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Inspiring Futures with Kat Marsh

By: Jack Henderson, Creative Media Production (HND) student, City College Plymouth

Inspiring Futures with Kat Marsh

Kat Marsh is a professional singer-songwriter and choir leader who has worked with a number of well established bands and artists, such as Bring Me The Horizon and While She Sleeps, just to name just a few. She has been in the music business for some time now with over ten years of professional experience. She’s also worked at some of the UK’s biggest music venues, including the Royal Albert Hall and Glastonbury Festival.

On March 11th, Kat gave a talk to students at City College Plymouth as part of an Inspiring Futures project, delivered by Next Steps South West. She spoke about her career so far before giving six key pieces of advice for those wanting to excel in a creative career path, all of which she made crystal clear in her speech:

KEEP SAYING YES – To thrive in any creative industry, Kat believes this is really important. In a Q&A session with students, she said she doesn’t believe she has ever rejected a project offer unless it has clashed with other projects she was already working on.

For my course (HND Creative Media Production), opportunities to work on real-life projects are provided to us by our lecturers. And generally speaking, higher education courses can often provide you with a variety of opportunities. So as a student, it’s great to have the chance to work on so many different projects! Take advantage of this!

TAKE CHANCES – Sometimes it’s good to get yourself out of your comfort zone, no matter how scary it may be! Kat told the attendees that if it feels scary, it’s a good sign, and it’s OK to feel that way. If you’re studying at degree level, lecturers are often available for support, should you need it!

EXPAND YOUR SKILL SET – The more capability you have, the more you will benefit in the long run. If you’re considering learning more instruments, do it. Or, perhaps from a visual perspective, you could further your photography, filming or editing skills. There’s no such thing as knowing too much, said Kat. And, as an HE student, this of course will help you out massively, not just in boosting your grades, but also with your employability too!

COLLABORATE – If you approach a potential collaborator or client with an idea, the worst they can do is say no, and the best they could do is say yes! For Kat, collaboration is a big thing when it comes to the creative and music industries.

If you’re anything like me as a student, you’ll be making friends on your course who come from all walks of life. And what better way to unleash your creativity than to work with others who share the same passions and dreams as you?

 

SHARE YOUR WORK – When people have seen what you can offer, people are more likely to come to you and offer you some amazing opportunities. Boosting your portfolio, no matter what it is you do, is a great way of getting yourself noticed. Studying towards a creative higher education qualification is a perfect way to do this, as you’ll have the time to work on this in your classes or lectures!

MAKE YOUR OWN PATH – Kat wanted to start up her own choir for a long time, so she decided to roll with it and Choir Noir was the end result – the message: don’t be scared to make your ideas and dreams a reality.

For me, well, a few of my friends and I set up our own media businesses whilst studying, both collaboratively and individually. And the pathway I’ve gone down so far in this respect has been an interesting, yet fun experience! If it wasn’t for my course, I doubt I would have had the freedom or confidence to make the bold life choices that I’ve made so far!

What happened after the talk?

Kat’s talk clearly struck a chord with those who attended, as many of them approached her at the end to ask more questions. And what’s more, some of these students were lucky enough to have a masterclass with Kat afterwards.

She created all kinds of melodies with these students and it was truly touching to see a master of her craft get more personal with people who want to learn from the best in the industry. This really was a successful and engaging Inspiring Future project for all involved!

It’s also important to note that Kat’s points can also be relevant to other areas of employment, not just creative ones. Take expanding your skill set as a prime example. If you’re a freelancer, learning business related skills such as invoicing and advertising are definitely essential if you want to thrive in your chosen work area, regardless of the nature of your job.

On a personal note…

As a Creative Media Production student myself, I can definitely relate with much of what Kat said in her talk. As part of my course, I have acted upon Kat’s pieces of advice which I have mentioned above in the past.

There have been certain client jobs which I’ve been nervous of accepting before. But if I didn’t accept these opportunities, I wouldn’t have had the chance to work in some really cool places, including Hong Kong and Poland. And I’m so glad I’ve accepted the opportunities that have come my way during my higher education experience so far, as they have proved to be some of the best experiences of my life so far, on both a professional and personal level!

All in all, I think it’s great that Inspiring Futures events such as this one with Kat Marsh have been introduced. To be able to hear first hand from someone who has a lot of experience in an area you’re interested in is bound to be an inspiring moment. I know I was further inspired by Kat’s talk, even though I’ve been very lucky myself to work on some amazing projects and collaborate with some amazing people so far!

Motivation is so helpful in keeping you on track with where you want to be. And that’s what these Inspiring Futures events have been designed for, to ignite new interests and to further fuel your passions of achieving your set goals and aspirations in life.


If you’re interested in Creative Media Production, or any other higher education courses on offer in the South West, check out our Course Guide. Who knows where it might lead?

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