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ACM agrees global strategic partnership with The Music Federation

TMF to offer world-beating, commercially driven accelerator platform for ACM students


ACM and The Music Federation (TMF) have come together to bring the professional music services of the business direct to students across the creative industries spectrum on programme at ACM. 

The key aim of this unique partnership is to accelerate learning and translate it into valuable experience by integrating all elements of professional services into and around the student experience. The curriculum is also based on real-world projects, and this integrated approach provides crucial industry context to all aspects of learning, shaping art into enterprise, which better prepares students for that critical transition into artists, managers and entrepreneurs, who will go on to shape the future of the industry.

The range of commercial services and facilities include manufacturing, digital distribution, neighbouring rights administration, PR, radio and DSP playlist pitching, advance funding, legal aid, merch infrastructure, recording studio services and video production.

The Music Federation provides scalable label services and distribution to its membership of collaborative, independent music companies, operators and artists. Examples of TMF members and partners include Mayfield Records, Young Music Boss, Perceptible Records, The Killing Moon Academy, 2000 Trees Festival, Fierce Panda Canada, Third Culture/Export Quality Records, Emprise Records and more, both within the UK and internationally.

TMF commercial partners also bring a vast array of knowledge and experience. Just some of those that TMF work with include AIM, Music Ally, Festival Republic, Dice,, Help Musicians, Believe, Serenade, Jellysmack, BeatBread/ChordCash and Fanbace.

The first of many projects under this partnership is underway, with ACM and TMF creating live opportunities for performance, artist, songwriter, production and venue staff career paths. In consultation with the learning experts and students at ACM, we are also going to create:

The ACM Passport: Selected performing students will be invited to tour international showcase festivals around the world, with TMF and Killing Moon previously having had stage and curation presences at events such as The Great Escape, Live At Leeds, SXSW, Break Out West and many more.

Commercial Development Pathway: Qualifying students will be able to enjoy a robust live development platform delivered by TMF Live, enabling them to take their live career from a free entry showcase to a hard-ticketed headliner.

Work Placements: Students will have access to a range of live production, marketing, booking and promotion work placement opportunities across TMF’s venue, agent, promoter, and audio-visual/live streaming partners.

Mentorship & Masterclasses: The Music Federation will use its wide array of relationships and partnerships in the broader commercial music industry for the benefit of instructing, mentoring and advising students keen on a career in live music.

Students will also benefit from ongoing guidance across other associated areas such as ticketing, sponsorship and live streaming, as well as being able to take advantage of TMF's array of automated online tools to make navigating their chosen career path more straight forward.

The Music Federation's founder and CEO Achal Dhillon, brings over 20 years of hands-on experience, having spent the 10 years prior to TMF creating and running the prolific tastemaker label, live promoter and management company, Killing Moon.

Dhillon is also a former director at The Association of Independent Music, a booking consultant for Festival Republic, and one of the first graduates of the music industry to participate in the CLOCK Sector Expert Bootcamp in 2021. He was also named on the most-recent Alternative Power List in the Record Labels category in December 2021, affirming the unique community-based model he created at The Music Federation.

Dhillon said: “By lowering administrative barriers in music for our members sinch launch, we have come to realise that The Music Federation’s core role is to be a commercial accelerator for new entrants to the music business – those who have historically been excluded or obstructed from accessing earnest industry opportunities, in order to make their career both a commercially viable and creatively satisfying one. I am immensely proud of our purpose and now also incredibly excited to be able to bring this to a community of talented students where it could have the greatest impact. I have known Kainne Clements and Richard Connell for some time and have always admired their laser focus and relentless commitment to doing what’s right by their customer and the industry. Of the many institutions we have worked with and come across in general, ACM and its sister company, Metropolis Studios are, for me, in a class of one. I am delighted to be part of this amazing community of professionals.

“The ACM tutor and student communities are also incredible. From the emery to the skills I have seen so far, this next chapter will be as exciting as it will authentic for both organisations, and that’s what really drives me and my team. Together, we will offer a world-beating accelerator platform that truly is unique in the music business and, importantly, to education.”

ACM Executive Chairman Kainne Clements, said: “For education to be relevant and effective, it must forge intrinsic links to the industry, and this partnership with TMF represents a landmark moment in education across the creative industries. Employers and investors alike, constantly cite a lack of learned experience and applied skills at the point of graduation, and this partnership provides a key building block to bridge this divide and give greater value and opportunities to our students on their journey to becoming a professional within the industry.

“As professionals, we learn in communities of practice, and we rely on networks of professional support. We develop through mentoring, and we are assessed through peer review. The closer education can get to this industry practice-based model, the better the match will be for graduates to professional careers. 

“Simply put, TMF and ACM will provide our students with that essential network of professional support and the experience that we know to be so crucial to sustain a career in the music business, and indeed across the whole creative industry spectrum.

“On a personal level, I enjoy working with people who are themselves committed to learning and growing, as this is also key to any successful relationship. With Achal and Nadia, whose enthusiasm for bringing the music business into ACM is very clear, we have expanded and strengthened a team with the energy and agility to make good things happen at speed, without compromise.”

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