Dr Simon Hall is Head of the Music Technology Department at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.
Take a look at how he came to his current role and what he thinks prospective students can look forward to when they join.
What is your ethos for the department?
Music Technology is a huge all-encompassing term that covers everything from soldering mixing desks to creative composition using live electronics, with everything in between. We try to give a foundation in the principles of music technology to all our students, while allowing them the creative space to develop their own interest.
What do you look for in musicians auditioning to join your department?
We look for evidence of musical and technical foundations, and a creative spark that we can nurture.
Do you perform outside of teaching? If so, could you give details?
Though time outside RBC is a little constricted I still work in a range of capacities as a producer, engineer, composer and performer.
What are your main responsibilities as Head of Department?
I manage all of our programmes and pathways in Music Technology (including MMus, BMus and BSc), look after our fantastic staff, and try to make sure that our studios and technical facilities work!
What have been your career highlights so far?
I’ve worked with Stockhausen. And Barry Manilow. They’re not quite as far removed from each other as you might imagine!
How did you come to your current role, what have you done before RBC?
I was a classic “portfolio musician” (though I didn’t realise that was what it was called at the time! I was working as a producer, engineer, composer, performer and teacher.
How would you describe your team in the department?
We’ve a great team that span all sub-disciplines of music technology - composition with technology, production, coding, live electronics, mastering etc. etc. All are working professionals.
What is your favourite thing about working at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire?
There’s a great team across the staff, that all work together for the common good of the students. We all pull in the same direction. It’s a vibrant place to work!
What do you think sets RBC apart from other conservatoires?
There is no question, we’re the best in the sector.
What do you think are the greatest challenges facing new music students?
It’s a big step from school or college to a conservatoire environment. It’s one of the big milestones of your entire musical and personal life! If you can make friends and collaborate with your peers early on, you’ll find some of those relationships will last the rest of your life.
What do you think makes a successful musician in your field?
An open musical mind, a good ear, a good collaborator and a hard worker!
What can prospective students look forward to the most when they join your department/Royal Birmingham Conservatoire?
Learning their skills in the best facilities in the sector, alongside a building full of fellow prospective professional performers and composers.