Morley College is an Adult Education provider established as a charitable organisation in 1889, now with a long history of inspiring and educating mature students, helped by support from the UK’s Skills Funding Agency and the European Union Social Fund. Its Music Technology and Production department sits within the School of Music and Performing Arts and runs a variety of both non-accredited short courses alongside a one-year Diploma and a two-year Higher Diploma.
“Morley’s ethos is to offer education to everyone, regardless of age and means,” says Camilo Salazar – Programme Manager and Music Technology & Studio Manager. “You can learn anything from ceramics to music production for a very small amount of money compared to other institutions. A 12-week course of weekly, two or three-hour session for £200, for example.”
The main recording studio has a mid-sized live room plus the 5.1 control room with Adam monitoring and the new SSL AWS 924 δelta console. There are two more live spaces available: A concert hall where they regularly record orchestral performances, and a medium-sized concert space suitable for big bands and smaller ensembles.
“The SSL is a big upgrade for us and the studio” explains Salazar. “Before that we had an older DAW controller. Now we can teach students proper signal flow, we can EQ what we’re tracking, and so on – all the important skills… We’ve had feedback from students that have gone to other studios and suddenly understood the console they have found there – the flow of the studio. The console is helping to prepare them for real-life scenarios.
“And having the ability to immediately switch between analogue faders and DAW control and automation… That’s the one thing we didn’t want to lose from our old DAW controller set-up.”
Through any one year, Morley College hosts over 2000 students across its classical music, Jazz, pop, vocal studies and music technology programmes. The Studio also takes on a number of commercial bookings and has recently completed the latest album for Artist in Residence Bill Laurance – keyboard player with Brooklyn jazz fusion jam band Snarky Puppy.
This, says Salazar, alongside the upgraded, professional-level recording studio, offers many opportunities for Students: “We definitely take advantage of that… Students get something unique. Those doing a one-year diploma will leave having recorded a full orchestra, a big band, jazz bands, rock bands, and so on. The variety of experience we can now provide is brilliant.