Music Business student lands scholarship & job with MSG

By Kath Hartley


Music Business student Tom Bladon is yet to officially graduate from LCoM, but he's already landed a promising role with Music Sales Group, and an MPA scholarship which offers mentoring and support throughout the next stage of his career. 

We spoke to Tom about how his time at LCoM has set him up for a career in the music industry...

Congrats on your scholarship – sounds brilliant! How did this come about and what will it offer you?

Thank you very much! I’m really happy to have received the MPA Richard Toeman Scholarship student award 2018. One of the Music Business lecturers at LCoM put me on to it and provided me with a reference too. I was then invited down to the MPA offices in London to participate in an interview with a small panel.

The scholarship is designed to offer candidates support to progress through the music publishing industry. My skills and experience will be developed through frequent training, one-to-one business coaching, networking events, and £500 towards relevant training of my choice. 

You’ve also just landed a job as a Licensing Administrator, what will your role entail?

My new role involves me handling grand rights, arrangement, and translation licensing requests for the large catalogue offered by Music Sales Group. It is my duty to negotiate the fees with clients, approve with the works rights holders, write up the agreement and finally licence the work.

What made you decide to pursue this career path?

In my first 18 months at LCoM, I was really unsure of which sector of the music industry I wanted to go into. I experimented with a few different things including artist management, events, marketing and social media. I decided to pursue this career path after becoming more and more interested in music synchronisation - specifically the use of music in film and television. My long-term ambition is to become a music supervisor, and I believe I am currently taking the correct steps towards this. 

How did your time at LCoM help to prepare you for this next stage in your career?

The Music Business course provided me with all the necessary knowledge in so many aspects of the music industry. My confidence grew massively over the three years from different challenges and experiences presented to me throughout the course. I am grateful that I developed the ability to effectively network and communicate in a room of music industry professionals. This skill was nurtured by LCoM encouraging us to share our ideas across all the pathways with both students and staff, as well as attending conferences across the UK and further afield. 

What was the best opportunity you had whilst studying Music Business at LCoM?

In my final year, I started to work with one of the lecturers on setting up a music publishing company. The opportunity has provided me with valuable first-hand experience in creating my own enterprise, whilst also giving me a platform to express my passion and knowledge.

This project took me to France for Midem 2018, Europe’s biggest music industry conference, to network and promote the business on an international stage. The project has solidified my desire to pursue a career in the publishing industry within the music business. 

What advice would you have for anyone thinking about taking a music business degree at LCoM?

My main reason for choosing LCoM was because I wanted to be surrounded by creativity and music - if you feel the same way then this is the place to be. Leeds has a great music scene, and it’s easily accessible for Music Business students wanting to get involved. I have had the best time studying here, where I have met friends for life, mentors, current industry leaders, and future music business entrepreneurs.

My advice for any people starting out on Music Business at Leeds College of Music is to be as open-minded as possible during your first few years of the course. Learn about all aspects of the industry, as you will be relying on this knowledge and experience for your portfolio career. In the final year of the degree, you can tailor your studies and focus on your main ambition (whether that’s artist management, publishing, events, touring etc). It is also really worth getting to know your lecturers as well as possible. The lecturers all want their students to do well and break into the music industry, they will offer you support, experiences and potential job leads.

Find out more about BA (Hons) Music Business at LCoM

By Kath Hartley

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