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Music BTEC Diploma Level 3 at Brockenhurst College

Course description

For many students Music is an obvious choice: they usually have invested many years learning an instrument, listening to music and studying the subject. Often musicians will have devoted a lot of time working on their practical skills - and have the intention to work in the music or a music-related industry.

This is a two year course designed to provide hands-on experience of the music industry. It gives you the knowledge, understanding and skills that you need to prepare for specific areas of employment or to progress to higher education in the music business.

This course is suitable for practical musicians - normally with a background in popular music, jazz or music production.

Course content

Students study units in five broad areas of music over two years:

Performing: this is fundamental to this mainly practical course.  A large proportion of the course deals with developing performing skills – both solo and group/band training and specific areas of musicianship (such as improvisation techniques for instrumentalists and vocal technique workshops for singers);

Background to the workings of the music industry:  The music industry is a vast and complicated business.  It is very important to understand how it works not just to help you progress as a performer, but also to allow you to see the many possibilities of employment in related fields.  You will study areas of the industry such as marketing and promotion, contract legislation and other legal issues, copyright, and business liaison work.

Music reading and theory skills: Very often practical musicians (and self-taught musicians in particular) have lacked the chance to develop their reading and theory skills. This is an opportunity to gather the essential skills in reading, listening, arranging, and general theory that are necessary for developing to the next level of performing, and critical for jobs in (for example) session playing, improvising, composing and arranging.

The creative use of music technology: Being able to use computer software for music use has over the last 20 years become an essential skill for most musicians working in the business.  Students will use Logic and Sibelius software on Apple Mac computers to compose and arrange music.

Sound recording and acoustics: Being able to understand the workings of a recording studio is another skill that has become essential for a working musician today.  Students will learn how to work effectively in a recording studio: both as performers and as recording engineers, learning techniques of recording and editing.

Entry requirements

4 GCSEs at grades A*-C one of which should be in English

This course is suited to students with an ACTIVE interest in music: in particular, those who may already be performing, writing or producing music independently.  Students must be willing to listen objectively to music from a broad range of styles.

You need to be able to play one instrument at a very competent level (grade assessments and grades at GCSE Music are not necessary measures for this course).  Singers are also welcome on this course; ideally they should have at least a basic ability on a chordal instrument (piano/keyboards, or guitar);

You need to have an interest in the general study of music and the music business.

Following an interview you will be invited to an audition in either January, March or June.

You will:
1.  take part in a 45 mins practical music workshop
2. perform a solo on your chosen instrument/voice (bring with you any backing tracks)
3. short written assessment
4. interview ( bring with you any evidence you have to support your application onto a Music course).

The process will take no more than 2 hrs.


All units are assessment by coursework submission, or in the case of practical units, auditions, concerts and recordings of performances.

Financial information

Students will be expected to pay towards trips and resources.

Future opportunities

This course would normally run alongside one or two other subjects at level 3.

At the end of this two year course students will often progress to a HND or degree course in music or popular music at university or a popular music academy. 

You will be learning to use software and techniques that are industry-standard within not only the music business but also other creative media production industries. This is important for students intending to go straight into employment.

Further information

Students are expected to be involved in rehearsals and concerts, which may take place after college hours.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 18 February 2016

Key information