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Music Level 3 at Wiltshire College

Course description

This practical course is run at Salisbury and at the Chippenham campus, and each has its own slightly different flavour. Salisbury students spend time looking at the broadcast aspect of Music based radio programming, whilst the Chippenham students have set up their own record label called NoizNoizNoiz. They also learn about visual performance using software such as Arkaos and VDMX VJ.

Students are encouraged to take part in work experience, with past students having placements at Glastonbury, Big Chill and the Bournemouth International Centre.

Course content

Whilst on the course you will be given instruction and training in the use of a wide range of music and music related production equipment, including audio and vision mixing desks, multi-track recording studios, PA and other amplification systems, music technology and video edit suites. You will take part in many group-based projects and will have the opportunity to perform a variety of different music in a variety of contexts both on and off campus, such as in bands, musicals, cabaret and more.

The first year will cover a range of music activities and there will be an opportunity to develop areas of specialist interest in year two.

Entry requirements

4 GCSEs grade A*- C including Maths and English and preferably Science or equivalent (or Merit or Distinction in a related subject at Level 2)
A good reference
A satisfactory audition and interview


Units covered:
•  Sound and Music Industry - This unit introduces the student to the structures and employment opportunities within the music industry.

•  Listening skills - Combining aural perception and music theory, this unit develops a musical vocabulary and an understanding of many different styles of music.

•  Music and Society - Looks at the social context of music, the nature of different audiences and cultural, historic and economic factors that influence the production of music.

•  Music Performance Process - This unit covers the rehearsal and preparation for the final major project and involves extensive planning and teamwork.

•  Major Music Performance (unit value 2) - The final public performance and recording of a CD by the year group to professional standards.

•  Arranging Music - Develop arranging techniques for use across a range of musical styles.

•  Composing - This unit involves the creation of a portfolio of original work, using a variety of methods to prepare a score.

•  Music in the Community - A mainly practical subject geared to obtaining the skills necessary for community based music projects. Involves visiting local schools to present one-hour workshops.

•  Pop Music in Practice - The development of popular music from the 1950s to the present day in a cultural context.

•  Music Performance Techniques - The fundamentals of performing with voice or instrument, rehearsal and reading music.

•  Music Theory and Harmony - These sessions will enable you to develop a thorough practical and theoretical understanding of music theory and harmony.

•  Singing Techniques and Performance - Develop vocal techniques through group and solo singing. Learn how to read notation through singing.

•  Special Subject Investigation - An individual research project chosen by the student and leading to a formal presentation.

•  Working and Developing as a Musical Ensemble - Explores the nature in which ensembles work.

•  Sound Recording Techniques - How to use a recording studio. Recording, mixing, and mastering your own music.

•  Music Performance Session Styles - Learn different styles of music and the techniques needed to play these styles - good training if you want to be a session musician.

Regular practice on your instrument is essential and additional research work outside of college will be necessary.

Assessment will be continuous throughout the two years and will be based on practical and performance assignments as well as written research projects.

The final qualification will be a BTEC Level 3 90 Credit/Extended Diploma in Music. 

Future opportunities

Career opportunities are wide ranging in the music industry and could include:

  • Professional musician
  • Session musician
  • Function band
  • Recording engineer
  • Music management
  • Teaching music
  • Writing music and composition/arrangement
  • Event management

You could also progress onto further study at university level, such as on our HND in Music.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Wiltshire College directly.

Last updated date: 24 June 2016

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