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This week was the annual highlight for many students in their third year. Abbey Road studios is synonymous with world-famous bands, blockbuster movie soundtracks and four guys called John Paul George and Ringo. As the third years enter their final semester at York St John, they travel to London to have the opportunity to work in one of the most respected recording studios on the planet.

It was a diverse and mixed workload for the students. Having to record the score for a long-lost silent film from the 1920s, strings for a folk rock track and strings for a number of pieces from renowned songwriter, musician and producer Gary Bromham’s new album.

Taking on the roles of assistant engineers, they were under the guidance of Abbey Road engineer Paul Pritchard. Paul’s credits include recordings by the likes of Elton John, Stormzy and London Grammar to name a few. Alongside Paul was recordist George Oulton. His recording credits include working with Ed Sheeran, Hans Zimmer and Noel Gallagher.

Giving the students the chance to take an active role in a real-life recording session at Abbey Road is an invaluable insight into the work they could potentially be doing if studio recording is a career path they choose to go down. However, even if it isn’t, it is also an opportunity to be a part of the work that goes into a session at a world-renowned studio. Recording is one part of the music production process, but the skills learned from this experience can prove invaluable in many other scenarios. The level of efficiency and experience on show in these sessions can often be a source of inspiration for both the students but also the tutors who accompany them.

Alongside this professionalism is a valuable opportunity for students to chat to industry professionals both whilst at work and post-recording sessions. This is extremely important and helps build students’ confidence in their ability to build a network for their musical endeavours. Many laughs were had during the days at Abbey Road and no doubt it will be a memory the students will never forget.

Next week we will hear first-hand from the students what their experience at Abbey Road was like, and how it has inspired them to progress with their careers.

Words: John Ricketts

Images: York St John Music Production