New Abbey Road scholarship to ‘help diversify next generation of engineering’

Abbey Road Studios has launched a new scholarship and work placement programme for young black students, which its managing director Isabel Garvey says will “help diversify the next generation of engineering professionals from the ground up”.

Starting in 2021, the scholarship will cover the full cost of the course fees and contribute towards living expenses for two black British students annually to study on Abbey Road Institute’s Advanced Diploma in Music Production and Sound Engineering. Successful completion of the course will see the two graduates offered a year-long trainee engineering role within Abbey Road Studios.

The Abbey Road Scholarship programme is the first in a series of initiatives from the iconic London studios aimed at creating education and mentoring opportunities for young black people.

“I’m thrilled that this programme will create new opportunities for aspiring young engineers by giving them not just the educational foundation, but also the benefit of practical experience working with the best artists, composers and engineers in the industry,” Garvey commented. “Abbey Road has always been about training the best studio talent, so it’s brilliant that the Scholarship will help diversify the next generation of engineering professionals from the ground up.”

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Alongside the Scholarship and work placement, Garvey is keen to encourage artists to play a part in the students’ education. Raye, a singer-songwriter from London, signed to Polydor Records, was keen to get involved and offer support and guidance as part of the programme. She will be part of the selection committee who will choose the successful applicants and will provide ongoing mentorship throughout their time at Abbey Road. 

“I’m so proud to be part of this brilliant initiative to encourage more black students down the path of music production and audio engineering,” said Raye. “Black producers and engineers are under-represented in the professional recording environment and we need to address that. During my time at The BRIT School I learned how important music education is and it’s been instrumental in helping me get further in life.

“This is such an incredible opportunity to obtain the highest levels of technical training at one of the world’s most iconic recording studios! I’m very much looking forward to meeting and working with the successful applicants and being a part of your amazing journey!”

Luca Barassi, CEO of Abbey Road Institute, added: “Our ethos has always been to expand the range of diverse creative and technical minds aspiring to work in professional audio. The new Scholarship will help this in two ways: by funding students who may not have previously been able to join the programme, and by creating more awareness of the audio industry for younger generations who may now find their goal of becoming a music professional more achievable.”