10/18/2012 09:34 am ET

Ed Sheeran On College: Not Necessary For Aspiring Musicians

College isn't the end-all be-all for British singer Ed Sheeran.

The 21-year-old singer told BBC Newsbeat that the best way to break into the music industry is through hands-on experience -- not college courses.

Explaining what he feels is the best approach to pursuing a career in music, Sheeran encouraged future musicians to seek opportunities to observe industry members working in the roles they want.

"If you want to be a producer then shadow a producer, start making him tea," said Sheeran. "Ask how you do this, how'd you do that."

He went on to talk about his own "mistake" of attending music college and being required to study lessons "you could learn on your own."

His tips for singers were even more detailed.

"If you want to be a singer then make sure you go to a lot of shows of people you really, really admire, study how they do it," said Sheeran. "Do your own shows, work up your confidence, write as many songs as possible so each time you do a song it gets better and better and better."

Sheeran has had an extremely successful year following the September 2012 release of his debut album "+."

The album has sold over 1 million copies in the UK and debuted at No. 5 on the US Billboard 200 chart when it was released in June reports EW.com.

He recently teamed up with Taylor Swift (another degreeless artist) to write the duet "Everything Has Changed" for her upcoming album "Red."

He also penned the One Direction ballad "Moments" which was featured on the groups debut album "Up All Night." The AP reports he will be working with the group for their sophomore album.

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