BIMM is celebrating 10 years of nurturing the finest talent in the UK’s music industry. Jeff Hemmings finds out more
Vaseema Hamilton is BIMM’s enigmatic principal. She has been with the Brighton Institute of Modern Music for the last seven years, developing the industry stars of tomorrow. Opening in Brighton in 2002 with just 150 students at its first centre in Kemp Town, today the Brighton Institute of Modern Music (BIMM) has three centres in Brighton along with BIMM colleges in Bristol and Dublin, with around 1,500 students studying a range of courses from Further Education to Postgraduate levels.
“Our relationship with the Brighton music industry is very important,” says Vaseema. “We aim for our students to emerge as fantastic players, who also have an understanding of the complex environment of the modern music industry.”
BIMM’s Higher Education courses are validated by the University of Sussex, one of the top ranked universities in the UK. Average course fees cost £3,000 less than state university fees, making studying at BIMM accessible and affordable. The courses are designed around the individuals, students who are committed to a career in the music industry.
Studying at BIMM is now more affordable than ever with the launch of their new Springboard Scholarship The fund supports younger entrants who would like to study on BIMM’s Diploma level programmes in professional musicianship, songwriting, live sound-tour management, and music business studies, with a view to progressing on to one of BIMM’s Degree courses.
“The idea is that BIMM is a springboard into a modern music industry,” Vaseema explains. “We take students at the stage of A-Level who are very talented, enabling them to prepare for the full degree programme.”
BIMM invites prospective students to drop in and see for themselves what studying at this vibrant and dynamic music college is like. Potential students can book an appointment to drop in on Saturdays, where BIMM tutors assess their development, playing skills, their academic progress so far and can advise them on which course they could apply for.
Teaching at BIMM is comprised of group learning sessions in specialist groups, and live performance workshops with other musicians. All students are encouraged to book regular one-to-one tutorials to discuss their development and career goals.
BIMM regularly plays host to some of the biggest names in music. Past guests have included Roger Daltrey, Paul Weller, Mel C, Madness and Shaun Ryder. Vaseema says: “It’s often not hard to persuade them to come in. We recently had Lemmy in – that was a pretty full on experience!” The tutor list is pretty impressive too. In the vocals department tutors include Carleen Anderson, one of the finest ever soul singers, and Kirk Brandon, who has toured the world since the early ’80s with his various bands including Spear Of Destiny; former Sleeper drummer Andy Maclure; former head of press for Creation Records, home of Oasis, Johnny Hopkins; My Life Story front man Jake Shillingford, and Chris Difford of the legendary Difford-Tilbrook songwriting partnership for Squeeze.
Alumni of BIMM include Ben Thompson (drummer, Two Door Cinema Club), The Xcerts, Kate Walsh (a BIMM songwriting graduate who became the first unsigned act to top the iTunes chart with her second album Tim’s House), The Kooks and Ghost Of A Thousand. Other former BIMM students are also making a living as musicians, touring the world with some of the biggest names in music, including Cheryl Cole and Jessie J.
Come and speak to BIMM if you are serious about a music career. With outstanding academic results, fantastic tutors and star guests, there really is no better place to study music.
BIMM, 38–42 Brunswick Street West, Hove, BN3 1EL, 08442 646666, www.bimm.co.uk