Part of our work in developing RSPP activity included the introduction of the Professorship title process in 2019. In 2020 we are augmenting this scheme introducing a new category of Associate Professor. This initiative is a way of us further celebrating and promoting ICMP's scholarly standing, especially in relation to research activity. An expert panel, using rigorous and sector-benchmarked criteria, assess applications.

Below you will find a list of current holders of the title ICMP Professor or Associate Professor, with a brief outline of their research interests.

Dr Tony HarrisProfessor Tony Harris
Director and Dean

Research areas
Professor Harris has over 20 years of research and scholarly activity, which blends musicology and pedagogy, with the former significantly informing the latter. His specialist area of expertise is the British Experimental Movement of the 1960s and 1970s, predominantly focussed on Cornelius Cardew, his contemporaries and the Scratch Orchestra, and the perceived influence of this movement on political music-making, music in education, in society, and in communities.

His book on Cardew, first published in 2013, represents the first critical assessment of the composer’s legacy and has become a regularly cited source in the emerging literature. Most pertinently, research was from the outset an integral part of his work as an educator, curriculum designer, workshop leader and classroom practitioner, through which Professor Harris has extensively explored Cardew’s ideas and philosophy, especially in relation to the teaching of composition, interactive and inclusive performance practice, and teacher training.

Secondary fields of scholarly activity have included initial teacher education and early career teacher development, the transition from school to HE music study, primary music curricula and content for non-specialist teachers, and the training and development of orchestral musicians in education. 

Select Publications/Outputs
Harris, T. & Russell, B. (2018) The (im)possibility of a Gesamkunstwerk. Invited Guest Lecture, Conservatoire Vincenzo Bellini, Palermo, June 2018 .

Harris, T. (2017) I’m Classically Trained You Know: the spectrum of attitudes to music learning. ICMP R&D Seminar Series, September 2017.

Harris, T. (2016) The Legacy of Cornelius Cardew. London: Routledge.

Harris, T. (2016) Valuing Music in Special Needs Settings. Lincoln: soundLINCS.

Harris, T. (2016) ‘CoMA in Education’ in Open Score: Contemporary Music For All. London: CoMA.

Harris, T. (2016) Cornelius Cardew and the Scratch Orchestra. Invited Guest Lecture, Walkthrough Talk Series, Nottingham Contemporary, September 2016.

Harris, T. (2013) The Experimental Music in School Project. School of Education Research Conference, Nottingham Trent University, September 2013.

Harris, T. (2011) Stockholm, Stockholm! Stad i världen: Music in Stockholm Schools. School of Education Research Conference, Nottingham Trent University, July 2011.

Harris, T. (2008) ‘Back to the fore for the avant-garde’ in Sounding Board: 2008 Issue 2, pp. 9-11.

Harris, T. (2008) Tentative Experiments: The Political Music of Cornelius Cardew. Midlands Musicology Conference, University of Nottingham, May 2008.

Harris, T. (2007) Cardew in the Community. Midlands Musicology Conference, Wolverhampton University, March 2007.

Harris, T. & Russell, B. (2004) The GCSE Composition Course. London: Peters Edition. [Series of Teachers Book and 4 Student Books].


Sophie DanielsAssociate Professor of Songwriting
Sophie Daniels

Head of School: Music Performance and Creation


Sophie Daniels has been a trailblazer in the world of music education, setting the bar in the design, delivery and development of songwriting programmes since 2005.
Sophie began teaching songwriting when very few programmes and short courses were available.

Since then, the sector has rapidly developed with Sophie now Head of School for Music Performance and Creation at ICMP where she is responsible for overseeing programmes, recruiting and managing creative faculty and numerous industry partnerships with the likes of The Ivors, ASCAP, NSAI and The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, Belmont University, Berklee College of Music and many more.

During her time in education, Sophie has networked with, recruited and trained hundreds of different creative faculty members, working closely with colleagues to support them and learn from their experiences in both the wider industry and the classroom.

Earlier in her career, Sophie worked in various roles as a songwriter, performer and teacher as well as in marketing roles at major labels including Sony UK and S Records.Professionally, Sophie has worked with Simon Cowell, Jamie Oliver, Westlife, Kelly Clarkson, Charlotte Church, Gareth Gates and Il Divo, and product managed Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond Albums and the multi-million selling concept albums ‘Classic Chillout’ and ‘Music To Watch Girls By’. At ICMP, some of Sophie’s songwriting graduates range from Daughter, Foxes, Bear’s Den, Richard Fairlie and Jordan Shaw to Rise To Remain. 

Her recent songwriting industry work has seen Sophie help organise the UK launch of Song Suffragettes, a groundbreaking all-female country songwriter showcase from Nashville.

Achievements/Professional Practice Experience

Almost 20 years in songwriting education, designing, developing and leading modules and programmes with an estimated 5,000 hours teaching songwriting to date. Director of The F-List, a CiC directory service which promotes and supports female and gender-expansive people to launch music industry careers.

Chair of ICMP’s Research, Scholarly and Professional Practice Committee.

Responsible for launching ICMP’s MA in Songwriting and currently undertaking research on ‘Why We Write Songs’ for a book project.

Working with Middlesex University CATS department on a songwriting research project to promote positive identity with young care leavers, and with Chiltern Music Therapy to research Therapeutic Songwriting alongside networking with international colleagues in this area.

Wrote, recorded and released numerous EPs and tracks including, ‘I Can Love You From Here’ in Nashville, for a charitable and social awareness project entitled ‘Liberty’s Mother’. Worked with UK Charity Tommy’s and the APPG for Baby Loss Awareness. Sophie performed around the UK solo and with a band, at record launches, church services, charitable venues, on radio and TV and most notably at The Houses of Parliament raising over £10k in the process and achieving national press coverage.

Guest edited Issue #3 Songwriting Studies Research Network Journal due out summer 2022.

Co-curated a symposium on Hip Hop Pedagogy to support Level 5 study at ICMP.

Numerous qualifications including SFHEA (2014) and PTLLS Level 4 (2009).

Responsible for running the London branches of the Nashville Songwriters Association International and Song Suffragettes.

Select Publications/Outputs

‘Six Musicology’ (2024). Guest Spot on Huw Edwards Drivetime Show BBC 6 Music

Daniels, S. (2024). ‘Gender and Why We Write Songs’. Gendering Music Matter. Power, Affects, and Infrastructures of Music Industries Conference. University of Copenhagen. March 2024

Daniels, S. (2024 tbc) ‘(Why It Matters) Why We Write Songs’. Songwriting Studies Research Network Journal Edition 2. (Spring 2024 tbc)

Daniels, S (2023) ‘Creative Process for Songwriting’. Invited talk for CPD Series. Cambridge University. December 2023

Daniels, S. (2023) ‘On Why We Write Songs’. Dialogues on Songwriting Conference, Agder University. November 2023

Daniels, S (2023) ‘ ‘I Can Love You From Here’ – Exploring Non Commercial EP Release Strategies’. ICMP RSPP Conference, London. July 2023

Bain, V. Potocnik, M. Daniels, S. Menendes, S. (2023) ‘Report in response to the Call for Evidence, issued by the Women and Equalities Committee on ‘Misogyny in Music’ for The UK Government Women & Equalities Committee. April 2023

Daniels, S. (2023) ‘Writing My Own Role In UK Music Education’ Invited Keynote Lecture. The F List Music/Gender Research Hub Conference. London. May 2023

Daniels, S. (2023) ‘Why We Write Songs’ Invited Guest Lecture. Belmont University, Nashville. March 2023

Daniels, S. (2023) ‘Why We Write Songs’. Invited Guest Lecture. Middle Tennessee State University. March 2023

Daniels, S (2022) ‘Differing Values in Songwriting’. The Research Hour. F List Music/Gender Research Hub Online Series. Dec 2022

Daniels, S (2022) ‘Songwriting Practice and Therapeutic Songwriting’. Chiltern Music Therapy – Invited talk for CPD Training Hour – Nov 2022

Daniels, S. Turner, F. Pattison, P. West, A. ‘Why We Write Songs III- Round Table Discussion Event. Songwriting Studies Research Network Online Event. (May 2022)

Daniels, S. (2022) ‘Liberty’s Mother and Non-Commerical Songwriting Research’. Performance/Paper. The F List Gender/Music Research Hub Conference. University of Wolverhampton. May 2022

Daniels, S. (2022) ‘Why We Write Songs – A Community Research Project’ – ICMP RSPP Seminar Series. April 2022.

Daniels, S. Cooper, M. Gauthier, M. Collinson-Scott, J. Paulusma, P. ‘Why We Write Songs II – Round Table Discussion. Songwriting Studies Research Network Online Event.(March 2022)

Daniels, S. Marshall. Baker, Baker, Cunnah, Ashton, ‘Why We Write Songs – Round Table Discussion. Songwriting Studies Research Network Online Event.(September 2021)

Liberty’s Mother Band Performance – Opened ‘Still Parents’ Exhibit at The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester. September 2021

Daniels, S and Beales, S. ‘Hip Hop Education Symposium’. Institute Contemporary Music Performance, London. June 2021.

Daniels, S. (2020) ‘The Value of Song’. The Future of Music in Higher Education in Europe Conference. Leeds Conservatoire. March 2020



AceAssociate Professor of Music Industry 

Head of Industry Partnerships and Business Development


Martin ‘Ace’ Kent has spent more than 25 years in the world of music education alongside touring the world, headlining the biggest stages and climbing up the upper echelons of the charts with his legendary rock band, Skunk Anansie. 

As a professional musician, Ace is a founding member of the group and main songwriter. Their accolades include more than 6m physical sales, 25m streams per year, sold out tours alongside a Glastonbury headline slot and performances for Nelson Mandela’s Gift to the Nation Concerts and the Dalai Lama’s Children’s Charity gig.  

Alongside releasing music with major labels, Ace has immersed himself in the business side of the sector as part of the band’s team, facilitating their merchandise and as a director with their own independent label, Boogooyamma Records. He has developed the creative side of his practice as a performer and songwriter by working as a producer alongside forming and running his own music mastering venture. 

Ace has used this extensive experience in live performance, recording and business by bringing it back into the classroom to teach classes at music colleges. He has led international workshops and masterclasses to add current real-world up to date navigation strategies for authentic career progression and successful delivery of current and future performances of students. This career has run for more than 25 years in parallel to his industry achievements with recent positions including a Director of Creative Industry Development and now as ICMP’s Head of Industry Partnerships and Business development.

In 2015, he founded his own set of franchised guitar academies called Ace Guitar Academy which combined all of his business and teaching experience to physically deliver a beginners guitar course with a dedicated study path. This is now being made into an online course to reach a wider audience.

Achievements/Professional Practice Experience 

28 years global touring with Skunk Anansie with 9 LPs and 6m physical sales with 25m streams per year. 

Director and team member of his own Independent Record label Boogooyamma Records. 

25 Years in music education with posts held at BIMM (Module Leader/ Lead assessor), ACM (Director of Creative Business Development) and Ace Guitar Academy (Owner and course creator). 

Record producer with around 40 international releases.

Global ambassador for Roundtable Global, host/collaborator of the Global Youth awards and guest speaker at IHE Awards and AELP conferences.

IHE Awards – Guest Speaker and received 2 awards on behalf of ACM for Industry practices. Guest speaker AELP annual conference. Guest panellist seminar with NYU and Berklee for Brazil Music Pro Awards 2021.

Panel guest and host for BBC introducing Live, and many other industry panels. 

Columnist and series writer for Guitarist Magazine, guest writer for Total Guitar and Music Radar.

Co-author of ‘Creative Guitar 3 (Recording Effects)’ with Phil Hilborne for Sanctuary Publishing. 

Manages merchandise for Skunk Anansie and runs own personal merch business, Muzzled Streetwear.

Scholarships including The Ace guitar Scholarship for BMus at ICMP and Ace Accelerator@bureau with ICMP. 

Set up and managed three scholarships for 'Skunk Anansie' in performance and 1 'Ace Scholarship' in Creative Artist at ACM.

MA from Middlesex University in Media and Project Management (based in Music Education).

Host of an award-winning radio show in Brighton on Juice FM called The Damo and the Ace Show where student bands were playlisted alongside emerging and established artists. 



Rick PerksAssociate Professor of Music
Rich Perks

Guitar Tutor


Richard Perks is celebrated as one of the UK’s most diverse guitarists, composers and musicologists. He is a leading exponent of the fretless electric guitar, has extensive live, studio and theatre experience as a session musician, and has performed all over the world. His debut album Imposition (2009) received critical acclaim and his music has been performed internationally. He won second prize in the prestigious International Microtonal Guitar Competition (2022) with his piece ‘Slap 19’ and is joint editor of 21st Century Guitar: Evolutions and Augmentations (2023, Bloomsbury Academic).

Richard completed a PhD at Brunel University in 2013, submitting a portfolio of compositions and an accompanying thesis entitled ‘Combining Musical Identities through Composition and Improvisation’. Prior to this he was awarded an MMus in Contemporary Music from Brunel University, a first-class BMus in Popular Music Performance from the Guitar Institute (London College of Music) and a first-class BSc in Mathematics from the University of Southampton. Richard has studied guitar with Shaun Baxter and Mike Outram; composition with Christopher Fox, Colin Riley and Peter Weigold; improvisation with Richard Barrett; and songwriting with Ray Davies of The Kinks.

In 2019 Richard received funding to visit world-renowned microtonal guitarist Prof. Dr. Tolgahan Çoǧulu (Istanbul Technical University) to exchange ideas about microtonal applications in guitar performance, as well as to survey the fretless guitar scene in West-Asia. In 2022 he received further funding to conduct a performance project with Çoǧulu in Istanbul, which explored the use of fretless and microtonal guitars when combining makam and Western approaches to improvisation. 

 His ongoing research project ‘Fretless Architecture’ explores the potential of the fretless electric guitar as a solo instrument, as well as examining its role within different ensembles.

 He is Senior Lecturer in Music Performance at the University of Kent and Associate Professor of Music Performance at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance.

Selected Academic and Professional-Practice Achievements

Joint editor of the Bloomsbury Academic volume 21st Century Guitar: Evolutions and Augmentations (Jan, 2023). 

Peer-reviewed publications and book chapters include: ‘David Gilmour: Defining the ’Melodic’ Guitarist’ (The Routledge Handbook of Pink Floyd, 2022), ‘Strung Together: Realizing Music-cultural Hybridity within a Limited Time Frame’ (Music and Practice, 2021) and ‘Fretless Architecture: Towards the Development of Original Techniques and Musical Notation Specific to the Fretless Electric Guitar’ (Music and Practice, 2019).

International invited talk and conference attendances include: The 21st Century Guitar – Unconventional Approaches to Performance, Composition and Research (Portugal, 2021), Improvisation and the Guitar (IGRC, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Hong Kong, 2019), ITU Guest Artist Research Series (Istanbul Technical University, Turkey, 2019).

International Microtonal Guitar Competition, Second Prize Winner (2022).

Commercially released studio recordings include: ‘Imposition’, Rich Perks (2009), ‘Live at Dutch Fretless Guitar Festival VIII’, vLookup Trio (2019); and (as a session player) on Persian popstar Ali Azimi’s ‘Of Love and Other Evils’ (2019), ‘Til Glory Finds Us (2016), and ‘Mr. Mean’ (2014).

Performances at world-class venues/festivals, include: O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire (London), El Ray Theatre (LA), Slims (San Francisco), The Mod Club (Toronto), Le Grande Sport (Monte Carlo), New Morning (Paris); Dutch Fretless Guitar Festivals VIII & IX (Netherlands), Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland), North Sea Jazz Festival (Netherlands), Tabestoon (Canada), Eldfesten (Sweden), Dunestock (Qatar).

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