How many hours per week?

Teaching contact time is 4 hours and 20 minutes per subject. Other workshops will be available throughout the year. Students are expected to complete up to 4 hours of independent study to complete performing practice, composition development, assignments, homework, extra reading and independent research.

Entry Requirements

  • Grade 6 or above in Music & an audition
  • Attainment 8 Score: 57

Under review for 2019/20 entry

Exam Board

Eduqas Apply for this course


Course Overview

  • You are interested in joining the music industry as a performer, composer, academic, editor, journalist, etc.
  • You are interested in teaching music, be it at primary, secondary or higher education level, or as a peripatetic instrumental or vocal teacher.
  • You just love music and want to further your knowledge and skills in performing, composing and appraising.
  • You are a practicing musician and want to balance your subject choices with more academic subjects.

If you choose this course you would benefit from:

  • Teaching by a highly experienced music educator who is also a very successful music ensemble director with a wide range of instrumental and vocal groups.
  • Opportunities to perform in and/or compose music for various college events.
  • Links with professional musicians in a wide range of musical genres.
  • Opportunities to rehears with a first-class accompanist.

What will I learn?

In the first year you will study:

  • Performing skills
  • How to devise an effective performance programme
  • Composing techniques based on the Western Classical Tradition
  • What makes a ‘successful’ composition?
  • Western Classical harmony
  • The development of the Symphony 1750 – 1900 – focussing on Haydn Symphony No. 104 (‘London’) & Mendelssohn Symphony No. 4 (‘Italian’)
  • Musical Theatre – with a focus on the works of Rodgers & Hammerstein, Leonard Bernstein and T
  • Developing individual aural skills

In the second year you will study:

  • Advanced performing skills
  • How to devise an effective examination performance programme
  • 20th & 21st Century Composing techniques
  • What makes a ‘successful’ examination composition?
  • 20th & 21st Century harmony
  • 20th Century Composers & Styles – focussing on Poulenc ‘Trio for Oboe, Bassoon & Piano’ and Debussy ‘Nuages’ from ‘Three Nocturnes’
  • Musical Theatre – with a focus on the works of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Claude Michel Scönberg and Stephen Schwartz
  • Advanced individual aural skills

What will I be taught?

This course is taught through a mixture of practical performance and composition, regular one-to-one tutorials and YouTube enhanced presentations given both by staff and students.

Classroom activities will include:

  • Group and solo performing activities
  • Composition tasks using ‘Sibelius’ software, incl. how to use the programme!
  • Individual research
  • ‘What is the examiner looking for’ sessions – your chance to assess.
  • Student-led sessions

Where will this course take me?

Ideal preparation for a bespoke music course at either a Music Conservatoire (eg. Royal College of Music; Royal Academy of Music; Birmingham Conservatoire, etc) or a University music department (eg. Manchester; Nottingham; Oxford; Durham, etc)

So many of the skills gained on the course are transferable to other fields of work outside of music.

How will I be assessed?

3 exams:

  • Performing (35%) – a programme, performed to a visiting examiner, lasting 12 mins
  • Composing (25%) – 2 compositions (one to a brief set by Eduqas) lasting 6 mins
  • Appraising (40%) – a written exam lasting 2hrs 15mins

Staff Contact Details

Barrie Johnson