27 July 2012

Budding music industry professionals will have the opportunity to learn how big names such as Kate Miller-Heidke have achieved success at free, public master classes starting next week.

The series, called Nice Work If You Can Get It, starts on August 2 at Queensland University of Technology's (QUT) Kelvin Grove campus and will run weekly until October 25 from 5pm to 7pm.

Guest speakers will cover topics such as copyright, distribution trends, publishing, promotion, marketing, and independent business perspectives on the music industry.

Speakers include QUT graduate and multi-platinum selling artist Kate Miller-Heidke; Michael Taylor, general manager of A&R at Universal Music Australia and head of Island Records Australia; and journalist and former Rolling Stone (Australia) editor Toby Creswell.

Michael Smellie, former global COO for Sony/BMG and Asia Pacific head of BMG, will be the first speaker next Thursday.

The investor and board member of several music and electronic media companies will share personal anecdotes from 30 years in the business.

Mr Smellie will talk about the future of Australia's music industry, which he says is healthy despite changes brought by digital distribution.

"There is a brighter future in music now than there was a decade ago. The consumption of music and interest in it continue to grow," he said.

"The business model around it is in a state of flux. I don't think that will change dramatically. History shows business models are constantly changing."

Mr Smellie, who got his break in 1981 when he became financial director of Chappell Music, said emerging artists needed a combination of talent, luck and creative thinking to make it in the competitive business.

"It's a question of being entrepreneurial, of being passionate and being resilient," he said.

"Sometime it's luck; it's just being the right person at the right place at the right time."

Professor Philip Graham, head of music and sound at QUT, will conduct the master classes in an interview format, followed by questions from the audience and a networking event at QUT's Student Guild bar.

"This is a rare opportunity to meet leaders in the music business and learn from their experiences," Professor Graham said.

The Nice Work If You Can Get It series is organised by music and sound at QUT in partnership with MiSt Opps industry consultancy company.

Nice Work If You Can Get It will be held at QUT's F-block auditorium, room 509, at Kelvin Grove campus.

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Media contact: Stephanie Harrington, media officer, 3138 1150,

Kate Miller Heidke will be among music industry heavyweights to give free public master classes at QUT.

Michael Smellie kicks off the series in August.