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In Conversation With Harry Leckstein

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We sat down with Harry Leckstein, Managing Director of Tileyard Education, to talk about his life in music, and the build and growth of the university.

So Harry, tell us a little bit about your background in the music industry?

“I was originally inspired by grandfather who was into classical music and my father who was a real jazzo. He would take me to live jazz concerts from an early age and this fuelled my passion for the buzz of live performances and events.

This took me through the 80’s in Edinburgh which was awash with great bands like Simple Minds and Marillion. Then I got to University in Bristol in 1989, which was a great time for music with the Bristol music scene kicking off with the likes of Massive Attack, Portishead, Federation and so many others. I was soon running after hours nights and when I graduated in ‘93 I took myself out to LA to see what I could achieve off my own back and that culminated in me and a group of friends running an after-hours club called ‘Divine Culture’ that took off”.

Amazing! So what came next?

“Back in the UK, I worked freelance for various news and TV agencies doing their live desks until I got the opportunity to study an MBA at Imperial College and grabbed it. It was 1998 and I decided to focus my MBA on how the internet, and specifically streaming, was going to affect the music industry. I went on to join a fledgeling Internet company, Eunite, where I went on to build some of the first internet radio stations and streaming media players in the first wave of online commerce. When the company sold in 2002, I was looking for a new project and went on to create the Urban Collective social enterprise, thinking it would make a good 1 year stop gap, but it ran for 8 years in 5 cities and helped more than 700 young people learn about the music industry by doing it for themselves. You never know what life’s going to throw at you! That whole experience got me more into how education and industry can work together and I guess that brings me full circle to Tileyard via various teaching projects. “

And how did Tileyard Education come about?

“Ever since I founded Urban Collective I’ve always been passionate about connecting education with industry. Things organically happened as I’d developed a Master of Arts Programme for Music Business and was looking for a space to house it. A friend asked if I’d heard about Tileyard, so I came down to check it out and that’s where I met Nick, Paul, Charlie and Michael and thought this would be the perfect place to teach music business, songwriting and production. Over the course of the next year, in true Tileyard style, the opportunity came up to create a bigger picture with Tileyard Education and I was delighted to be asked to head it up.”

So what can we expect for the future of Tileyard Education? Anything exciting in the pipeline?

“It’s all very exciting we’ve got the addition of some new courses including MA Design, Games Development, Film & TV, and most excitingly, the launch of our first online interactive MA Commercial Music Producer. The online MA critically provides people looking to combine work and study with an opportunity to get an MA and connect with the Tileyard professional community. We really feel it’s going to revolutionize the way people study and provide working professionals with an opportunity to upskill and grow their networks.”


Find out more about Tileyard Education’s courses, we recommend you pop along to an Open Day to get a feel for the space, and the amazing community. Book a place here.

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