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Music Academy (BTEC Level 2) at New College Swindon

Course description

This practical one-year vocational course (equivalent to 1.5 A levels) has two pathways; one for music performance and the other designed for Singer songwriters.

Course content

Music Performance Pathway

The course allows you to focus on music performance and the music industry and is aimed at singers, guitarists, drummers, keyboard players and bass players.


Here is just some of the work that you will experience:

  • You will study your instrument in a series of instrument specific classes i.e. guitarists will study with guitarists, singers with singers etc.
  • You will write, arrange and record your own music using iMac/Garage Band software in our own recording studio (music technology, song writing and arranging).
  • You will perform live in a band every week (live performance workshops)
  • You will discover how the music industry works and what job opportunities there are for you (the sound & music industry).
  • You will form bands to learn two new songs every week and to perfect your rehearsal techniques (working as a musical ensemble).
  • You will also perform as a soloist and as a band (music performance techniques).
  • You will become familiar with music theory (ear training, rhythm studies and general musicianship).
  • You will plan and project manage your own end of year gig at a public venue (final music project).

The course will suit those of you that have 2 or more years experience on your chosen instrument, possibly with some live experience and/or who have an interest in performing a range of musical styles with the aim of improving both your practical ability and your general knowledge of music and the music industry.


Singer/Songwriter Pathway

This course allows you to focus on music performance and the music industry, and is aimed at singer songwriters who play guitar and are interested in working in the area of songwriting and composition.


Here is just some of the work that you will experience:

  • Study singer/songwriter techniques in weekly practical workshops.
  • Learn how to compose, arrange and record your own music using iMac/GarageBand software in our own in-house recording studio.
  • Study songwriting and lyric writing to develop your own compositions (songs).
  • Perform live in a band every week; learn at least two new songs every week; perfect your rehearsal techniques, and have the opportunity to perform your own songs.
  • Via music business classes, discovered how the music industry works, what job opportunities there are for you, and how to sell your songs.
  • Become familiar with music theory.
  • Perform a gig at the end of each term, as well as plan and project-manage your own gig at the end of the year.

Entry requirements

You will need 5 GCSEs passes at grade A to C (inclusive of English Language and Maths) a good level of musicianship and good computer skills. We will consider all applicants on individual merit but we assess your musical experience by way of audition.


You will be asked to attend one of our formal course presentations which take place throughout the year on Monday evenings at 6pm. Please call in advance to reserve a place as numbers are limited for each event.

Future opportunities

With the equivalent of up to 1.5‘A’ Levels and between 60 and 210 UCAS points, a 90 Credit Diploma in Music leads to the further study of music performance on our extended diploma in music. It may also help you on your way to a career as a musical performer, music teacher, songwriter, producer, music journalist, band manager, sound engineer and session musician.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 28 April 2016

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