Budding X Factor stars can study for success at Bishop Auckland College

The Northern Echo: James Arthur James Arthur

PEOPLE who fancy themselves as the next James Arthur or Amelia Lily are being offered the chance to prepare themselves for X-Factor fame – with a 17-week college course.

The X Factor Preparation course at Bishop Auckland College is believed to be the first in the country aimed at specifically training people for the hit reality programme.

Performing arts staff decided to offer the unusual course, which starts next week and costs £95, after inviting North-East winner Joe McElderry to perform at the Bishop Auckland Music and Arts Festival last year.

The three-day annual event, run by the college, attracted more than 6,000 festival-goers last June.

Also performing at the event was future winner James Arthur, from Saltburn, who was yet to become a household name.

Students on the course will receive technical tuition in singing and performing and coaching on how to project themselves confidently.

The course will end in time for the start of this year's X Factor auditions. Students will also be invited to perform at this year’s festival.

Mike Jinks, head of art, music and performing arts at Bishop Auckland College, said: “I wanted to run a course which prepared people for X Factor auditions and similar competitions across the country.

“Many applicants have talent but need to work on key things such as their singing technique and confidence.

“People auditioning also need to know that the ones who succeed on X Factor don’t just walk in there blind. It’s not about just wandering in, singing a song and you’re famous.

“Most applicants have been doing the rounds for years working really hard – it’s very rare that you get a Susan Boyle character.

“The course is also about giving people real, transferable skills. The biggest thing they will get out of it is confidence, whether this is for a future singing audition or a job interview.”

The X Factor Preparation course runs at the college’s main Woodhouse Lane campus from 6pm to 9pm every Monday night for 17 weeks, starting on January 21.

Actress and performer Susan Harris, who has worked with Lenny Kravitz and appeared on Emmerdale during her 25 year career, is leading the course.

There are 40 places available and no formal entry requirements. Those completing the course will receive a NCFE Level 1 Certificate in Music.

Mr Jinks added: “There are plenty of colleges running this qualification but as far as I’m aware none of them have designed the course around the X Factor.

“It’s something I came up with last year but it was finding the right time to run it as it had to be timed to finish when the X Factor auditions start.”

For more information call 01388-443000.

Comments (8)

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12:05am Tue 15 Jan 13

Voice-of-reality says...

4 A-levels - in traditional subjects would do most of them far more good in the long term. A shame, therefore, that the majority of schools in the area will not have prepared them for theat. Still, coffee baristas and hairdressers are always needed.
4 A-levels - in traditional subjects would do most of them far more good in the long term. A shame, therefore, that the majority of schools in the area will not have prepared them for theat. Still, coffee baristas and hairdressers are always needed. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 0

12:06am Tue 15 Jan 13

Voice-of-reality says...

My apologies for the typographical error.
My apologies for the typographical error. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 0

3:41pm Tue 15 Jan 13

jenias says...

first lesson should be dont bend down near walsh.
first lesson should be dont bend down near walsh. jenias
  • Score: 0

6:48pm Tue 15 Jan 13

cromwell1599 says...

Typical of today's instant gratification society, filling no hopers empty heads with the promise of celebrity for celebrity's sake. Can they not teach them something that would actually be useful rather than fuelling pipedreams.
Typical of today's instant gratification society, filling no hopers empty heads with the promise of celebrity for celebrity's sake. Can they not teach them something that would actually be useful rather than fuelling pipedreams. cromwell1599
  • Score: 0

11:01pm Tue 15 Jan 13

Erasmus-0 says...

Another mickey-mouse course for people with no real prospects in life? Oh joy.
Another mickey-mouse course for people with no real prospects in life? Oh joy. Erasmus-0
  • Score: 0

12:02pm Wed 16 Jan 13

shirt of blue says...

Not sure why Voice of Reality thinks 4 A levels is the answer to the world's problems.Not sure what A Level Geography teaches you about the world of work. What employers need are people who have a range of transferable skills - problem solving, working with others, time management, customer service to name but a few. If this course develops that and then leads to employment in bars, clubs, holiday centres, hotels or theatre then the college has done a good job. If not and it is a course that engages young peopleand gets them back into education then that can only be a positive. You need to look beyond the Daily Mail negativity on this one.
Not sure why Voice of Reality thinks 4 A levels is the answer to the world's problems.Not sure what A Level Geography teaches you about the world of work. What employers need are people who have a range of transferable skills - problem solving, working with others, time management, customer service to name but a few. If this course develops that and then leads to employment in bars, clubs, holiday centres, hotels or theatre then the college has done a good job. If not and it is a course that engages young peopleand gets them back into education then that can only be a positive. You need to look beyond the Daily Mail negativity on this one. shirt of blue
  • Score: 0

2:37pm Wed 16 Jan 13

Voice-of-reality says...

I suggested traditional subjects - not one based upon advanced colouring. Further, the course offered is not 'getting people back into education' - rather it glorifies a lifestyle far removed from anything to do with education and suggests that skills are not needed - but that fortune based on luck is a sensible career path to follow. As for employment in bars etc - all very well and good but usually part-time, service-industry based, not actually manufacturing anything and poorly paid. I would agree with the skills set that you mention - all of which are addressed in traditional courses.
I suggested traditional subjects - not one based upon advanced colouring. Further, the course offered is not 'getting people back into education' - rather it glorifies a lifestyle far removed from anything to do with education and suggests that skills are not needed - but that fortune based on luck is a sensible career path to follow. As for employment in bars etc - all very well and good but usually part-time, service-industry based, not actually manufacturing anything and poorly paid. I would agree with the skills set that you mention - all of which are addressed in traditional courses. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 0

3:16pm Wed 16 Jan 13

shirt of blue says...

Not sure when employability skills were ever addressed in traditional A Levels. As for advanced colouring skills not sure where you are coming from on that one. If you read the article it clearly talks of transferable skills aka employability skills. The hospitality, leisure and tourism industry is one of the biggest contributors to employment in the region and the country. It may often be low paid, seasonal and part time but thats the nature of the current economy. The days of jobs for life in manufacturing and engineering are long gone. People need to move with the times and respond to the current climate. At least the college is trying to make an impact, aiming to give people confidence and preparing them for interviews in any walk of life. Alternatively you could have young people sitting round not in employment, education or training and contributing nothing to the economy. Being in a college environment where training and education are valued can only be a good thing for many young people who are currently out of work. If it's the hook that gets them back on track then the college needs applauding.
Not sure when employability skills were ever addressed in traditional A Levels. As for advanced colouring skills not sure where you are coming from on that one. If you read the article it clearly talks of transferable skills aka employability skills. The hospitality, leisure and tourism industry is one of the biggest contributors to employment in the region and the country. It may often be low paid, seasonal and part time but thats the nature of the current economy. The days of jobs for life in manufacturing and engineering are long gone. People need to move with the times and respond to the current climate. At least the college is trying to make an impact, aiming to give people confidence and preparing them for interviews in any walk of life. Alternatively you could have young people sitting round not in employment, education or training and contributing nothing to the economy. Being in a college environment where training and education are valued can only be a good thing for many young people who are currently out of work. If it's the hook that gets them back on track then the college needs applauding. shirt of blue
  • Score: 0

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