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Whitireia music programme helps student break into industry

Whitireia music programme helps student break into industry

Whitireia Applied Arts student Sam Notman has credited the tertiary institution’s music programme with helping him jump-start his career in the industry.

Notman enrolled in the Certificate in Foundation Music in 2012 after a friend recommended the course and is now in the final year of a Bachelor of Applied Arts (Music) at the Whitireia campus in Porirua. The drummer from Taranaki said the programme had allowed him to improve considerably as a musician and to develop industry-relevant skills.

“I decided to do the certificate course instead of my last year of high school as I knew I wanted to become a professional musician and felt that would prepare me better for the degree.”

Notman said the Bachelor of Applied Arts (Music) was a natural progression from the certificate and that it was further equipping him with the tools necessary to be successful in the industry.

“The exposure to a range of quality tutors, especially Rick Cranson from the Little Bushmen, has helped me become a much more technical and well-rounded musician,” he said. “The creative enterprise component of the degree has also been really valuable. A lot of musicians out there have no idea how to promote themselves or manage their careers, but that’s something that Whitireia teaches you as well as the practical side of things.”

During his end-of-year assessment in 2014, Notman performed some original material in front of well-known Wellington musician Thomas Oliver, who had been brought in as an assessor. Oliver was obviously impressed and asked Notman if he would play on a nationwide tour this year in support of his forthcoming album.

“I’m really excited to be working with Thomas,” said Notman. “I’m a fan of his music and we’ll be playing some big gigs. Without the introduction through Whitireia I probably wouldn’t have had this kind of opportunity so early.”

In the meantime, Notman continues to work with his band The Ba$h and two-man drum outfit Slick Licks. For more information on these projects visit The Ba$h’s Facebook page –, and Slick Licks’ YouTube channel –


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