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Songwriting - Artist Development Diploma in Modern Music - Brighton at BIMM

Course description

If you’re a songwriter with solid ability, untapped potential and the ambition to be a fully rounded musician, then the Artist Development Diploma in Songwriting can help turn your passion for music into a career.

This two-year vocational course is equivalent to three ‘A’ Levels, and is all about developing your songwriting technique, improving your performance skills and musical style, getting yourself noticed by connecting with the music industry, and steadily building your confidence towards that of a professional musician.

You’ll gain a fundamental understanding of the way the music industry works, plus will study music theory, music history, and musicianship skills such as sight reading and ear training. All in all, it’s a fantastic grounding to understand modern music and the industry that surrounds it.

You’ll have the opportunity to learn in a creative environment where you’ll develop strong connections with fellow aspiring musicians, and will be guided by your tutors and prominent music industry professionals to help steer you towards your future career or study goals.

Successful completion of the course will gain you a nationally recognised qualification, and the diploma is a great gateway to either taking your first steps in a music industry career, or continuing on with study in the form of a music degree at BIMM.

And do you know what the best part is? UK and EU students aged 18 and under are eligible for free funding (subject to academic requirements).

So, what are you waiting for? To make your way as a songwriter, connect with us, and we’ll connect you to a life in music.

Course content

Arrangement Analysis and Composition- In this lesson you will learn about the composition of different musical styles and explore the historical movements where they were brought to life. These skills will then be put into practice as you develop you own arrangement and compositional ability.

Studio Skills- The studio is a second home to many songwriters and in this lesson we want for you to learn the theoretical and practical aspects to studio recording and sequencing.

Ear Training- it you will be taught various listening and theory skills. These skills will not only teach you new ways of appreciating and understanding music, it will also help you on your way to becoming a better, more employable, musician.

Music Industry Career Development- It is important to remember that there is much more to being successful in music than your discipline alone. In this lesson you will learn all about the music industry and start to prepare yourself for a future within it.

Pre Production- Pre-Production encourages the preparation of both classic and original songs to professional standards. You will deconstruct songs and pay close attention to the lyrics, melody, arrangement and harmonies all in preparation for your

Live Performance Workshop- Live Performance Workshop (LPW) This is where you get to put your hard work in Pre-Production to the test. You will perform your tracks with a house band, reviewing and refining your performances along the way. Doing this on a regular basis will help you become a confident, well prepared, professional performer and songwriter.

Performance Preparation-  In Performance Preparation you will look at all of the aspects that go towards a great performance. This goes beyond LPW and you will be looking at all the factors that make up successful performances such as band forming, rehearsal techniques, promotion, marketing, tour management, stage management, budgeting and more.

Extended Studies- Extended Studies gives the opportunity to recap and expand on the information covered in the course. It is also a great chance for us to bring guest speakers in to help further your education and ensure you are prepared for a future in the music industry.

Year 2

Production Techniques- This lesson builds on the recording knowledge that you developed in year one and pushes the subject even further, enhancing your mixing and production skills.

Music in Context- Music in Context is where you will learn about the interaction between music and society. In it you will track back through history and study some of the most influential artists and the impacts they have had on music, technology, politics and civil rights.

Music Theory and Composition - Music Theory is an essential component of musicianship and in this lesson you will learn the links between theoretical knowledge and your own compositions.

Recording Preparation- You will build on the skills you gained in performance preparation last year and apply these to a studio recording session. Band, song choice, instruments, recording techniques will all come into play as you learn what it is like to record in a studio environment.

Pre Production- Pre-Production will act as the platform for your Live Performance Workshop lessons. Only this year you will be using your own original songs and refining them in preparation for their performance.

Live Performance Workshop (LPW)- Live Performance Workshop is still where you will get your chance to perform your tracks live and with a house band. You will learn to work with other musicians to help realise your musical ideas.

Research and Investigation- This lesson offers students the chance to undertake an investigation into an area of interest within the music industry. Whilst doing so you will develop your academic study skills that will help you prepare for higher level study or research.

Music Industry Career Development-  In this year’s classes you will continue to explore the music industry and the different roles and functions within it. You will also begin working on your own business plan that will help you forge a path into the music industry. Extended Studies Much like in year one,

Extended Studies- Still gives the opportunity to expand on content covered in the course. It is also a great chance for us to bring guest speakers in to help further your education and ensure you are prepared for a future in the music industry.

Entry requirements

Five GCSEs at C or above (including English) and Grade 4-6 equivalency playing skills. Overseas students where English is not their native language must meet a minimum English language requirement of IELTS 6.0. We require a minimum of 5.5 to be achieved in each band.


All diploma applications can be made directly via the BIMM Admissions Team. To request an audition and/or assessment call 0844 2 646 666. All students will be invited to attend an audition and/or assessment. International applicants who can’t attend an audition and/or assessment will be sent guidelines and an application form.

Financial information

This course is free to those under 19.

Future opportunities

Graduates can progress directly to a career as a songwriter or singer-songwriter in the music industry, or can continue their study with a BA (Hons) in Songwriting at BIMM.

Further information

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 05 December 2016
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