Debbie Melliard joined our very first Advanced Diploma intake and graduated last year in September 2016. It’s seven months since she finished her studies at Abbey Road Institute and we’re curious to know how she’s getting on and what she’s doing now.
Hi Debbie, Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your music background?
I’m from a classical music background, and I love all kinds of music. I started as a performer, but have always been curious about the technical side.
What was your motivation for studying at Abbey Road Institute and what were you hoping to get out of the course?
I wanted to learn how to use all the equipment found in a recording studio, in the best and most creative ways. A school attached to the world’s most prestigious studio was the place to go!
What was your experience like at Abbey Road Institute?
On the first day of the course it was clear that I had found my tribe; we’re like a family, and it’s uncanny how everyone is on the same wavelength, and gets on socially as well as creatively. We are all from diverse backgrounds in terms of age, musical taste, and geography; but because everyone is so into music and the technology used with it, we just gel. On a typical day we would have a lecture from 10-1, then we’d go and get some lunch, then in the afternoon and into the evening I would work on my projects in a production suite, or be involved in a recording in our studio; as a producer, engineer, or performer.
Can you describe a highlight of your experience at Abbey Road Institute?
My favourite thing is to run a recording session, and my highlights were when we captured some truly magical moments; of emotion, of musical brilliance, of perfectly-nuanced performances. Nothing beats the feeling that you’ve got a great moment, recorded with some beautiful equipment, and can then use it in your mix and make it even greater.
What’s your favourite thing about studying in London?
It’s an inspirational city, and it’s my home, which is an advantage!
Do you think the course was valuable? What is it worth doing?
The course was amazing, and the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it. The lecturers and technicians really want us to do well, and are extremely helpful.
What would you say are the 3 most important things you learnt at Abbey Road Institute?
I consolidated what my strengths, weaknesses, and specific career aspirations are. I struggled with some aspects of the course, but found that hard work and teamwork will lift you up to achieve more than you can imagine. I learned that there are people out there who feel just as you do, about music, audio, and life.
What’s next for you? What are you doing now and what are your ambitions for the future?
My perfect career would be as a music producer in the traditional sense, making technical, musical, and performance-related suggestions to an artist.
I’m currently a runner at Metropolis Studios, which I’m finding a very useful stepping stone between my music production and engineering education, and whatever I go on to do next. I help out with the everyday running of the studio, for example preparing studio lounges for clients, running errands, moving equipment, or helping in the technical department (I’m learning to solder), and every day is enjoyable and I pick up something new. The best part for me is that Metropolis works with a music college and I set up and assist in sessions in the college’s studio, which is an excellent chance to gain some experience. I’m having fun!
Could this be you?
If you think this could be you and you’d like to apply to study with us, find out more on the course page for our Advanced Diploma in Music Production & Sound Engineering. Our next intake is in September 2017.