Volunteer Music Production in South Africa
- Placement locations: Cape Town
- Role: Intern in a professional music studio
- Accommodation: Host family
- Price: From
- What’s included? Food, accommodation, transfers to and from our specified airport, transport to and from work where required, insurance, personal webpage, induction and orientation, 24/7 support.
- What’s not included? Flights, visa costs, spending money
- Length of placement: From 2 weeks
- Start dates: Flexible
South Africa is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world and its music and dance have an unmistakable flavour. Whether you are on a gap year or a career break, you have the opportunity to explore the local music industry in South Africa through working with local artists and helping them professionally produce and market their music.
Interning on the Music Production Project in South Africa
As an intern on the Music Project, you will work in a modern recording studio, learning everything from production and musical engineering to artist promotion and management.
This project covers everything a professional music studio does, including:
- Learning production techniques
- Producing beats and melodies
- Learning about the work of a musical engineer on a broad range of equipment
- Understanding the processes behind recording, editing and mastering an artist’s work
- Getting involved with artist discovery, recording, promotion and management
- Organising local gigs and concerts
- Promoting local artists
This project gives aspiring musicians and producers the chance to work with a producer and his team in a brand new, state-of-the-art studio in Cape Town. As part of a team, you will learn and practise every aspect of working in a studio, and you will soon get to know the music scene in Cape Town. Through structured and hands-on learning, you will learn how to set up and modify a range of equipment with the studio engineer, how to use different types of recording and editing software to record various artists, and how to produce your own beats and melodies professionally.
The studio features acoustic material that has been assembled to ensure optimal acoustic properties for recording and producing.
- A full range of studio recording software including Logic, Cubase, Ableton, FL Studio (Fruityloops), and Pro Tools
- Roland V Drum Kit
- Roland Fantom G8 Keyboard (one of only two in the southern hemisphere)
- Shure SM58 Dynamic Microphone
- Shure S55 Limited Edition (1/5000 globally, one of two in Africa) Ribbon Condenser Microphone
- Rode NT1A Condenser Microphone
- Rode K2 Condenser external control multi polarity Microphone
- Behringer XR18 Audio interface and Digital Mixer
- Akai M40 Midi Keyboard
- Silent, sound-proof live room
- Headphones and internal sound adjustment
- Multiple effects generators
- Multiple DAWs
- A range of guitars
Volunteers will also help the studio’s label discover local artists through attending gigs, writing reviews and interviewing band members. Some of these artists may then be chosen to come in and record, and you will get a chance to participate in the recording process, as well as any additional tasks such as photoshoots and branding. There may even be an opportunity to help in the process of shooting an artist’s music video, though this will depend on the timing of your internship.
This project is recommended on a four week programme, but the internship is available for as little as two weeks up to six months. We recommend four weeks so that volunteers get to experience the full range of our work, but we’ll go through everything we can with you if you can’t spare that amount of time. We also offer this internship for groups (of five or more).
At the end of your internship you will receive a certificate and a letter of recommendation from the studio’s producer, which you can then use to further your career back home.
Volunteering abroad on the Music Production project
Our studio is based in the residential suburb of Plumstead in Cape Town. There is an array of shops and restaurants, nature reserves and bike parks nearby. It is also very easy to get to Cape Town city centre, go for a hike up Table Mountain or enjoy a spot of surfing at False Bay. The studio producer may also take you on tours to some music-related sites around Cape Town, including the History of Music Museum, the South African College of Music or even the prestigious International School of the Arts.
Interns will stay with a welcoming host family a few minutes away from the studio, usually with other interns that are on the project. The studio’s working hours are generally from 10am to 5pm, but this depends on the type of work going on at the time. You will need to work later if there is a band in the studio or if you are going to a gig or concert. Overall, volunteers on this Music Production internship will get a true sense of what it is like to work in a professional studio.
If you’re more interested in teaching music and working with disadvantaged communities, then our Music & Dance project in South Africa may be more suitable.
This placement is fully researched, safety-audited and risk-assessed in accordance with the British Standard BS 8848 for the Adventure Travel Sector.
All volunteers taking part on any other project in South Africa now have the opportunity to add a 1 Week Conservation Add-On to the end of their main placement. One week volunteers should arrive in Polokwane on a Monday. For more information please visit our Conservation in South Africa project page.