Post 16 Music
UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Music Performance & Production
The music course provides training for students committed to having a career in the music industry, whether as a performer, songwriter, producer, manager or any of the other paths available in this dynamic and evolving field. Our emphasis is on enabling students to develop the practical skills, knowledge and understanding relevant to the industry, with creative work supported by a strong academic rigour and classroom teaching.
Studying for the UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Music Performance & Production will provide you with a range of practical skills, knowledge and training to support your aspirations for a career in the music industry. It is equivalent to three A levels. The course includes elements of performance techniques, popular music studies, songwriting, recording and music theory. In addition to this, we offer a range of performances throughout the year and our students benefit from regular workshops and visits from established industry professionals.
All students will follow a core curriculum made up of the following subejcts (please note that units studied may be subject to change)
- Musicianship (Music Theory & Aural Skills)
- The Music Industry
- Music Freelance Skills
- Ensemble Performance
- MIDI Sequencing & Keyboard Skills
- The History of Music
- Community Music
On top of the core curriculum, the choice you make at application (Music or Music Technology) will affect the subsequent subjects studied. These are likely to be as follows:
Music Route Music Technology Route Ethnomusicology Advanced MIDI Sequencing Notation Software Synthesis & Sound Design Solo Performance Recording & Mixing Advanced Ensemble Performance Composition Songwriting & Composition Music Technology in Performance Advanced Musicianship DJ Skills & Technology Music & Society Music for Media & Interactive Media Marketing & Promotion Live Sound
We have four rehearsal spaces equipped with amplifiers, keyboards, PA and drum kits as well as two teaching rooms. The school has a large, fully-equipped theatre and other smaller spaces, all of which are used for music shows. The Music department has a state-of-the-art digital recording studio and a Mac suite running Logic Pro, Sibelius and Protools packages. Individual instrumental and vocal tuition is provided by a team of specialist teachers. Details of these lessons can be found on the 'Peripatetic Lessons' page on this website.
Students can expect to perform frequently throughout the course and in a variety of venues. Many concerts take place onsite in our OBIE theatre, but we also take students out to external venues whenever possible - in past years these have ranged from The BBC Radio Theatre, The Cavern Club, The Roundhouse, The National Portrait Gallery and Glastonbury Festival. Please note that external opportunies vary each year, so there is no guarantee of particular events being offered!
Masterclasses & Guest Speakers
Music students benefit from frequent visits by industry professionals to support and enrich their learning. These vary from experienced record company executives to live promoters, music lawyers and producers. Recent guests have included John Giddings (Isle of Wight Festival), Mel Gaynor (Simple Minds), Nick Mason (Pink Floyd), and Ben Thompson (Two Door Cinema Club). Recently we were lucky enough to host a visit by funk legend George Clinton, who was interviewed in front of an audience of students and then watched them rehearsing for their end of year show.
Music students have the option to take part in this series of performances, made in colloboration with Film & Media Production students and promoted on the school's Youtube channel. These give students valuable experience of performing to camera as well as acting as fantastic promotional tools for their original composition work.
What We Expect
More than anything, we need to see evidence of a dedication to music as a subject and as a career. The course is open to all musicians, regardless of instrument or preferred style, and having an open mind is vital. All applicants should be able to discuss their experience of performing/composing beyond any opportunities organised by their school.
In terms of practical ability you will need to provide evidence on your application that your standard of playing is at, or above, Grade 5 standard. You are not necessarily required to have actually sat a Grade 5 exam, rather this is a guide as to the standard we would expect of a post-16 student. Evidence of this might be in the form of a letter from an instrumental teacher or music teacher.
If you are chosen to audition you will be required to perform a short prepared piece, sit a theory/listening test (approximately ABRSM Grade 3 standard) and undertake some aural exercises.
Music Technology Route:
Practical musical ability is preferred for application, although you may not be asked to perform at interview. Instead, a portfolio of work will be looked at and discussed - this can be a mixture of original compositions, remixes, dj mixes, live recordings or anything else that you consider relevant to your application. Details of appropriate formats will be sent out with the interview details. All of the other interview elements (theory test, aural exercises) will still apply.
Beyond The BRIT School
Our vocational course is designed to equip students for a career in the music industry, such as a performer, composer, songwriter, recording engineer or music journalist. Many students go straight into the world of work, but the course also equips students for entry into Further and Higher Education. Recent destinations for our students have included the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, Goldsmiths College, Falmouth University, the School of Oriental & African Studies, Brighton Institute of Modern Music, Leeds College of Music, Leeds University, Trinity College and Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Many big names have been educated within the department, and we are proud of the achievements of all of our students. From platinum selling singers such as Adele and Leona Lewis to experimental artists ranging from Imogen Heap to King Krule, here is a selection of work from solo acts and singer-songwriters who gained part of their musical education at The BRIT School.
We encourage students to form bands whilst at the school, many of them also go on to join other acts once they have left. This playlist give a small sense of the variety of bands that are currently out there featuring ex-BRIT music students.
How to Apply
To apply for entry into Year 12, please answer the following questions in Section 7 of the application form:
a) (i) List your practical strengths (instruments and/or voice) in order of ability and give a clear indication of which ONE you will audition with.
(ii) Give a detailed summary of your experience and/or training in music technology, including any software that you are familiar with.
b) Describe your experience and/or training in music to date. This could include performances, composition work, recording sessions or anything else that you consider relevant.
c) What do you think the most important qualities are to succeed as a professional musician? Give reasons to support your answers. In addition, provide at least two examples of occasions on which you have demonstrated these qualities in your own work or study.
d) Pick an important event in the history of popular music and explain its significance.