If you dream of playing on stage in front of thousands of people, creating a seminal masterpiece in the studio, or dropping beats at legendary dance clubs around the globe, The Manchester College should be your number one choice.
At the No.1 College in Greater Manchester for achievement* we offer courses for singers, musicians, DJs and studio engineers that will take your skills to the next level. Our focus will be to get you ready for a successful career in this tough, but exciting industry.
In our state-of-the art facilities, you will learn from experienced DJs who still perform all over the world and gigging musicians that tour the length and breadth of the country, as well as receive masterclasses from some of the best in the business.
Based in the heart of Manchester, with its legendary music scene, you will perform regularly for the public and have lots of opportunities to network.
Industry standard pro gear
You’ll take your next step towards an exciting career in the music industry in the incredible facilities that we boast across our campuses. Our professional standard studios are unparalleled, our technology and equipment is state of- the-art and our performance spaces are first class.
They include professional, industry-specification band rooms, DJ mixing booths and specialist recording equipment! You’ll also have access to rehearsal spaces where you can perfect your performance and six Mac suites running industry software such as Logic, Sibelius and Ableton, where you can fine tune your recordings.
Play for the masses
Our students regularly light up venues across the city, including at the relentlessly successful and highly innovative Band on the Wall, where our musicians host and collaborate on a whole range of pro-level activities and real-life industry standard activities and performances.
We don't just send you out on stage with no preparation. You’ll get to spruce up your material in our suite of rehearsal rooms and purpose-built theatres; The Sackville and The Waterside. That's if you’re not putting your talents to use in one of the recording studios.
Take a look at the full list and imagine yourself playing to a room full of Manchester music fans and letting rip in some of these iconic venues!
Music Industry Partners
Experience a career
When you study music at The Manchester College you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the world-renowned Manchester and North-West music scene.
Our music department has a long-standing links with a full ensemble of industry partners, and we work in perfect harmony to open the doors that enable you to experience an exciting career in this thriving sector.
We work with a broad range of the City`s venues, seeing us create an impressive backlog of gigs that we have supported our students to produce. And for all the fun this can be it is also an amazing opportunity to experience what working in the industry is like!
Some of the music industry partners and venues we work with include:
- Band on the Wall
- The Castle: Oldham Street
- The Manchester Royal Eye Hospital
- Cotyso Studios
- Warehouse Project
- Neighbourhood Festival
- Amplify Sounds
- Albeton Live
When you take a music course at The Manchester College, you’ll be taught by a team that doesn’t just talk the talk but has actually walked the walk. With experience that spans decades, and touches almost every corner of the music industry, your tutors still maintain close industry links that keep that at the cutting edge of the sectors latest developments.
Shaun Chambers – Head of Music and Music Production
Shaun trained at The University of Salford and The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and has been active in the music industry for over thirty years as a performer, musical director and DJ all over the world. He is highly experienced in curriculum management and holds a senior post with one of the UK's leading awarding organisations.
Steve Smith - Further Education Team Leader
Steve has worked on several projects throughout his career as a freelance sound designer and computer games composer, as a studio sound engineer and an events manager working in partnership in the live sound festival circuit for the communities of Manchester. Steve has also released music close to his heart that is Jungle / DnB and cannot pass a set of decks without “having a go”.
Phil Moody - Adult and Higher Education Team Leader
Phil is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, songwriter and composer whose performance career has included extensive European touring and studio recording through record deals with BMG and Chrysalis. For ten years he owned and ran a commercial recording studio in Leeds, producing and engineering many artists and bands. Phil has a long history of composing and song writing for his own bands, other artists, radio and media. He has a Masters Degree in Music Production and over 15 years’ experience in music education.
Tom specialises in studio recording and live sound techniques. He is an experienced sound recording engineer and has worked with a broad range of recording artists such as beatboxer Dub FX and 60’s beat group the Dakotas.
Tom also performs, composes and produces his own music. He has performed at venues such as the Royal Festival hall in London and played at festivals across the United Kingdom and Europe.
Paul specialises in guitar and performance. He has been involved in the Lancaster music scene for longer than he cares to remember, and has played in various bands over the years at festivals across Europe.
Paul currently plays numerous gigs each year as guitarist and bouzouki player in North West-based ceilidh band Price of My Pig.
Sean is a Level 2/3 Music Performance tutor who specialises in electric guitar. Alongside a PGCE, Sean completed a BA(hons) degree in ‘Popular Music & Recording’ at The University of Salford. Since then, he has actively worked as a guitarist in the North-West/online music scene; honing his skills in live performance and instrumental technique. With over 16+ years of experience playing guitar, Sean has performed at numerous radio shows, festivals and venues including the 02 Academy Liverpool.
Dave is a DJ, producer and teacher of music technology. As a DJ he regularly performs in Manchester at various bars and clubs, and has also played at numerous events outside the city including an appearance at Soundwave Festival in Croatia.
As a producer he has released a number of tracks commercially, his music has been played on BBC Radio 1 and BBC 6 Music, and by a host of club DJs both in the UK and internationally. He has managed an independent record label which has released music in the UK, Europe, USA and Japan, and he has promoted music events in Manchester.
Rosie has worked at the college for over 10 years and specialises in vocal technique and group performance.
She brings a wealth of industry knowledge to the classroom where she shares her first hand and current experience of the music industry with learners. She is an accomplished vocalist who performs regularly with funk, soul and disco band, Dreamer, playing floor fillers from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s at major venues across the North West. Rosie continues to attend courses and masterclasses, ensuring she is best placed to teach and coach vocalists to ensure they stand out from the crowd.
Lee has over 25 years of experience playing and recording in live bands all over Europe, including established acts such as Muse, Arctic Monkeys and the 1975.
His music and videos have been played all over the world most recently on Radio 1, 6 Music, Radio Lancashire and MTV2.
As well as teaching Music Performance and Technology, he is still recording and performing all over the UK.
Rick had piano lessons before he could even walk and picked up an alto sax at school before joining a band and going on to play in cover bands across the UK and Europe.
After completing a degree in music in his early twenties, he continued as a freelance player before moving to full-time teaching.
Mark started his DJing career at the age of 15 playing venues such as Sequins, Fantazia, Mythology and the legendary Hacienda, where he won the North West DMC DJ Championships. He’s also DJ’d across the world in Malia, Ibiza, Brussels and in the US as well as at Glastonbury.
Mark has produced his own music with his DJ group, The Mix Factory, who charted in the UK singles chart and also gained success in the American charts.
As a freelance composer and producer, Andy has written music for Western Union, LA Fitness, Volvo, Axa Insurance and Major League Soccer, as well as having placements on UK, US, Australian, Greek, Italian, Japanese and Korean TV.
As a session bass player and guitarist, he’s played with many bands and artists over the years from funk, neo-soul, rock, jazz, reggae and musicals to function work and studio sessions.
Josef plays trumpet and keyboards and has performed with professional bands and artists such as Sam Lee, Aim, Mr Scruff, Roy Ayres and many more, both in the studio and on tour.
He has performed at many professional venues and festivals including Glastonbury Festival, Fuji Rock Festival (Japan), Ronnie Scotts and at Maida Vale for the John Peel Show on Radio 1.
He also specialises in music production and has released albums and remixes, and he continues to work in the studio creating original music.
Curtis began his musical journey as a pianist, completing both classical and jazz grades up to grade 8. While working as a pianist in a West Yorkshire based function band, he realised a considerable gap in the market for wedding and event DJs who actually mix!
So, he bought himself some decks and began learning… Fast forward a few years and Curtis is a very in-demand DJ working for one of the UK’s leading DJ agencies, playing at bars, clubs, and events up and down the country, and even making some appearances on Croatia’s Zrce beach!
Courses for Adults
In addition to courses for 16 to 18-year-olds, we also offer courses for adults in Music Technology and Music Production which will enable you to start from Level 1 and progress all the way through to degree level.
Our Level 1 and 2 courses are delivered one evening per week with two intakes each year: September to December and January to May.
Our Level 3 Diploma in Music Technology is delivered over three-days a week and can give you enough UCAS points to progress onto university and degree level study.
Find out more about our adult courses and apply today:
Level 1 Introduction to Music Technology
Level 2 Music Technology and Production
Level 3 Diploma in Music Technology
Find out more
Find out even more about our Music department in our subject area guide:
Top Careers Opportunities
My time at The Manchester College helped me to find my strengths and weaknesses in music and made me realize what I actually want to do in the music industry. The Manchester College was the perfect environment to experiment with my interests in song writing, producing and audio engineering.
Shena Simon was great for me. The people I met and support I had was invaluable. I was taught every skill I could possibly have needed to make it myself out there in the industry, and my confidence grew so much for it all.
In one of The Manchester College’s 19 Centres of Excellence you’ll develop the skills and gain the qualifications that you need to take the next steps towards your dream career.
In our unique Industry Excellence Academy you’ll benefit from a programme of study that has been co-developed, and is co-delivered, with one of our industry partners.