around the world share their classrooms with like-minded people who are committed to pursuing a career in music. But we aren’t a conservatoire and ACM’s widening participation agenda means that that we’re not looking for perfection, either. Instead, we’re looking for diamonds in the rough. We’re looking for those with passion, potential, character and commitment. And we’re looking for people who are ready to learn.
We’re proud to call the legendary Metropolis Studios in Chiswick, Europe’s largest recording complex where over 50% of the UK Music Chart is recorded, mixed or mastered our sister company. ACM students enjoy an access all areas pass to Europe’s largest recording complex, in which the likes of Queen, Adele, Amy Winehouse, Wil.i.am and countless others have recorded, and some still record, today. This joining of educational and professional environments has created a unique end-to-end proposition for those wanting to pursue a career in the music and wider creative industries, not to be found anywhere else in music education.
Across our unique campus environments in Birmingham, London and Surrey, students are taught by the very best music industry professionals who are out there, doing it for real, designing new ways of working and pushing creative boundaries. Each and every day, they bring the most up to date knowledge and rarest of opportunities from the outside world back into our classrooms, only for ACM students. They are expert educators who inform and inspire. They are dual-professional leaders in their chosen field. They possess formidable resumés and our students’ music industry aspirations are their life-long careers. What better role models could we offer?
We’re interested in our students’ careers as much as their studies, dedicating an entire department to supporting their professional development, and helping them take their first steps into the music industry. ACM’s Industry Link team is headed up by Martin ‘Ace’ Kent (of Skunk Anansie fame). Through regular networking events, work placements, performance and audition opportunities, students are able to showcase their knowledge and talent to music industry executives (from labels, publishers, management companies and more) and gain first-hand feedback from those in the know. The department connects students to a network of top-tier industry partners in the music and wider creative industries, and also offers regular tutorial and masterclass opportunities with visiting guests. This term’s classes have included those with Carla Marie Williams (songwriter for Beyoncé), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Fraser T Smith (producer for Paloma Faith) and Mikkey D (Motorhead). Industry Link offers support for our students on a life-long basis. Long after they graduate, we’ll keep a welcome for them, here.
At ACM, we are equally conscious of our responsibilities to the holistic wellbeing of our students, and are therefore committed to their personal development, too. We provide for both physical and mental wellbeing needs, from specialist vocal coaches and surgeons to ensure that students care for and preserve their instrument, to professional therapists that can address performance anxiety, crises of confidence and other complex issues that are prevalent within the highly critical creative industries. Each of our students is coached in Mindfulness, the intentional connection of body and mind, helping them to unlock further mental, physical and creative potential, as well as a better understanding of emotional thought and its effects on the body. We help our students lead happier, more fulfilled and balanced lives.
We’re extremely proud of our students, past and present, who can be found working in all kinds of roles as musicians, artists and songwriters, producers, DJs, stage managers, engineers and sound designers, industry executives, innovators and entrepreneurs. With many in influential and decision making roles that are changing and shaping the way we work for the better, using their ACM education to fundamentally fix what was not so long ago broken, our network of 10,000+ graduates is worldwide and centred around sustainable careers that contribute creatively, culturally and economically to the music and creative industries. Whilst fame is most certainly not the goal or promise, our alumni network is peppered with a few such success stories. Just take Newton Faulkner for instance, who graduated from ACM’s Performance School before reaching the top of the charts in 2007 with his debut album ‘Hand Built By Robots’. He was nominated for Best British Male Solo Artist at the following year’s BRIT Awards and has become one of the most talked about and accomplished live performers on the circuit today. Other Alumni include the Grammy award winning Ed Sheeran, MTV and Youtube sensation Ebony Day, Amelle Berrabah (Sugababes), Joel Peat and Ryan Fletcher of Lawson, Ted Dwane from Mumford & Sons, BBC Radio’s favourite Emma Stevens, electronic star Zomboy and many, many more.
Interested in learning more? Want to join us in September? Then visit our courses page, browse our website or call us on 01483 500 800 and we’ll do all we can to help you.