The Secret is Out: Oxygen College’s Artist Development Program
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The Secret is Out: Oxygen College’s Artist Development Program

When you have been in any industry for a long time, it’s not often that you stumble upon something new that gets you genuinely excited. It just so happened that I was in Geelong visiting family and a friend said to check out the new Creative Arts Facility that had been established in Geelong West.
Now, I am ashamed to say that I may have had some preconceived ideas about what might be on offer down in the ‘Sleepy Hollow’, but what I found was an absolute state of the art, world class facility in Oxygen College.
They had young musicians from all over Australia wandering the halls. There were bands recording in studios, rehearsing and composing new material and setting up or returning from performances. Rather than feel like you were walking through an education facility, it felt more like you were in a contemporary industry hub;­ where the music and product was the focus, rather than books and classrooms.
After having a chat with some of the musicians there, I became very intrigued by their ‘Artist Development Program’.
An ‘Artist Develop Program’ is not exactly a new idea. Record companies used to run programs under the title of ‘Artist Development’, and were looking to turn artists’ potential into a product that would sell records in the immediate market. Those programs dried up when the record industry took a nose dive. Oxygen College has taken the idea of artist development and applied it to the current music environment.
Where a lot of young musicians struggle is not with the creativity, but with the necessary knowledge of how to turn that creativity into a product, and that product into a career.
Phase one of Oxygen’s program is the exploration and development of original music, whilst networking and bonding with other young artists and industry personnel. Phase two is taking you and your product to market. Oxygen facilitate artists with a production team to work on their EP, marketing material, live shows and the best models to turn passion into a career.
The exciting thing is that the program is government funded, so it’s not prohibitive to go through the process of preparing yourself in such a high end facility.
To succeed in music it takes so many things to go right. It takes nurturing and development of potential, management and networking opportunities, along with knowledge and an experience of how all facets of the industry operate. Oxygen College offers all of this, is two minutes from Geelong’s central station, five minutes from the beach, and only an hour from Melbourne and Ballarat. The secret is out.
By Phillip Smith

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