A BLACKBURN music school is to launch its own record label for its students.

McNally Music Tuition, based on Sudell Cross, currently offers lessons to 180 students each week and owner Phil McNally said: “The record label is the natural next step for us really. We want to reward students and give them the opportunity to have something tangible to show for all the hard work that they put in.”

Phil made the announcement about the label at MMT’s Christmas showcase event held at the Electric Church in Blackburn.

The sold-out event featured bands made up of students who had been selected for extra tuition at MMT’s Sunday sessions.

“We sold nearly 200 tickets for the showcase and had to turn people away,” said Phil. “It has become a great night and it’s a fantastic opportunity for the students to perform in a proper music venue with a full PA system in front of a live audience.”

Among the bands taking part were Nebula and Skizm who have both come through the Sunday sessions programme.

“Students who show real commitment or make real progress are invited to attend the Sunday sessions,” said Phil. “We then look at putting them together in a band and encouraging them to work together on their music. It is incredible how dedicated they are and how quickly they progress.”

Nebula have been earmarked as the first band to release a song on the new MMT label.

“They have a song Fire in My Bones which they have written which just deserves to be heard,” said Phil. “They played it live at the showcase event and everyone was just blown away by it.

“We are looking at getting them into the studio in the New Year and the plan is to release it at our summer showcase event.”

With 11 tutors offering lessons ranging from drums, bass and guitar to brass and vocals, MMT has made rapid progress since opening four years ago catering for students of all ages and backgrounds.

“Our aim is to encourage students to make music, simple as that,” said Phil.

“We are not promising they are going to be stars or we’ll make them famous. That’s not what it’s about.

“All our tutors are professional musicians themselves and understand the work needed to master an instrument and the emphasis is very much on enjoyment.

“The record label will give us the chance to offer something for students to aspire to.

“We will be working with local recording studios and as part of the process we will shoot a video of their time in the studio.

“If you’re a young musician, how cool is it to be able to say you have got your own record?

“Even if it goes no further or circumstances change as they get older they will always have that record to look back on.”

Funds raised through the showcase events are put back into providing instruments and will be used to help fund the recording sessions.

“Learning an instrument really helps develop confidence and we look at developing all our students creatively,” said Phil.

“There are so many talented youngsters out there who just need a chance and that is, hopefully, what we can give them.

“We are all very excited about the record label. It is the next step in our development.

“It’s an exciting time to be a young musician in Blackburn again, that’s for sure.”