Vanessa Tarrier - College of Arts, Humanities and Education - University of Derby

Vanessa Tarrier, Music Technology and Production, 2013

What are you doing now?

As part of the professional practice module of my course I had to gain work experience within the music and recording industry. I contacted every recording studio in my home town of Milton Keynes and got a week’s worth of work experience at RGS Music Group. The company are a recording studio and artist management group, and have managed artists including James Morrison and Wretch 32.

After I graduated in 2013, RGS contacted me with the offer of a six month internship during which I helped develop the career of a local artist, Bailey McConnell. I also met many songwriters who had written hits for Simply Red and the Spice Girls. I was in regular contact with Syco (joint venture company between Simon Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment), plus I managed studio sessions for RGS’s own artists, including 1990s pop star Kavana. In addition I edited and directed music videos for Bailey and another local artist Holly Brewer.

My role at RGS Music Group is a part-time studio engineer and co-manager of Studio for a Day; where I record studio sessions, host recording studio parties for the general public and lead on marketing campaigns.

Whilst I worked for the business on my internship, I identified a gap in the market for RGS to develop Studio for a Day as a revenue stream. I’m proud to say the business is thriving and the Facebook page is filled with positive reviews, so it's a great start!

I also work at BBC World as a Digital Sales Planner for EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa)

For this role I look after two advertising agencies, Educate Ltd (based in UK targeting Europe and Middle East), and Habari Media (based in South Africa targeting Africa). I manage marketing campaigns, bookings, create content, and perform search engine optimisation (SEO) and evaluation.

I’ve taken advantage of my contacts at the BBC with work shadowing studio managers at BBC Radio 4 and helped to record radio show Loose Ends. Plus I am currently in contact with a studio manager at BBC Radio 1. 

What were the main reasons you took course?

I took BSc (Hons) Music Technology and Production because I wanted to study the business side of the music industry alongside making music, as well as being in the studio, so the Music Business Management module appealed to me. Plus it was the best Music Technology course I found; as it covered recording music, film making, business, making music, music theory, web design, live performance and more. 

Why did you choose to study BSc (Hons) Music Technology and Production at the University of Derby?

I liked the sound of the course plus, when I was in the sixth form, I visited the Peak District and loved it. This made me look for a university nearby. I found Derby beautiful, with green trees and old buildings it is in direct contrast to Milton Keynes (where I’m from), which is pretty mainly concrete. Plus the lecturers were really nice, so it felt right for me.

What impact has studying this course at Derby had on your career?

It got me to where I am now. Without it I wouldn’t have had the confidence, knowledge or experience to go out and get the job I wanted. The student support system was also a massive help too. 

How did the lecturers inspire you?

They encouraged me to experiment with different sound techniques and were always there for support.

What are your future plans?

To move through the BBC into radio or to go back to RGS as a permanent employee, whichever comes first. Way, way into the future I would like to manage artists and my own studio. 

What would you say to anyone thinking of coming to study this course at the University of Derby?

Take every opportunity with both hands and never be scared of going the extra mile. This is the time to do major sound experiments - go crazy. Nothing needs to sound perfect at this time, so save the sterile recording and sound mixing until after university. Take advantage of the Ambisonic room, it's amazing and is the future - so get stuck in and have fun! 

Who are you still in touch with from University of Derby?

I’m still in contact with the close friends I made; they are definitely friends for life. I also contact my former lecturers and student support team any time I need too, which is a huge help to me. Some of the campaign bookings I get are for the University of Derby.

"Before university I was a very quiet unconfident person and now I feel confident through everything I have been through." Vanessa Terrier