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

Course description

If you’re a drummer with solid ability, untapped potential and the ambition to be a fully rounded musician, then the Artist Development Diploma in Modern Music 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 performance skills and musical style, improving your technique, 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 bassist, connect with us, and we’ll connect you to a life in music.

Course content

Technical Development
– A good technique is essential if a more efficient and accurate execution of musical ideas is the aim. Drummers will be taken through a logical technical study path in order to facilitate better technique. Grip, posture, balance, technique, rudiments, and time systems, etc., will all be studied.

Session Styles –
 This module is a study of the sounds and styles of some of the world’s most influential drummers. Artists such as Ringo Starr, Keith Moon, John Bonham, Dave Grohl, Lars Ulrich, Steve Gadd, Bernard Purdie and Chris Adler are all included for study in order to broaden the range of the student’s stylistic knowledge.

Pre-Production –
This module encourages the preparation of songs to the standard of a professional band/artist, teaching students how to deconstruct a part and prepare it for the LPW class. Parts, arrangement, tone and performance will all be analysed and worked on, with the emphasis on simplicity being taken to a very high standard, and attention to detail being paramount.

Live Performance Workshop (LPW) – This module is about making the songs studied in Pre-Production work in a live setting. Students learn to communicate ideas with other musicians and the audience, with the focus on a tight, well-arranged and professional performance. 

Aural Perception and Ear Training –
This module is all about sharpening the ear for in-depth song analysis using specific listening skills, music notation techniques, music theory, bars and beats charts, song road maps, etc. If students are serious about improving as musicians, then rounded development of these skills is essential.

Music Theory –
This module takes a comprehensive look at music theory and the practical application of theoretical concepts essential for any instrumentalist wanting to understand the language of music.

Music Industry
– This module is about gaining practical music industry knowledge that will help students to plan their careers. Musicians will be taken through all aspects of the music industry, including record and publishing deals, management, music synchronisation, legal issues, copyright, music teaching, live music, and business plans, etc.

Music in Context –
Learn the history of classic artists placed in their social, historical and political context. Artists studied include Elvis Presley, Nina Simone, Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, David Bowie, Sex Pistols, Led Zeppelin, Public Enemy, Nirvana and Radiohead. An understanding of this essential stylistic knowledge will help to develop authenticity in performance.

Performance Preparation –
This module involves planning for key performances at a local and national level. Topics studied include: rehearsal technique, promotion, marketing, leadership, venues and promoters, tour management, stage management, and budgeting.

Research and Investigation
– This module offers the chance to undertake an in-depth practical investigation into a particular area of interest within the industry, whilst facilitating the development of academic study skills.

Please note: module names and structure may change during the validation process.

Entry requirements

Five GCSEs at C or above (including Maths & 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

Free to UK & EU students under 18.

Future opportunities

Graduates can progress directly to a career in the music industry, or can continue their study with a BA (Hons) in Professional Musicianship in Guitar, Bass, Drums or Vocals 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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    • Brighton is where it all began for BIMM – and it’s where your success story starts too. With our dedicated diploma campus, which opened in 2017,  the College has everything you need to make your mark on the music industry.

      You’ll experience Brighton’s music scene away from the College too, with opportunities to perform live thoughout the year and to get involved with the local music scene. You'll also be able to get involved with our fantastic weekly guest talks, masterclasses and workshops.


      On site, you'll have access to professional standard performance spaces, brand-new recording studios and facilities, bookable rehearsal rooms and state of the art Mac suites. You will also be able to make the most of our one-to-one tutorial system and have access to our Student Support team and designated Student Support Officer.

      Our BIMM Brighton diploma campus is situated in Falmer, within the grounds of Brighton Aldrige Community Academy (BACA) and is easily accessible by bus and train.