My Experience - MA Music Management

Elizabeth Lees
Department of Music
MA Music Management
Following studies with The Department of Music, Elizabeth has set up a successful classical music series in Sheffield. Find out how the course gave her the relevant skills to start her own music industry events.

Why did you want to study music management?

The opportunity to work in Music Management has been an aspiration of mine for a number of years as I have always wanted to work ‘in the wings’ of the music industry. I thought that the Music Management MA would help me with theoretical ideas and concepts of music management that I had not been familiar with before, for example funding and heritage conservation, as well as building on the perceptions I was already aware of and have experienced.

Why Sheffield?

I had been coming to Sheffield to stay with family friends since I was 4 so the city was not new to me. I had also completed a fortnight of work experience at Music in the Round the year before so I had got to know the city and its music scene a little better. When I attended the open day for Masters courses, I felt really welcome, thought the course sounded really interesting and I could see myself there 6 months later studying the Music Management Masters.

What opportunities did you get involved with?

I opened up communications again with Music in the Round and occasionally helped out at concerts and events. I also volunteered in the office an afternoon a week for a few months until my workload drastically increased. Because of this, I was able to focus my dissertation on the benefits of the Learning & Participation programme of MitR.

What did you enjoy about the teaching and research environment?

I enjoyed the fact that we had to deal and manage real-life events and situations – some modules in the management were focused on analysing organisations or scenarios. There was a lot of freedom in the choice of our case study so I was able to choose groups that I had a particular interest in i.e. classical music organisations. I enjoyed carrying out my research first-hand. The majority of research for my dissertation was primary research and incorporated a variety of methods including questionnaires and interviews. It was great to meet the musicians of Ensemble 360 and find out how they feel about music outreach activities.

How did the course help you with your career and ambitions?

The course gave me experience of dealing first-hand with arts organisations and an insight into how they run, I in particularly enjoyed the Marketing modules. It was really inspiring being taught by people who were able to share their own professional experiences with us and network. I was able to set up a week’s work experience at Manchester Camerata through one of the Trustees as she was a lecturer in one of my modules. It also increased my love for the city of Sheffield as I returned to work there a few months later and have been here since February 2017. It also gave me the chance to develop as a person and I am a lot more confident than when I started.

What are projects are doing at the moment?

I am currently working for the Diocese of Sheffield as a Development Worker. I have four churches in Sheffield where I do administration and development. I have done a lot of fundraising for various projects of all sizes. In January this year, I started a concert series at St Matthew’s Carver Street, called Sounds of the City. Each concert is 45-minutes worth of music from local musicians with coffee and pastries. We have held two concerts which have attracted attention on Radio 3 and the Yorkshire Post and had programmed until September, but have had to postpone due to Coronavirus. This is an exciting project for me given my music management experience as I am matching my interests and expertise as well as the church’s. Once the job market is up and running again, I am hoping to pursue my career in music management or look into teaching as I feel music education is important.

Four students laughing while sat at a bench, outside the Students' Union

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