College offers first X Factor course
Some X Factor hopefuls go to extraordinary lengths to get themselves noticed, but now some could even try enrolling in college to help them pass the audition stages.
Tuesday, 15 January 2013
Starting next week, a college in Durham in England is to offer a 17-week programme for anyone planning to compete in the hit ITV show - with the course believed to be the first of its kind.
Those enrolling at Bishop Auckland College will receive technical tuition in singing and performing and will also be coached on how to appear confident in front of the judges.
"I wanted to run a course which prepared people for X Factor auditions and similar competitions across the country," Mike Jinks, the college's head of Art, Music and Performing Arts, said.
"Many applicants have talent, but need to work on key things such as their singing technique and confidence.
"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 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.
Mike Jinks, Bishop Auckland College
There are 40 places on the course, which costs £95, and no formal entry requirements - although there is a two-week probationary period and students should have "enthusiasm and motivation".
The programme, which will end just in time for the next round of X Factor auditions, will be led by actress and performer Susan Harris, who has worked with musicians like Lenny Kravitz and made a number of TV appearances - including the role of Davina Pike on Emmerdale.
On completing the course, students will qualify with an NCFE Level 1 Certificate in Music.
"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," Mr Jinks added.
Other courses on offer at the college include Photography, Cake Decorating, Plastering and Nail Art.
Students who earn their 'X Factor' qualification will get to perform at the annual three-day Bishop Auckland Music and Arts Festival, which attracted 6,000 visitors last year.
Previous X Factor winners James Arthur and Joe McElderry also performed at last summer's event.