Phil Nelson (BIMM- Brighton)

The three languages of music education

For many years I have been interested in the concept of local music economies flourishing outside of London. Now that I have student resources at my disposal, I am able to look at the concept of mapping Music Cities. There have been many Music City Reports from around the world, two of the best being “The Austin Music Census; A Data-driven assessment of Austin’s Music Economy”  and “Reverb; The Future of Live Music in South Australia.” None of them have got to grips with what to DO with the data that they have uncovered. I’m in the process of examining Brighton as a Music City in detail, and drilling down into the five main functions of a Music City. Here I examine one of them in that context, Music Education, and how fragmented it currently is, but does not have to be.


Phil Nelson has been an Artist Manager since 1988 and his clients have included The Levellers who headlined Glastonbury before starting their own 15,000 capacity Festival Beautiful Days, 2016 Grammy-nominated Matt Hales / Aqualung, The Longpigs, Duke Special and others.

He was the Vice Chair of the Music Managers’ Forum from 1997-2007. He co-founded The Great Escape Festival with Martin Elbourne and Jon McIldowie and dreamed up the Breakers’ Charts for Music Week.

He is currently Music Industry Ambassador – (Music Cities Liaison and Student Industry Research Projects) at BIMM (British & Irish Institute of Modern Music)  London, Brighton & Bristol. This role includes talking to the Music Industry to find Real World Projects for Dissertation Students to do on its behalf, thereboy solving problems for the industry and hopefully making the students more employable.

One of these projects is a thorough mapping of the music provision of various cities and regions of the UK which is being carried out with the co-operation of UK Music, Music Cities Convention, Music Venues Trust, Brighton & Hove City Council, and others.