From Music to Industry: how to get your music heard in the digital age


3 weeks 

Day and time:

Saturdays, 10.30am-5.30pm

Next course: Date to be confirmed

Course overview

Department Music

Ruth Woodward and Simon Deacon


Richard Hoggart Building, Room 268

From Music to Industry: how to get your music heard in the digital age. This three-day course is designed for emerging artists, bands and managers who want to succeed in the digital music age. Learn how to develop a strategy for launching your or your band's career through a series of workshops delivered by music industry professionals.

The course will explore and offer:

  • understanding the structures & business models of the industry
  • how standard contracts and deal structures work
  • protecting intellectual property and potential revenue streams
  • how to develop and run promotional campaigns
  • talks and inside information from industry professionals
  • pitching and developing a new or existing project

Standing out in the digital music age

The digital age is often considered to have had a negative effect on the music industry; it is clear that the major labels’ control and influence has declined as a result. However, this has also opened up a great opportunity for emerging music artists to take control of their musical careers. The issue is how to be heard above the 'noise’ of so much digital output. Artists need to be creatively entrepreneurial with regard to digital platforms (free downloads, streaming, pay-walls), release options, control over media representation (PR, image, video), direct communication to audiences etc. Navigating these increasingly complex structures of the music industry requires determination, knowledge and creativity.

NX Records

This course is run by Ruth Woodward, General Manager of NX Records and Simon Deacon, a founding member and Creative Director of NX Records (& Senior Lecturer in the Department of Music)

NX Records is a collaboration between Matthew Herbert's Accidental Records and the Department of Music, Goldsmiths, University of London, based in New Cross, South East London

records in shop front
(NX Records shop front)

Who is this course for? 

This course is aimed at emerging music artists/bands etc, but would also be useful for artist managers and independent labels. No previous experience, knowledge or education is required and participants could be at any stage of their career. We will cover organisational structures and the inner workings of the contemporary music industry; how to approach industry gate-keepers, label services, PR and more, including developing product and scheduling release campaigns.

In addition to preparing participants with strategies for engaging with the industry (including major labels), we will look beyond standard music industry practices and encourage participants to utilise their creativity to extend their personal and professional development.

Why study this course at Goldsmiths?

The Department of Music is one of the largest and most diverse in the UK. Its Popular Music programmes are at the forefront of training in creativity in popular music practice; amongst its alumni are [Mercury Music Prize winner] James Blake, Katy B, Rosie Lowe, FEMME, members of Tom Odell and Jessie Ware’s bands, The Portico Quartet (amongst others).

NX Records is an initiative of electronic musician and producer, Matthew Herbert and Simon Deacon, Senior Lecturer and Director of Performance in the Department of Music. It is an independent label in collaboration with Accidental Records that has been gaining a considerable reputation for producing and releasing  innovative music in South East London - including its extremely well-reviewed compilation series, Crossing Lines, a free annual mixtape and artists such as Semi Precious and These Ghosts. The label has international distribution with Caroline International and publishing via Bucks Music Group and connections with many key UK music industry professionals. 

More about NX Records here.

Who will teach the course? 

Ruthie Woodward, General Manager of NX Records and freelance music industry professional, Simon Deacon, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Music and co-Creative Director of NX Records

Ben Bishop, A&R at 37 Adventures

Laura Bettinson, A.K.A FEMME, independent artist and producer

Allie Bailey, freelance marketing professional, formerly marketing manager at Columbia Records UK, Cooking Vinyl.

What are the aims of the course? 

The course aims to familiarise participants with key structures, concepts and language employed in the current music industry, to introduce and develop creative strategies for engaging emerging artists, bands and managers with regard to marketing and/or publicising their work.

How will the course be taught?

This short course will be taught with a combination of lectures, presentations and talks from guest speakers from the music industry. Sessions will also involve workshops, group and 1-2-1 'clinic' sessions.


How is the course structured?

Day 1 - Learning Labels

Morning Session: 10am-1pm:

 Introduction to Music Industry structures: label departments, management, publishing; MCPS/PRS and PPL; Independents vs Majors.

Afternoon Session: 2-5pm:

Demystifying a contract - jargon busting and types of deals.

Guest speaker (Ben Bishop, 37 Adventures previously at Warner) on the label/artist relationship and new movements in the independent label industry.

Discussion and Q&A.

Day 2 - DIY approaches

Morning Session: 10am-1pm:

Structure and timeline of a release, Budgeting and fundraising, Being heard.

Afternoon Session: 2-5pm:

Guest Speaker: Laura Bettinson (A.K.A FEMME), independent artist and Goldsmiths Alum.

Workshop- break-out groups, planning a release.

Discussion of release plans as a whole group with feedback.

Day 3 - Pitch day

Participants are invited to book for a further day (date tbc with attendees) which will be focussed on networking. The participants will be able to bring their own projects and ‘pitch’ to NX Records for feedback and even the possibility of a record deal.

Guest Speaker: Allie Bailey, freelance marketing guru previously marketing manager at Columbia Records UK).

What are the learning outcomes?

At the end of this course, participants will have achieved:

  • a good understanding of the structure of the 21st Century music industry
  • an understanding how to market new music to labels, other industry organisations, direct to consumer via digital platforms and DIY approaches
  • the opportunity to meet and network with industry professionals (artist-producers, managers, PR)
  • the opportunity to meet and network with other emerging artists
  • an opportunity to pitch projects to NX Records

Next Steps

This course aims to encourage you to develop your creative strategies for disseminating and potentially monetising your work either entirely DIY, or to independent or major record labels. 

We hope that after taking this course, you'll be in a strong position to pitch to major record labels, to plan a release, campaign or a tour.

How to Apply

Please click on the date of the course you'd like to attend below. You’ll be taken to Eventbrite, which is our booking system:

  • dates tbc - join waiting list here



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