Staff in the Spotlight: Kev Smith

February 10, 2020

Kev Smith

At HSDC we have a number of highly skilled, dedicated and passionate staff.

They go above and beyond to help our students reach their full potential. We want to shout about these integral members of our HSDC community, so every month we will be finding out about the people behind our teaching excellence with our ‘Staff in the Spotlight’ feature.

This month we are recognising Kev Smith  who is a Music Production Lecturer and Course Manager for the A Level Digital Music Production Programme on our South Downs campus.

How long have you worked at the College?

Since time began, or nearly 24 years I think.

Why did you choose the subject that you teach?

Music Technology is the kind of subject that evolves almost weekly; new challenges, techniques and advancements in equipment keep it relevant.

What was your journey/training before coming to HSDC?

I had a background in theatre through a lot of my childhood and one day on stage I thought ‘how does lighting and sound work?’. I then studied music at school and signed up to a much smaller music department with very little technology to study music at HSDC. After I got my qualifications as a student I moved on to a technician role here at HSDC to further my skill set; this then led to teaching and here I am now (still not left college ? )

Do you practice the subject you teach outside of work?

Very much so, I have many roles in the wider Music Industry including:

  • Drummer performing in bands;
  • Music Producer;
  • Electronic Music Producer creating Dance Music;
  • Recording Engineer;
  • Live Sound Engineer;
  • Mastering Engineer;
  • Event Manager;
  • Tour Manger;
  • DJ both functions and clubs;
  • Recording Studio Owner;
  • Silent Disco co-ordinator & owner;

I think that covers the recent jobs I take part in.

What is the highlight of your role at HSDC?

There are a lot of cool things involved with teaching Music Technology but I guess I still enjoy those light bulb moments in lessons when students suddenly grasp what you are saying and put it to good use in their music; it suddenly becomes more than a technique – it becomes vital to their development.

Little do they know that a lot of these techniques we all show students as a team will save them literally years of doing it the wrong way (we all learnt the harder way and can speed up their development tenfold).

What kind of careers have your students gone on to do?

As a department we see students going on to all kinds of roles in the industry spanning every corner of it:

  • Artists
  • Producers
  • Live Sound Engineers
  • Software developers
  • Product designers
  • Record Labels
  • Touring
  • Events management
  • Recording Engineers
  • Session Players

The list goes on.

What is something about your job that people don’t know?

Hmmm… I work more hours outside of my full time role at college in the music industry then I do at college. The music industry is rewarding but requires a lot of work; it’s like having several jobs at once. For instance, last year I worked on nearly 500 professional recordings that have been released across all platforms and mediums.

It’s important to stay relevant and up-to-date and luckily as a department we all do what we teach.

What three words would your students use to describe you?

I would expect some banter back on this but have never asked.

How do you relax outside of work?

There is not a lot of time to relax in the Music Industry but playing drums live on stage to a big audience is still right up there in the ‘rock star’ feelings.