Career opportunities in the arts growing in Guernsey

Contemplating a career in music is a good deal easier for today’s school-leavers than it was a decade ago, with two well-established music schools each employing more than a dozen tutors as they approach their 10th anniversaries.

The School of Popular Music and Thirst Music School were both founded in 2013 and have grown to accommodate the needs of hundreds of popular-music students.

Speaking on the first edition of the new, monthly Guernsey Press Arts Podcast, SOPM founder and director Tyler Edmonds contrasted his own past opportunities with those presented to young musicians today.

‘There are two very good music schools now,’ he said. ‘We’ve got 17 staff here and more in Jersey and Thirst have quite a few. So now, when people come back from university and they want a job as a guitar teacher, there’ll probably be one. I asked everybody for a job when I came back and no one would give me one. It was a very different time.

  • Listen to the first edition of our new, monthly Guernsey Press Arts Podcast

Fellow podcast guest Russ Fossey, the head of arts development at Guernsey Arts, said the schools’ successes had been remarkable.

‘Not only is Tyler fulfilling his dream of working as a musician within a music school but he’s also employing 17 people,’ he said.

‘That’s pretty impressive. And as he said, his is not the only one ­– Thirst is doing something very similar – so there’s 30 opportunities at least, that didn’t exist 10 years ago.’

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He noted that a similar growth of opportunity had also been seen in dance and theatre.

Guernsey Arts’ partnership development executive Louise Le Pelley, who completed the podcast line-up, said the charity was out to change the perception of artistic pursuits being somehow less valid as a career choice than those outside the creative industries and she urged artists to take advantage of any practical or financial help on offer.

‘Guernsey Arts is here for anyone from any background or any skill set,’ she said.

Listen and subscribe to the Guernsey Press Arts Podcast wherever you get your shows, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

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