AIR Studios to fund new diversity scholarship at University of Surrey

AIR Studios aims to tackle the lack of diversity in the UK audio industry with a new scholarship to the University of Surrey’s ‘Tonmeister’ course.

The AIR Diversity Scholarship for Tonmeisters Scholarship was created in recognition of the importance of providing opportunities within the industry for underrepresented ethnic groups.

The £30,000 scholarship will support students taking the prestigious Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister) course, which was first launched five decades ago. The course blends music study with advanced investigation of audio engineering and mastery of sound recording operation and practice. 

“We are absolutely committed to address some of the systemic imbalances which exist in higher education communities and some areas of the UK music industry,” said Professor Tony Myatt, Head of the Department of Music and Media at the University of Surrey. “We want to support and provide the very best educational opportunities to the next generation of recording engineers and music producers, regardless of their backgrounds or financial position, and with a diversity that fully reflects our society”.

The scholarship is open to students from underrepresented ethnics backgrounds, and those coming from a household with an income of £35k or less will take priority. 

The new initiative builds on the existing partnership between AIR and the university’s Department of Music and Media which reguarly sees students completing work placements at AIR and going into full-time employment there after graduation.

The deadline for applications for the scholarship is 31 July, and the successful applicant will be notified on 4 October. 

“The excellence of knowledge and technical understanding that the Tonmeister degree provides is unrivalled in the music recording industry,” said Kamila Serkebaeva, Director at AIR. “We have nurtured bright new generations of University of Surrey graduates for decades and have come to understand the deep value of participation in higher education. For this reason and following on our recent commitment to a stronger and more inclusive music recording ecosystem, we set up the AIR Diversity Scholarship for the Tonmeister course. 

“We hope that this will be the beginning of a wider reform to increase representation in the music industry and that we’ll soon see diverse values, goals, and concerns brought into the dialogue and the quality of our collective work.”