Music college gets ready to launch in Detroit

March 27, 2014

Come September, Detroit will be home to a new music college. The Detroit Institute of Music Education will open downtown, hoping to provide yet another destination for young creatives. The DIME will take up residency in the Bamlet Building, located at 1265 Griswold Street in Detroit and owned by Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock Real Estate Services, after renovations are completed and the staff is assembled. Kevin Nixon, Sarah Clayman, and Bruce Dickinson are three British music industry veterans who are determined to establish an institution where students can gain the skills and knowledge to attain “a long term, professional career in modern music.”

Nixon, Clayman and Dickinson opened the Brighton Institute of Modern Music in 2001, implementing a curriculum designed to help musicians earn a living in music. In 2010, after opening three more campuses in England and one in Ireland, they sold and began brainstorming ways to relocate overseas. With a $3 million backing from Beringea LLC, a Farmington Hills venture capital group, the three entrepreneurs will introduce their educational model to the United States for the first time.

So, why Detroit? The answers are both obvious and a little surprising. Obviously, the rich music history earned Detroit a spot on the short list but, perhaps more surprisingly, it was the positive energy and warm hospitality of Detroiters that cemented their decision to participate in the rebuilding of the city. It also fits into Gilbert’s plan to lure young, talented creatives to the area.

Students will play in bands, master their technique, develop their musical voice, and get tips on promoting from industry professionals. There are three course plans that will be offered, including a three-year Bachelor’s Degree program in Creative Music Performance, which costs $12,999 a year. The degree is accredited by Falmouth University. A one year diploma program, which spans three ten-week terms, will cost $6,500 and focuses on practical performance. The DIME will also offer part-time schools aimed at younger musicians of any skill level for $499. It may be much cheaper to buy a MacBook and make a record on Garage Band, but chances are it probably won’t be any good if you don’t know how to play.

Who knows whether the DIME will succeed or not, but the trio’s track record should quell some of the concerns. Opening five campuses in less than a decade is pretty impressive, and boasting alumni like The Kooks, who have sold tons of records, and Ben Thompson of indie darlings Two Door Cinema Club makes them look even better. If Detroit can attract three British music educators to set up shop, it seems highly likely that it will attract aspiring musicians to come study at the DIME.





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  • Ready or Not

    Who is going to be on their faculty? Do they have experienced vets teaching these courses? If they’re offering degrees in Music Performance I sure hope these profs have some chops!