Get involved case study: Courses & learning

Read our case study to find out more about some of the courses at Southbank Centre and how they’ve impacted participants.

Hannah Vettese took part in the six-session Meltdown Music Journalism Course for 15–21 year olds in 2015. This course introduced participants to the many different areas of music journalism with some of the best in the business as well as exclusive access to Meltdown Festival artists and concerts. The course culminated with students publishing a bespoke blog series of reviews, interviews, and commentary for our annual Meltdown Festival. She is now a sub-editor and writer at Record Collector magazine.

Why did you decide to do the course?

I had a massive interest in music, and also specifically in vinyl, but I didn’t think I wanted to go into journalism because I didn’t think it was a viable career path for me. I did the course because I didn’t know what I wanted to do and I didn’t want to rule out music journalism. I also wanted to challenge myself to get involved in something, because I’d struggled to get involved in sociable things, and I decided I wanted to challenge myself to meet new people and do something outside of my comfort zone.

What did you learn on the course?

I definitely learnt a lot in terms of changing my writing. The tutor who ran it was really amazing at giving us feedback and telling us how we could improve. She was really great at teaching about writing to a brief and things like that. In the festival, we had free passes to events, and we were asked to interview people and write posts for the Southbank Centre blog. I learnt a lot from the different speakers who came in to tell us what they did within the broad spectrum of music journalism – a mixture of well-known people and also people I hadn’t heard of with jobs that sounded really interesting. It was a good variety of people who had all got into their jobs in different ways.

What have you gone on to do since finishing the course?

Just after the course I started writing album reviews for free for different websites. Now I’m a sub-editor and writer at Record Collector magazine – so writing about music is now my full-time job!

I never would have listened to some of the artists that were on at Southbank Centre because it was such an eclectic mix, but I was thrown into that world to interview people, so ended up with a really varied selection of work that I could show people. I contacted the Editor on a whim and sent over the blog pieces that I’d done on the course. Having the experience at Southbank Centre on my CV definitely helped get me the job.

What advice would you give someone who’s considering a career in music journalism?

Agree to any opportunity to do anything – to interview anyone or learn anything you can. Then put together a portfolio and send friendly emails to everyone.

I would definitely recommend doing the Southbank Centre course. I was really shy about the idea of doing it, but because I didn’t know anyone on the course I could really push myself to do my best because no-one knew who I was. 

I met some really great people, and got to do some amazing things – like sitting in to watch Lauren Laverne do her show in the Royal Festival Hall. I didn’t feel patronised on the course, I just felt like I was being given the opportunity to help out in the festival. 

Find out more about Southbank Centre’s courses for young people