NPA Sound Production – Olivia and Robin

As the 2016/17 school-college pupils were finishing up their college course with us, we thought now would be a good time to catch up with them and find out what their ambitions for the future are.

The school-college programme is open to S4, S5 and S6 pupils across Ayrshire and offers a range of qualifications that enhance a pupils employability and progression pathways. A range of courses are on offer from Creative, STEM, Sport, Childcare and Hospitality.

Olivia Purdie Sound Production

NPA Sound Production is a school-college programme aimed at those interested in music and sound production. The course focuses on teaching pupils how to use industry standard software to create and manipulate tracks.

Olivia Purdie, a Carrick Academy pupil and Robin Girvan, a Queen Margret Academy pupil told us all about the course and what they plan to do now.


Why did you choose the NPA Sound Production programme?

Olivia – It was something I hadn’t done before and I was interested in learning about. I play a lot of music and thought it would be fun to see the creation side of it.

Robin – I am interested in a career in the film industry and thought this course would help with learning copy right laws. I also enjoying re-mixing music and making my own.

Did you have any experience in sound production before the programme?

Olivia – I play in a percussion ensemble and have studied higher music at school. I am studying for my advanced higher in music this year.

Robin – I have editing software and make my own films along with editing some music tracks for them. I upload my films online and make some freelance advertisements. I had never used the software they teach on the course, so it was good learning how to use it.

Robin Girvan Sound Production

Tell me about the programme. What have you been doing throughout the year?

Olivia – We have learnt about the theory of sound and how sound waves work. We also studied different kinds of wires, speakers, and microphones. As well as health and safety things like plugging in the speaker last.

Robin – We also learnt about re-mixing music and setting up the sound desk.

What have you liked best about the programme?

Olivia – I enjoyed using the software to create and remix the tracks. I really enjoyed the creative aspects of the course.

Robin – I enjoyed recording music as we got to perform it ourselves and record it. I played the violin on my track.

What’s been the most challenging aspect?

Olivia – I had not used an IMac or the software before so that was a bit challenging.

Robin – The theory was a bit more difficult but it’s manageable. It was the first thing we did in the class so it felt more difficult than it was.

Is there a difference between college and school?

Olivia- I feel college gives me more independence and it is a different learning environment. I think it is actually a good stepping stone into further education.

Robin – I feel that college allows you to have more independence. I can prioritise my own tasks which helps prepare me for working in the real world.

Do you feel any changes in yourself since starting the programme?

Olivia – I feel I am more ready to go to University now as I have experienced independent learning, so it will no longer feel like such a shock. I also feel more confident in my abilities.

Robin – I feel like I know what I want to do when I leave school. I understand the music aspect of sound production now and more about publishing in the industry.

What are your future ambitions?

Olivia – I would like to work in art curation for a museum, mainly to discover new things. I would also like to play in an orchestra one day.

Robin – I would like to be a Film Director, I want to make documentaries. I would like to make a documentary about Marys Meals including places around the world like Kenya. I don’t want to be a movie director like Tim Burton. I just want to help people.

What advice would you give other pupils hoping to take the class?

Olivia – Give it a try, embrace it and be prepared to be involved.

Robin – Look at the resources we use in the course and try out the software. If you like it, you will love the course.

Olivia and Robin feature in the NPA Sound Production video, available to watch here.

To find out more about our school-college programme:

For more information or someone to speak to regarding school-college programmes please contact


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