MUSIC INSTRUMENT RETAIL TRAINING & APPRENTICESHIP SCHEME (MIRTAS) - Questionnaire

Regional Mentor Robert Sanham with Thomas Dalmut-Rudd at Nevada Music, Southampton

Visit: http://academyofmusic.ac.uk/apprenticeships/

(R.S) Tell us a little about yourself.

(T.D.R) I am 21, I play guitar, play in a band and I work in Nevada Music in Portsmouth. I’ve been born and bred here.

(R.S) How did you come to be working on the MIRTAS apprenticeship?

(T.D.R) I gave university a go and that didn’t work out for me and so I dropped out in the second year. I tried to get a job, as we all do and failed miserably for a few months. I ended up caving in and went to the Job Centre. I was on the allowance for about a month or so when this popped up, The MIRTAS Apprenticeship Scheme for Nevada Music which I thought was pretty well-timed and this is the one place in Portsmouth I’ve wanted to work in since I was a pre-teen.

(R.S) What do you most enjoy about your apprenticeship placement?

(T.D.R) Working here. It’s helped a lot with other extra-curricular activities. Just generally being in a band and meeting other musicians. We put on quite a few of our own shows and help promotion companies. So having access to the resources here is great. Just by meeting people I’ve learned a lot.

(R.S) What do you hope to gain from the apprenticeship?

(T.D.R) More and more of these connections which allow me to meet more people. You meet plenty of musicians and music fans. I’m definitely glad to get the qualification out of it and the experience. This is just the start.

(R.S) What have been some of your challenges along the way?

(T.D.R) Christmas Time is a challenge when it became quite a gruelling retail environment. It wasn’t so much to do with sitting around and chatting about guitars and eventually the sale might come. The general plan of action I have is that I don’t try and sell, sell. It kind of works for me. But at Christmas Time it’s a different kind of customer and a different kind of demand I guess. I can juggle quite a few customers.

(R.S) How has the apprenticeship aided you in your personal development?

(T.D.R) I’ll be honest, I was not happy for a while when I was in education in London. This all seemed to happen for a reason and I’m a lot more content with where I am and what I’m doing. I know stuff now that I didn’t even have an interest in before. But now it’s something that has kind of taken over my life.

(R.S) It’s a little bit like your experience with your pedal display. Did you know much about pedals when you started?

(T.D.R) Pedals were a thing I was really just getting into before the band. I was quite a pedal nut and so it kind of evolved from there. This gave me a perfect opportunity as I came in. I said, “Yes! I like pedals and I’ll be the pedal demonstrator.”

(R.S) What have been your greatest achievements while on the MIRTAS Apprenticeship programme? You won an award for the Orange Amp display didn’t you?

(T.D.R) I think the main thing is that I’ve been top salesman for a couple of months and generally being quite a bit more than they had expected of me, which felt good. I never considered myself a good salesperson, so I am happy with that. This whole emphasis on pedals has come a long way and I think I have helped to maintain the store’s appearance quite well. Like you say the Orange display. They featured it in a publication they produce a few times a year and I won the best display and was presented with Orange branded mugs and T shirts.

(R.S) How has the apprenticeship helped you with your career path?

(T.D.R) I guess I’m as close to having one as I’ll ever be. I’m not a career or monetary driven person per se but from experiencing everything that I have enjoyed: this environment, this career

path and trying to stay within music, has given me more focus.

(R.S) Would you recommend this apprenticeship to others, and if so why?

(T.D.R) Yes, definitely. I am one of the oldest that this course has taken on and I guess it’s more aimed at people out of college, but, I’m very lucky for it to have been extended for me. It has got a job which ticks the main box. When someone is looking for a job this scheme offers it. I get a qualification out of it, something that not many people have at this point in time. Yes, what more could you ask?

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