The course aims to develop candidate’s knowledge of a range of musical styles, both classical and popular. Candidates will also progress their knowledge of music theory and put this into practice in compositions and analysis.
Furthermore core skills of analysis, self-discipline, essay writing, focus and creativity form a large part of study.
Grade 5 standard in an instrument is required as a minimum in the first year, rising to a minimum of grade 7 in the second year.
A qualification in music is required such as grade B in GCSE, a distinction in BTEC level 2 (where music theory has been an element) or grade 5 in music theory.
Candidates will also be required to write essays as part of musical analysis so a grade 5 in English will be required, in addition to the general entry requirements.
Students will look at two areas of study in the first year, the western classical tradition and popular music. In the second year you will also study piano music from the romantic period.
In this unit students will develop the skills to practice music effectively and perform in front of others.
Finally students will take the music theory that they learn in the analysis unit and put it into practice as they compose freely as well as in response to a set brief.
The course is assessed by a combination of coursework and an exam at the end of the year. Throughout the year progress will be checked by tests, essays and theory worksheets as well as performances.
You are required to bring your own instrument to lessons when requested to do so and purchase your own pieces to perform.
It is recommended that students brush up on their music theory and we recommend The AB Guide to Music Theory (Parts 1 and 2) by Eric Taylor as a good starting point, although other music theory books will suffice. Grade 5 theory is the desired level.
Alongside this background reading on the history of western classical music would be beneficial such as The Story of Music by Howard Goodall or A Concise History of Western Music by Paul Griffiths.
Further textbooks to be advised by tutor during study.
Many of our students progress onto Higher Education music courses, we currently have alumni studying at Keele University, Birmingham Conservatoire and the University of Wolverhampton.
However the core skills taught throughout the course would benefit anyone wanting to go to university.