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World known musicians in unique education

Published: 30 March 2015

Morgan Ågren has played with, among others, Frank Zappa, Glen Hughes, King Crimson, Tommy Iommi, Fläskkvartetten and Freddie Wadling. He is a Grammy Winners on both sides of the Atlantic and one of several world-famous successful musician who teaches at the unique Higher Education Diploma Programme as recording/performing artist at Luleå University of Technology.

– I can offer experience from all the projects that I've done and I am quite alone to have that experience, says Morgan Ågren, also known as the Ingemar Bergman of drums.

One of Sweden's most unique music educations Higher Education Diploma Programme as recording/performing artist celebrates its fifth anniversary this fall. The education is a part of Luleå University of Technology. Something that distinguishes a pitch/hearing based music education from other programs is that you can apply for it both as a solo artist and as a band.

With a focus on creative music-making the education is unique in Sweden. One of those who favors this approach is the guitarist Conny Bloom, frontman of the Electric Boys who also has played with bands Hanoi Rocks and Silver Ginger 5.

– The training is not like other music schools. Many people (myself included) are drawn to music and art to express themselves in their own way. This school lets students do it and try out their own niche, says Conny Bloom.

The industry influences the programme

To have strong links to industry is an important piece of the puzzle for a pitch based music education and at the programme many skilled and well-known musicians teaches. They help to ensure that training meets the music industry's needs, says Peter Holmstedt who is the program coordinator. Several students from the programme has achieved great success both domestically and internationally. Here are some examples of bands that passed through the school:

  • Electro duo The Deer Tracks, consisting of two students from education, have had their song Bless the Waves played in the famous TV series Grey's Anatomy.
  • Metal band Sabaton, whose vocalist Joakim Broden and bassist Pär Sundström has studied at the school, won a Rockbjörnen for best live act in 2013. They have also been nominated for three Swedish Grammy awards.
  • Mother of God, all members have studied at the school, won the Wacken Metal Battle Sweden in 2011 and got to play on the giant Wacken festival and continues to have a great career.
  • Convivium, several members have taken the course, won the same competition in 2014 and got a gig at this prestigious international festival. Now they release their full length CD.
  • Skraeckoedlan, all members of the final semester of the program, has got a record deal with Anders Fridén (In Flames) label Razzia Records.