Kentish Town music school teaches artists how to survive in the music industry

The London Music Factory
JP McIvor

The London Music Factory JP McIvor - Credit: Archant

JP McIvor teaches musicians about business as well as playing instruments, finds Annie Muir.

A Kentish Town singer-songwriter has started a new music school to teach young people what they need to survive as a recording artist.

JP McIvor founded the London Music Factory to “fill the void” that other music schools lack.

The 27-year-old is a part of a 13-strong team offering individual and group music lessons in homes and schools across London, specialising in guitar, piano, drum, bass, and singing.

But the Dublin-born musician, who came to London in 2005 to study music, says, it’s not just about learning instruments but the business side of working as an artist: “all the things that music schools generally aren’t teaching.”

“When I went to university to study music, MySpace had just started getting big, and there weren’t any lessons to show us how to set up an internet profile, or any of these sorts of things that are so important for independent artists who want to get involved in the music business. And I wanted to change that.”

McIvor who has been living in Kentish town for four years started to teach after he graduated and says he “fell in love with it.”

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“I get a real lift from teaching people and passing down what I’ve learnt.”

All his fellow tutors at the London Music Factory are professional musicians alongside their teaching duties and have been DBS checked and certified to teach children.

Catering for young people from seven to 16-years-old, the London Music Factory says McIvor: “provides people with performance workshops so they can learn what its like to be in a band, as well as song-writing workshops so they know what its like to do the creative side of music, and once they get to a certain point, offers extra workshops in digital marketing and all of those things that most musicians don’t find comes naturally to them – to have to sell themselves online is a kind of cringey thing for a musician to do and to get their head around.”

McIvor’s own career is going well. His last EP, Plastic Land, released in 2013, went to No 1 in the singer songwriter chart in Ireland, and he’s currently working on his debut album, due to be released next year.

For him the important thing for people starting out in a music career is “getting your head around the fact that it’s a full-on business.”

“I can’t see much difference between setting up this music school, and actually trying to sell my own music. The things that I’m doing are almost the exact same: sending press-releases out, promoting online, maintaining my website numbers, book-keeping. These are all things that a self-employed musician needs to do.”

He adds: “The sooner kids can learn about performing with bands and going into recording studios the better. I want to give kids a head start so they learn all these things before they go to university.”

The London Music Factory is so confident customers will be satisfied with their service they are offering a free trial lesson. Contact Or call 02032879587.

Annie Muir