aaron wilson summer rock guitar school

Aaron Wilson presents Guitar Summer School of Rock at AMS Edinburgh

AMS Edinburgh HND student Aaron Wilson will be running a rock guitar summer school series this year at the Edinburgh campus in Leith taking place over various dates.

The summer school will be 3 days a week, bi-weekly over 4 weeks in total, and the days will consist of 3 different groups: 2 hours Beginner group, then 2 hours Intermediate, then 2 hours Advanced.  Group sizes will be limited to 5 people and all sessions will adhere to strict social distancing guidelines. There will be beginner, intermediate and advanced sessions to suit every level of experience, and anyone is welcome to come along!

Each lesson is designed to boost all areas of attendees’ guitar playing and knowledge covering everything from scales, modes, fretboard and general music theory, and chord knowledge, to covering genre and guitarist appreciation and learning how to jam with your favourite songs and in a band setting; Aaron will cover it all!  

Week 1: 6th, 7th, 8th of July
Week 2: 20th, 21st, 22nd of July
Week 3: 3rd, 4th, 5th of August
Week 4: 10th, 11th, 12th of August.  

£65 a week per person OR £240 for 4 weeks

To book your place, contact Aaron Wilson on any of the following:
07932071121 | [email protected]www.aarronwilsonguitarlessons.com

About Aaron Wilson

Aaron is a lead guitarist, guitar tutor and session musician based in Edinburgh, about to complete his HND qualification at AMS Edinburgh. Aaron has been a lover of music for as long as he can remember, starting his musical journey at just 7 years old with his very first guitar. He has been passionately dedicated to playing and progressing with guitar in all ways ever since!  Aaron has studied guitar at multiple different music institutions, such as the Academy of Music and Sound Edinburgh, and Morningside School of Music, and also currently teaches guitar for the Leith School of Music.

With a range of experience in several forms of music, including Blues, Rock, Metal, Jazz, Fusion, and Finger-Style Acoustic, Aaron has become a proficient, young teaching professional, confident tutoring many styles. He also has experience in the live music scene too, having performed within various bands and as a session musician. 

Instagram page@aaron_wilzo
Facebook PageAaron Wilson Music

hip hop hnc study and skills workshop free online with steg g scottsih rapper ams scotland hnd course music

Announcing our new Hip-Hop Free Mini Workshop with Steg G!

Love hip-hop or rap? Want to expand your skills? Considering further study? Come along to our free mini-hip-hop workshop with popular Scottish rapper and AMS tutor Steg G.

Gain an introduction into hip-hop and rap, and studying at AMS Edinburgh or Glasgow at this upcoming one-off mini-workshop. The 2 hour session acts as an introduction to our Hip-Hop and Rap course pathway, part of our accredited HNC/HNC qualification. Attendees will learn some basic hip-hop, rap and beat-making skills, plus get a run down on what our HNC/HND course entails, including the hip-hop specific pathway.

You will also have the chance to ask general questions about studying at AMS (Scotland – Edinburgh or Glasgow) and learn about the courses we offer, in particular the HNC/HND where students get the chance to focus particularly on hip-hop and rap. Sign up to get the Zoom link sent straight to your inbox.


Event Programme

  • What is Rap? A brief history and how to start rapping
  • Rap techniques for beginners: different kinds of rap and poetry
  • Lean about techniques such as end rhymes and internal rhymes
  • How to structure and arrange a rap song
  • Finding your rap voice
  • Freestyle lessons: how to freestyle and expand your rhyme
  • Vocabulary: Advanced rap techniques such as assonance, alliteration and multi syllabic rhymes
  • Beat making: Introduction to beat making software and hardware
  • Introduction to sampling
  • Introduction to midi beat-making
  • Performance techniques and tips
  • Introduction and Q&A to the AMS HNC/HND Course

Steg G

Steg is a Hip Hop Artist from Glasgow. In 2019 he released the album THE AIR IN BETWEEN and in October 2019 won Best Hip Hop artist at the SAMA awards. For the last few years he has been producing for lots of artists such as Loki, Freestyle Master, Empress, CCTV, Stanley Odd, Mad hat, and many more, helping them shine and showcasing their talents. In 2020 he fully produced the – Empress – Love wins album which was released in June 2020 year to critical acclaim. This year  (2021) Steg G  released his latest album – Live Today . The album is a concept / story that was wrote and produced around the themes of toxic masculinity and addictions.


Hip-Hop at AMS Scotland

Our new Hip-Hop and Rap HNC/HND pathway launched in 2020 – the first music college to run this option – and it has become incredibly popular. It offers weekly classes covering songwriting techniques, style analysis and live performance to improve technical aptitude and theoretical understanding.

Our team have been working diligently with industry professionals to finally provide this course in an area typically overlooked in music education. Alongside this we also run regular free hip-hop short courses each term. Find out more.

women in music free online short course

"Women in Music" The online course challenging inequality in music

According to ‘Counting the Music Industry‘, a study conducted by Vick Bain published recently in Music Week,  just over 14% of writers currently signed to publishers and just under 20% of  acts signed to labels are female. This large gap is indicative of widespread discrimination against women in the music industry – and a very real problem.  A similar study conducted by Women In Ctrl found that just 19% of female songwriters are among the top 100 played songs on the radio in 2020*, while female producers make up just 3% of this.

Bain, former BASCA CEO now freelance music industry consultant and director of the board of Parents & Carers in Performing Arts (PiPA), hopes her study will be a “wake up call” for the industry. Her experience on on the UK Music board, the UK Music Research Group and the UK Music Rights Committee, as well as the UK Music Diversity Taskforce, has cultivated her expertise and passion for equality in the sector and is one of many women in the industry today fighting for a greater sense of equal opportunity.

Empowerment and Employability

Our short course (taking place over 2 weekends, 3-11 October) will be led by two formidable women in music and AMS colleagues, Melisa Kelly and Karlyn King, and is aimed at female identifying students and women in the industry. While laying bare these deep-rooted problems, the class sets out to be an empowering experience that will provide women in music with the tools and knowledge of gender dynamics in the industry, and hopefully inspire an upcoming generation will the vision to create a more balanced sector.

From feedback of Women In Music courses been-and-gone, we found that one of the most important and valuable things students took away from class was the incredible sense of community and support found within the class – even though it was delivered online for the first time this summer! It was a great chance for students to network and connect with other women in the industry and develop a solid sense of community and uplift.

Throughout the week-long course, attendees will cover everything from getting a background of gender and representation in the industry, to creative CV and mock interview skills, an introduction into music management, and a songwriting/performance masterclass. Day 1 and 3 will be hosted by Karlyn, while day 2 and 4 is to be hosted by Melisa. Take a look below for a day to day outline of the course.

There’s certainly a long way to go before equal representation and opportunity is achieved. These gaps are of course far more prevalent for women of colour and other marginalised groups in the industry too. While opportunities for women in music are much more varied and appreciated than they used to be, it’s still a long road ahead. As a male dominated sector, feeling empowered and valued as a woman within it is a vital step to changing the status-quo. Our WIM short course not only aims to share knowledge of the gender gaps and disparities in music, but to empower and build a sense of community between female and female-identifying producers and creatives.

Women In Music Short Course: 3-11 October

The course will take place over two Weekends, starting on October 3rd and ending on October 11th.

Day 1:  We will cover why the course is necessary and start to  reflect on what valuable skills and experience we already have and want to gain.

Day 2: Refine your creative CV and mock interview skills.

Day 3: Learn how to deal with challenging work situations and get an introduction to music management.

Day 4: Songwriting and performance masterclass with Melisa Kelly (professional singer and songwriter and academic).

You will gain info on what other areas there are available to work in music, and how to gain access to them whether its performance or business, writing – how to monetize is a big focus.



Check out some of Melisa Kelly and Karlyn King’s work…

Melisa is a successful performing artist and music tutor, perhaps best known for her leading role in the group, Melisa Kelly and the Smokin’ Crows.

Karlyn is a prolific academic, who specialised in music business and the vinyl record industry.

academy of music

Free 'Digital Marketing for Musicians' Masterclass in Gateshead

AMS Gateshead team up with Plectrumm Social to offer the free marketing session.


ams gateshead music masterclass plectrumm social media

We've said it once, we'll say it again. Social media and savvy digital marketing can be an excellent way to enhance your band's profile!

Good news then, Academy of Music and Sound Gateshead have collab'd with Plectrumm to offer a free Digital Marketing Masterclass. Gateshead students - get involved!

Founded by Matthew Wooton, Brighton-based Plectrumm brings a fresh and dynamic take on digital advertising. With over 5 years experience, the team have worked with some of the biggest artists in the game, including Thirty Seconds To Mars, Noel Gallagher, Four Tet and Freya Ridings.

"Born out of the desire to bring a memorable tailored service, Plectrumm's vision is built around growing engaged artist audiences, retaining key data and converting interest into income. With a creative and innovative campaign Plectrumm can help join the dots between the live, recorded and social streams."



"Proudly based in Brighton, Plectrumm looks to take the industry forward by delivering an untouched standard of e-commerce and advertising, exclusively to the world of music."

"The team are as passionate about breaking talented new acts as they are keen to work with household names. With a developing roster of some of the most exciting new acts around, this ethos fuels the belief that connected digital marketing will break the musicians of tomorrow."


Date And Time:
Fri, February 14, 2020
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM GMT

Academy of Music and Sound, Gateshead
191 High Street

Book now

Find out more on Plectrumm's website.

ams big gig film video 2019 academy music and sound

The Big Gig at St Lukes Glasgow
2019 Official Film

In November 2019 we completed our year of 25th birthday celebrations with an epic showcase at St Lukes in Glasgow. Wandern Media were on hand to capture the entire event, as well as providing some sick snaps, they caught the entire gig on film in this epic gig video. Check it out below.


the big gig glasgow in photos photo gallery waldern media

In Photos
The Big Gig at St Lukes Glasgow

November 2019 saw us take to the incredible venue St Luke’s & the Winged Ox in Glasgow for an epic BIG GIG celebrating our 25 years in music education. It was a joint birthday affair along with the Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMAs) and the Scottish Music Centre who were celebrating their 10th and 50th birthdays respectively, and was sound-tracked by a whole host of amazing bands and artists.

Cloth, Vandal Palace, Marina Rolink were all there to help celebrate, with Melisa Kelley and the Smokin Crows playing an outstanding headlining set. The atmosphere was incredible and we couldn’t have asked for a better venue, crowd, and line-up to help mark our 25th year, and to send of 2019 in style with. Thanks to all who made the Big Gig possible.

AMS Scotland’s Marc Sharpe made a statement about the event:

“Having been employed at AMS for over ten years I have been privileged and humbled from the amount of raw musical talent that not only was developed from students forming bands, collaborating and watching the first iterations of the original material created, but what they have continued to work towards when their studies with us have ended – some of them on the brink of not only breaking and becoming known locally but also across the UK and Europe.

 The Big Gig was not only a celebration of 25 years of the Academy of Music and Sound but also a celebration and recognition of the students/alumni that have developed under our tutelage, supporting local businesses/networks, charities close to our heart.

 We collaborated and shared our birthday with the Scottish Alternative Music Awards and Scottish Music Centre who respectively turned ten and fifty this year and always appreciate and welcome their support, we always strive to maintain close industry networks and collaboration to share unique opportunities to current and former students. Not only this, we invited industry professionals such as; Creative Scotland, The Musicians Union, 23rd Precinct, Hit the Road, Help Musicians UK to provide inside knowledge on what they can offer people during and beyond their studies.

The evening also had some additional support from current HN students (Cameron Wilson and Jack Geddes) who are also developing their own photography skills and offered to take pictures alongside our media partner (former BA(hons) alumni) Emma Bryceland who have their own creative film company. Additionally, we had thirst-quenching sustenance from local brewers Drygate who provided a healthy stock of drinks for everyone who attended.

From start to finish, from the opening act to the final act, every single performer, musician, artist was flawless. The night featured an eclectic taste of music and on paper, you wouldn’t typically see many of these performers on the same bill however, I also think that this demonstrates a key understated area in that AMS helps develop musicians regardless of their musical background or interests. Furthermore, I think it shows great strength in the musical talent in Scotland and I’m sure that it’ll continue to grow.

Thank you to everyone involved and I mean absolutely everyone.


Wandern Media, Cameron Wilson and Jag Media were on hand to capture the event in all it’s glory. Check out all the photos in the gallery below.

ams Edinburgh women employability music industry

AMS Edinburgh host Women's Employability
in the Music Industry workshop

Free short course: Women's Employability in the Music Industry

The Academy of Music and Sound in Edinburgh is hosting a free four day course for anyone identifying as female looking for opportunities in the music industry.

The event is a completely free four-day course, running over two consecutive weekends the 11th, 12th, 18th and 19th of January 2020. The course is for anyone identifying as female who wants to enhance their knowledge, network and toolkit with the aim of being employed in the music industries in any capacity, whether it be performance, behind the scenes, journalism or event management.

The course will be hosted by Karlyn King, (BIMM, ICMP, University of Birmingham, UWS, AMS) who will teach attendees about gaining confidence in a competitive and harsh industry, how to find a musical direction, and female specific struggles and strengths in the music world and broader culture. The final day will be a masterclass with the wonderful Melisa Kelly of Melisa Kelly and the Smokin' Crows - the incredible blues band who killed it at our 25th Birthday Celebrations in Glasgow last week.

The course will take place at the Academy of Music and Sound, 88 Giles Street, Edinburgh EH6 6BZ. The deadline to book is Thursday 09 January 2020 at 23:55.


For further information, please contact [email protected] or call 0131 656 0600.

glasgow big gig scotland events news

"The Big Gig" AMS Scotland mark 25 Years Loud with SAMAs and Scottish Music Centre


Here at AMS have been celebrating 25 years in music education this year. After an amazing showcase this summer in
Exeter, Academy of Music and Sound Scotland are bringing a joint party, along with the Scottish Music Centre – (who are marking a
mahoosive 50th year!) – AND the Scottish Alternative Music Awards (who turn 10 tonight!) to Saint Luke’s on 21 November. We’re calling this one, the BIG GIG.

The event will include a gig with guest acts such as Mellisa Kelly and the Smokin’ Crows, Marina Rolink, Vandal Palace, and Quiche.
Plus the band Cloth – who were nominated for the Best Newcomer Award as part of this years SAMA’s (a category the Academy of Music
and Sound were proud to sponsor this year). With even more acts TBC, this is definitely one to put in the diary.

Alongside these acts, there will be tables represented by Resonate, Musicians’ Union, Help Musicians UK and the Scottish Music Industry Association.

PLUS there is going to be free beer (yes free) from sponsor Drygate Brewery and Wandern Media will be shooting and snapping the entire event. ????

????For more info click here to sign up to AMS Scot’s mailer!????
Click HERE for the FACEBOOK EVENT ????

beth ams news

Graduation season and award announcements

It's graduation season at AMS and to mark the occasion, as usual, we have given out awards to some of this year's outstanding students.

It was very hard to choose, as there have been some exceptional students, projects and performances this year, but in the end our panel of industry experts and AMS tutors whittled it down to three dedicated students.

There were three prizes on offer, one for songwriting talent and output, another for production based skills and achievements, and a final award for performance. Check out the list of winners below.

The Shaun Baxter H.E. Award for Performance - Steven Moore, AMS Gateshead.

Steven was nominated by Tom Pottage (2nd marker), for his University Ensembles "Other Ensemble" - a performance of Ney Rossauro's Marimba Concerto. His performance was described as "absolutely astounding" and "one of the best performance submissions I've ever seen from an AMS student." by Pottage. Shaun Baxter commented, "the whole performance was absolutely top class."

"This candidate executed concert-style repertoire, requiring virtuoso-level knowledge and technique, with composure and assurance. His performance, displaying a very demanding but impressive four-mallet marimba technique, continued to excel even when placed under the harsh microscope used to scrutinise any lead instrument in a large ensemble."

The Rev Hammer Award for Songwriting - Beth Goudie, AMS Online student

Beth studied BA (Hons) Professional Music (Performance) with AMS Online, and is set to graduate this summer. Her debut album out in July, adding to an impressive set of recent achievements. After receiving the news of her win, Beth commented: “Receiving the AMS Graduation Songwriting Award has been such a special addition to what was already an incredibly rewarding year. As a songwriter, an award like this is a real honour and encouragement as it gives me a new level of confidence as I move forward in my career. My time with AMS has added so much to my professional and personal life and it’s an experience I would recommend to any musician. Thank you so much to everyone at AMS for providing such an enriching opportunity, it’s one I will be forever grateful for.

Beth was nominated by AMS Tutor Kimwei McCarthy, who spoke about Beth’s songwriting portfolio: “An astoundingly crafted EP of songs, which appear simple of first listen, but are in fact meticulously arranged, so that every note and every syllable fuse and ignite. These songs sound ancient and yet current, showing that they speak to something timelessly human in us”

Rev Hammer commented saying, her songs are "Utterly charming recordings. The sparseness of the approach works perfectly with the lonesome feel and longing of the message. I particularly liked the lyrical content of songs such as Hiraeth, Bouncy Castles, Ashes and Home. Bouncy Castles in a particular felt perceptive and wry and encapsulated the song writers dream of making the personal global. All in all a very rewarding and enriching listening experience with the beautiful recording of the voice adding both poise and fragility.

Beth's prize includes a free recording day at Studio 54 in Exeter, at her graduation ceremony. Two other awards, one for Performance and another for Production up for grabs, though details on winners are yet to be announced. Head to the AMS Online website to read more.

The AMS Music Production Award - Matt Stevenson, Exeter

Matt was nominated by tutor Rob Dymond. After much deliberation it was decided that Matt deserved the award due to the professional quality of his music for production project:

Overall this production is well arranged for the Idiom, as well as showing that Matt has a good grasp of mixing audio, mastering, sampling and recording instruments. Musicians have been directed well and perform to a very high standard in his work. Rob said, "each track is competitive in terms of loudness without losing dynamics and the low end definition is where this project shines, it would be suitable to be played on large speakers in club or at a dance music festival." Careful considerations have been made throughout his work in terms of processing, saturation, stereo width and balance. Rob also said, "I very much look forward to hearing this music within a professional context in the future."


AMS One Big Showcase at Bearded Theory 2019

The Academy of Music and Sound were back at Derby’s small but mighty Bearded Theory festival this year. Returning a stage packed with student talent, as well as a line-up of guest bands and artists specially selected among over 200 applicants* in a competition to play a slot on the AMS One Big Showcase Stage. The AMS stage - unmissable in bold red and blue stripes - offering an exciting line-up each day of the event, and gathered festival crowds offering everything from punk rock, to indie, acoustic and even some Ska to get your knees up to.

AMS Gateshead artists kicked things off on the Friday afternoon, with a wide array of styles covered including an acoustic set, and a DJ set. This was followed by an eclectic array of bands including award-winning country singer Katy Hurt, the sassy and wonderful Dana Immanuel and her Stolen Band, badass all-female punk rock group HAWXX, donning perhaps the most styling and statement-making attire of the entire event. South coast three-piece indie band Hot Plastic took to the red and blue tent shortly after. The Kubricks closed off proceedings on the Friday with a suitably skanky set which got the packed crowd buzzing in the intimate tent.

Saturday afternoon began, lit up by Exeter AMS student performers, including bands Violet Eye, Wish Hounds, First Person, plus Exeter based Shadow Project and AMS Southampton band Wooden Spoons. Guests Beth Porter and Pavey Ark, settled the revellers in for a mellow, dreamy afternoon, before Cuba Libre hit the stage, offering some funky rhymes and beats to truly get the crowd going. Candidates followed suit, and headliners Tres Kings closed the night with a polished performance stiking a bold balance somewhere between Arctic Monkeys and Jamie T.

"The guys from the Academy were really well organised before the event and made it really easy for us. We got to unload right by the back of the stage and the equipment on stage was brilliant. The sound engineers were exceptionally good and patient and got us a great sound! A great experience, we would love to return next year."
- Paul Bytheway, The Retrosettes


Sunday featured AMS Exeter band Athelas, as well as the ever-wonderful Kimwei and Connor Thomas. While the final installment of guests saw The Retrosettes, Dutch Mustard and headliners Bad Transmission see off the event in style.

Last year the One Big Showcase presented Exeter based outfit Pattern Pusher, made up of some our very own AMS lecturers. This year the the band were upgraded to the main stage of the festival itself - securing the opening slot of the event and opening things up on the sunny Friday afternoon. Big things are on the way for these guys, stay tuned.


"What a great success The One Big Showcase stage has been. Proper grassroots support with a policy of promoting top performing bands to the main and Woodland stages the following year"

- Steve Ryan, AMS Principle





Not only did the AMS students put on some memorable performances - perhaps even setting themselves up to follow the Pattern Pusher path and become main-stagers next year - but, behind the scenes student work in artist liaison, lighting and sound, as well as stewarding and merch sales provided some valuable industry experience, not to mention help with essential logistics, without which, One Big Showcase might not have been possible.

Of the success of the One Big Showcase, and its help to get independent bands and artists onto bigger, main stage venues along side the festival itself, AMS Principle Steve Ryan said: “What a great success The One Big Showcase stage has been. Proper grassroots support with a policy of promoting top performing bands to the main and Woodland stages the following year. No other festival offers this direct route as far as I know. Excellent policy.”


View our photo gallery from the event here.


Jammin' @ the Mansons Guitar Show

The Corn Exchange in Exeter has come alive with the sound of riffs, as it plays host to Mansons Guitar Show 2017! We went along to the show this weekend and it's a big year for Mansons Guitar Shop as it celebrates its 25th year of trading! The show was jam packed with world renowned exhibitors including Mansons (duh), 'Taylor Guitars, Orange Amplification, Ibanez, Laney, Vox, Music Man, Yamaha, Ashdown, boutique makers including Bare Knuckle Pickups, Heistercamp Straps and creative smaller enterprises such as Millman Guitars and Andy Manson.'

One of the first people through the doors happened to be an alumni student from Southampton, who actually BUILT a guitar. Check Hugh Manson checking it out -


Check out the line-up of the days show below:

10am                   Doors Open
10:15-10:30        Ellie Rialas
10:45-11:00        Jas Morris
11:00-11:15        Quiet Time
11:15-11:30        Duel with The Devil (Strings & Things Area)
11:45-12:20        Alex Hutchings
12:35-13:00        Yamaha "Ton Made Achievable" Part 1
13:00-13:15        Quiet Time
13:15-13:30       Duel with The Devil (Strings & Things Area)
13:30-13:50        Andrea Braido
14:10-14:30        Yamaha "Tone Made Achievable" Part 2
14:45-15:15        Bernie Marsden
15:30-15:55        Kris Barras Band
16:15-16:30        Aziz Ibrahim
16:45-17:00       Duel with The Devil (Strings & Things Area)
17:00                   Raffle Prize Giving
17:30                    Show Close


Did you know all* our members of staff lead a (not so) secret double life? By day, they guide and tutor talented budding musicians, and by night they rock out on many a stage.

This is exactly what Gateshead centre manager, Dan Donnelly (The Wonder Stuff and solo work), and Principal, Steve Ryan (Rev Hammer) are doing along with Jon Sevink (Levellers) on Friday 17th Novemeber @ 8:00pm in Plymouth's White Thorn Inn.

Check out what they have to say for themselves below -

This is rare opportunity to see Dan Donnelly (The Wonder Stuff and solo work) Jon Sevink (Levellers) and Rev Hammer (Levellers acoustic and solo work) playing together. This is the only gig in Dan and Jon's tour being joined by Rev and promises a great night of top tunes and banter**.

​The venue comes with excellent credentials as it is the new pub and venue recently taken on by lead singer and founder member of Mad Dog Mcrea, Michael Mathieson. The pub specialises in real ales and of course Guiness.

£12.00 + £1.20 Booking fee = £13.20
Buy Tickets HERE
Follow them on twitter:
Dan Donnelly @danstuffie 
Rev Hammer @rev_hammer
*By all, we mean nearly all.

**We cannot be held responsible if banter does not live up to expectation.