South Staffordshire College

Pioneering Music Lecturer to feature at prestigious ‘Innovation in Music’ Conference

Category: News

A pioneering music lecturer from South Staffordshire College will be amongst a host of respected industry professionals who will be presenting at a prestigious industry event in London this September.

Chris Payne, who is Course Leader for the College’s Foundation Degree in Music Performance Technologies will be taking to the stage during ‘Innovation in Music 2017’; a bi-annual industry conference that brings together researchers and professionals interested in the future of the music industry, from the artist through to the consumer. The event, which takes place from 6-8 September 2017, will be hosted by the University of Westminster at their Regent Street campus in the heart of Central London.

Chris, who has an MSc In Music Technology, awarded by Staffordshire University, and is currently undertaking his PhD with the University of Wolverhampton, has worked alongside his Director of Studies Dr. Mat Dalgleish to conduct research that explores the development of the currently mainly postgraduate disciplines of musical/audio programming and physical computing into a performance-orientated undergraduate curriculum. This research is in response to ongoing technological advancements in the music industry and increasing audience demand for augmented and enhanced performance experience. A main finding is the need for greater curricular interplay between music performance, programming, and Maker culture.

The research paper presents the ‘FD library’, a library for the open source Pure Data visual programming environment that aims to encourage undergraduate performance and production students to explore and combine a variety of coding and performing techniques. These goals are enabled by differentiated object abstractions within the library structure. The principles behind the research have led to Chris being the driving force behind the establishment of South Staffordshire College’s Foundation Degree in Music Performance Technologies, designed in conjunction with and validated by the University of Wolverhampton.

The groundbreaking course sees aspiring musicians and engineers combine the three industrial areas of Music Performance/Production, Electronics and Computer Programming enabling them to develop both software and hardware products for the future performance environment at undergraduate level. Students have the opportunity to develop high level skills in programming, electronics, songwriting, performance and production as well as the opportunity to develop their own prototype performance software/hardware product and much more.

This innovative approach to undergraduate curriculum design and implementation has seen Chris become one of many well respected industry experts who will be speaking at the event in London next month. Other notable speakers include Grammy Award winning songwriter, recording artist, producer and engineer Imogen Heap, celebrated percussionist, composer and producer Talvin Singh OBE, world leading forensic musicologist Peter Oxendale and many more.

Speaking prior to the event Chris says “I’m delighted to be speaking at the Innovation in Music Conference. As our industry continues to transform, it’s important that we equip students with the skills and opportunities to embark on successful careers in industry. I firmly believe that if we are to bridge the gap between popular music education and audio/visual communication it’s essential that we embrace the latest technologies and find innovative new ways to deliver a curriculum that is relevant and up to date. These principles are extremely important to us at South Staffordshire College and provide the fundamental basis for our Foundation Degree programme.”

To register for this event, please visit

Applications for South Staffordshire College’s FdA in Music Performance Technologies are still being accepted for this September and those who would like to find out more can do online at
Course Title: Music Performance Technologies FdA
UCAS Code W370
Institution Code W75


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