Students on traditional work experience in the music and audio industry are typically on the lowest rung of the ladder, often working as runners in studios and on film locations, or as general stage crew in live events. It can be weeks, months or sometimes years before junior members of staff are able to take positions of responsibility by actually mixing sound or music for an audience (especially a paying audience). The short nature of many work experience opportunities often leaves students in a shadowing role or even an observation role, and on longer term placements, many are still placed into low level positions. This paper describes how guided work experience opportunities in music recording, live sound and sound for picture can get students working under the direct supervision of experienced mentors, and get hands-on production experience of mixing or systems engineering, i.e. an opportunity to ‘drive the bus’ or ‘fly the plane’.
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