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The country's top music students gather for masterclass with Leeds Beckett academic

Some of the country’s most talented music production students gathered at Leeds Beckett last week to learn from a legend of the music industry.

Group of students with Ken

12 of the best performing students from across the UK spent the week at the prestigious Gus Dudgeon Foundation (GDF) and JAMES summer school, working under the tutelage of Leeds Beckett academic Ken Scott. Ken, who is a senior lecturer in the School of Film, Music & Performing Arts, has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry and was responsible for co-producing David Bowie’s seminal albums Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust, as well as working as a sound engineer on The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour and the White Album.

It was the third time the annual summer course, now in its eighth year, had been hosted by Leeds Beckett. During their time on campus, the students worked with a number of other industry experts like Ken and were also able to work closely with indie popsters ‘Heir’, a Leeds-based five piece said to combine “powerful harmonies and hooks with infectious rhythms, grit and organic song craft”. 

Ken, who has also worked with the likes of Elton John, Pink Floyd and Supertramp, said:

“The event has been a great success once again and I think the students will have learnt a lot from their experience.

“They were able to watch a really talented local band being recorded in the old school way; the way acts like The Beatles and David Bowie worked in the past. Seeing a different way of working – one that doesn’t rely on all the bells and whistles of the digital era-  will be really invaluable to them and I hope they take some of their learnings into their future projects.”

Dr Steve Parker, a principal lecturer in the School of Film, Music & Performing Arts at Leeds Beckett, added:

“The Gus Dudgeon Foundation work closely with JAMES to run a week every year where they take the top achieving students from JAMES accredited courses and they get to spend one week in our industry-standard studios gaining vital hands on experience.

“This is the third year we have hosted it and it’s been a great success each year. It allows the students to see first-hand how a recording session works. Although they get a lot of experience working in a recording studio on their course they don’t normally get to work with professionals and this offers them that insight.”

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