Lauren Domville is a budding Music Producer studying a Level 3 in Music as well as an English Language A-Level – that’s equivalent to 4 A-Levels in total! She started at the College in September 2016 and came to us from Kirkbie Kendal School. She talks to Adele about how hard it was to choose between sixth form and the College as well as what it’s like to perform gigs in front of large crowds!
AM: Why did you choose this course?
LD: I’d been to a few College gigs before and I was getting more interested in music than anything else, so it became an option. It was a really hard choice, coming here or staying at sixth form. I came for the induction week, wasn’t sure and went back to sixth form for prize giving. Being back at school made me realise just how amazing the facilities are here and that College could help me more, as I wouldn’t have to do a lot of other subjects that would be irrelevant to the career I was aspiring to do.
AM: Why did you choose Kendal College?
LD: When I came for audition everyone was really lovely. It’s accessible to everyone and people come from all over, that shows how good the College is.
AM: Is College like you had expected. If not, why?
LD: I didn’t expect it to be so enjoyable, I love coming to College. In half term I just want to be here, that says it all! It’s a great environment, relaxed and friendly. The work is do-able, it’s not out of your reach. It gives you confidence when you get good grades and makes you want to do more and stay behind to get a distinction (equivalent of an A at A-Level).
AM: What do you most enjoy about College life?
LD: My favourite days are rehearsal days, on Mondays and Fridays. We come in, gather in the Venue and have a chat about what we’re going to do. We then go downstairs into the booths for 4 hours of rehearsals.
It’s not hard, it’s really enjoyable. I’m in two bands and during rehearsals we work on the things we’re struggling with. Playing in a band really helps your individual skills, I’ve improved so much. It helps your confidence as it’s similar to an industry environment and you play with lots of different people.
You get a great understanding of different instruments (drums, bass, vocals etc) because of what the other students say, and this makes your listening and communication skills better. I’m a guitarist and working with other guitarists is also really good. Some are better, some are developing, and they all have different playing styles and attitudes.
AM: What opportunities are available to you at College?
LD: We have a trip to London in the Autumn Term which sounds fantastic. We’ll get to visit recording studios and see a musical.
We have one big gig a term at Bootleggers. It doesn’t beat anything, it’s amazing. There are loads of people there (over 300 usually), so it’s a really good turnout. It’s much better on stage when it’s absolutely packed with a great atmosphere. It gives you confidence in yourself, that you can play in an actual venue. There’s pressure on you but it’s good pressure, it puts you in a position that you have to deliver. It’s great to be in that environment, to get a taste of actual performance in an actual venue.
We also get to use all the College facilities to benefit ourselves and our own career. I’ve brought in bands outside of College to record them, and have recorded myself too.
AM: Can you describe a typical day at College?
LD: We have rehearsals 2 days a week and a theory day on Wednesday. At the moment on a Wednesday we have History of Pop with Geoff, then Recording Skills with Karla (which is my favourite lesson as that’s what I want to do) and then we have Song Writing with Dan.
College isn’t a cop out. On our days off we don’t just sit around with our friends, we’re doing assignments or coming into College to do mixing work, plan our own rehearsals and write our blogs. College makes you more independent as it’s up to you, which prepares you better for the real world and university.
I also do English A-Level on Tuesdays and Fridays, which fits in really well. I have the time to get on with the work and focus on it, and it helps with my music essay writing.
AM: What is the teaching style like on your course?
LD: We have a good mix of practical and theory lessons. We get assignments and the gigs & individual performances are marked to. You get a grade after each assignment, so it’s nice hearing feedback and knowing you’re on the right track.
Our tutors have all worked in the industry and have their different specialisms. Dan is more guitar orientated so I talk to him a lot. He’s really good at song writing and guitar techniques, and has helped me a lot with different chords. Karla is an amazing drummer so she has helped a lot of the drummers here. She’s really well qualified and it’s amazing that’s she working here! Geoff is all-round lovely and great at helping us with the theory, assignment work and organising our rehearsals.
AM: What facilities do you use regularly at the College?
LD: The facilities are amazing, it is industry standard and there is so much available to us.
We were shown how to use the desk in week 2 of College as Paul (who provides technical support to our course) could see we were interested in it. He showed us the different microphones and techniques of recording, how to use the software, mix and edit. He’s really good at explaining things, and I didn’t have to ask any questions. It was a smooth transition from not knowing anything and being pretty knowledgeable!
AM: What are you hoping to do after College?
LD: I’m looking at going to university to do a Music Production course. We recently had the opportunity to go to Manchester for a UCAS Day where loads of arts universities got together. It got me thinking about the future early on.
I’d also love an apprenticeship in a recording studio but they can be very competitive. You have to know people and get contacts, so they’ll give you the opportunities that come up. Paul was previously a Music Producer, so I’ve spoken to him and he’s given me contacts. I’m also using family and friend networks and have contacted Kendal Calling and hope to be working with them in the summer.
AM: If you could give advice to people considering College, what would it be?
LD: You have to see it to understand it, so come and have a look around. If you commit yourself, you are going to get a job in it, you just have to have the passion. College gives you the boost and confidence you need.
You learn loads of skills like team working, time management and how to organise assignments. I’ve learnt how to commit to something, as you can’t just do a half-hearted job, you do things to the best of your ability.
College is more similar to university, so it’s easier than going from sixth form to university. I’ve had hands on experience in the studios and rehearsals which will really help, and all the time management and assignment stuff will be useful too.
Go for it, it’s amazing!
The (in this case, turned out to be a Not-So-Quick!) Quick Fire Round!
AM: Dream musician to collaborate with?
LD: I would love to work with Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin as he is my all-time favourite guitarist, and I would have also loved to have worked with Chris Cornell before he passed away. I really admire him as a songwriter and as a musician.
AM: What instrument do you wish you could play?
LD: There’s this relatively new instrument called a Hang Drum which is amazing and I would love to be able to master one, they make a really unique and relaxing sound.
AM: Album you’d have loved to record?
LD: I would have LOVED to have recorded Guns N Roses’ debut album Appetite For Destruction. It is by far one of my favourite albums and I think it was a really great record for its time!
AM: Vinyl, CDs or downloads?
LD: I can’t choose! I’d say: Vinyl for my absolute favourite albums which I want to have as a treasured physical memento. CDs for the albums that I really want but to be able to listen on the go. And downloads are so convenient (although it pains me to say it!) Though nothing can beat a Vinyl record.
AM: Playing live or Recording in studios?
LD: Playing live definitely! I prefer to be on the other side of the glass sat at the desk, rather than being the one who is getting recorded.
AM: What’s the song you can’t stop listening to over & over again?
LD: This is such a difficult question as there are so many! But right at this moment I can’t stop playing the album version of ‘I Cant Quit You Baby’ by Led Zeppelin. The first bit where the whole band comes in kills me every time, it also probably has one of my favourite drum sounds out of any Zeppelin song.
If Lauren has prompted an interest in Music @ Kendal College, we offer a fantastic range of courses. Start your future on our website.
The interview was conducted by Adele Mundy, the College’s Student Services Manager.