Laura Etemah - MA Music Production, 2016
After previously studying an undergraduate degree in Geology at Delta State University in her home country of Nigeria, Laura studied MA Music Production at Leeds Beckett and graduated in 2016.
Laura explains “I had always wanted to be a Music Producer but there isn’t any higher education provision for Music Production in Nigeria. Whilst I was in the second year of my Geology degree I auditioned for Star Quest – a national music reality TV show – and I was selected among 35 others. I entered as a singer, keyboardist and guitarist but then discovered the band that I’d been placed with lacked a bassist so I rehearsed for three nights and was ready to play bass in the final of the show – we won the star prize.”
“After I completed my undergraduate degree I worked as Music Director for the National Youth Service Corps in Lagos and also undertook some music community development projects. Later I was introduced to Leeds Beckett by the Nigerian representative for the University. At the time I was considering a three year course in Music Production – meeting the representative from Leeds Beckett was a blessing because she helped me save time and money, and because I’d already studied an undergraduate degree and had lots of experience in music, I could move onto the Masters course instead of the undergraduate.”
“I was sure the course would integrate my music and academic skills – singing, song-writing, instrument playing, composition, production and editing – and give me the opportunity to develop them together. As I expected, every moment of the course was life-changing for me, and I’ll never forget the opportunity. I was more than impressed with the James Graham studios, excellently equipped library, brilliant lecturers and the kind and cooperative staff and course-mates.”
“During my time at Leeds Beckett, my studio skills were developed to a professional level. Recording singers and instrumentalists with the guidance of expert and skilful lecturers was fantastic. Having access to the library at all times meant a great deal to me as well.”
As well as studying, Laura was also a member of the Beckett Choir. “The choir was my personal crush - I loved every moment spent belting out those soprano notes with a group of wonderful, supportive and music-loving people. I also taught children in the Nigerian Community to play guitar. I love adventure and to travel so whilst in the UK I also visited Ilkley, Wakefield, Harrogate, London, Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as travelling to the United States twice.”
Since graduating, Laura has returned to Nigeria where she has established the Lee Ellie Music School, a private music teaching business where she helps busy adults, youths and children find their talent for music. Laura says “I’ve also established the Lee Vocal Studios where I help up-and-coming artists hone their singing skills. In October I published my third book, an e-book titled Overcoming Your Singing Challenges.”
“I have always dreamed of becoming a world class musician, and I’m still working at it. Music brings me unexplainable joy. I cherish the memories of spending nights in the Leeds Beckett library and music labs - it was a dream come true for me.