25 October 2014
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Music degree

This course offers a unique blend of practical and intellectual study. It will give you an introduction to the music industry and musicology at a specialist level and lay a firm foundation for a career in these and related areas. The degree aims to produce musicians who are imaginative, technically sophisticated and well-informed, and who can adapt to a range of present and future technological challenges.

Although the focus is strictly musical, the structure will introduce you to a wide range of technological applications within areas such as computer music composition. This exposure to state-of-the-art equipment will also ensure that you become familiar with the kind of technology currently being used within the industry.

Courses provide a unique approach to music education that will give you the highest level of learning and also prepare you for a job in a range of music related careers. While many graduates pursue careers in the area of music, these degrees are also good preparation for a wide range of employment in administration, commerce, management and other professions. 

Because students are often highly trained in the kinds of transferable skills employers are seeking i.e. individual motivation, team working, and effective communication, they will be well-equipped for a wide choice of careers in the teaching, media, music and creative industries, theatre or community arts.
 
A music degree will help students to develop the core research skills, knowledge and abilities that are essential for this field.


Music degree course overview

Teaching is stimulating and supportive, with students encouraged to develop an advanced, critical approach to music that is supported by theoretical understanding and practical skills. You will be able to develop specialist knowledge using cutting edge technology, and on a more practical level you will have the opportunity to do outreach work, involving placements in the community. Modules  will allow you to explore a wide range of musical aspects, which means that you to shape your Music Degree so that it reflects your interests and strengths. Prospective musicians are encouraged to perform as much as possible, playing with a local band and taking advantage of any opportunity to gain experience with professionals.

Study is done through a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials and individual lessons (where students are encouraged to ask questions), and on many courses students are allocated a tutor who is responsible for their overall progress. Occasionally classes will be enhanced by bringing in renowned specialists who will deliver lectures, concerts and master classes.

Typical course modules and areas of study on a music degree 

  • Sound recording
  • Approaches to Contemporary Music
  • Music business studies
  • Studio Techniques
  • The Language of Jazz
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Music therapy
  • Digital Cultures
  • Sound in Space
  • Music Aesthetics
  • Music and Modernism
  • Music and Postmodernism
  • Performing with Technology
  • Composing with Dance
  • Studio Engineering
  • Composition
  • Music in Film
  • Music of Africa
  • Media Composition
  • Orchestration
  • Studio Composition
  • Music Enterprise
  • The History of Popular Music
  • Music Theory and Analysis
  • Promoting and Marketing Music
  • Song writing and Performance
  • Practical Music technology
  • Music Cultures of the World
  • Performance & Interpretation

Students will learn about

  • Studio recording techniques
  • Instrumentation
  • Conducting
  • Video editing facilities
  • Mixing and audio processing.
  • The history and criticism of popular music.
  • Music contracts & copyright
  • Event management
  • Artistic direction
  • Record production
  • Dance

Students will learn how to

  • Express their ideas.
  • Perform in front of large groups.


Music personal statement

Below is a music personal statement written by one of our writers. You can use this example to gain an idea of how to structure and put together your own one. You are strongly advised not to copy or plagiarise it, instead use it as a resource to inspire your own creative writing. 

Music personal statement example

"Studying music has been one of the most satisfying challenges I’ve ever faced, I have a passion for all kinds of instruments and want to immerse myself in this subject that I love. I find it to be an intense field, but that is exactly what stimulates me to challenge my own limits, both academically and personally. I feel that music has so much to offer, you just have to go there and get it. 

There are a number of reasons why I want to study music at university, firstly and most importantly because I enjoy it, secondly it’s great fun, and thirdly it can open the door to many long term opportunities. I find that playing musical instruments teaches me discipline, helps me to relieve stress and gives me a sense of achievement. As a beginner learning to play an instrument for the first time, it can be very frustrating, however once I’ve mastered it, the satisfaction I feel is priceless. Therefore going to university to study music seemed like a natural next step for me, as aside from everything else if you want a career as a musician then you really need to know how the music industry works.

In my view there is just so much musical variety out there that everyone is bound to find something that they might enjoy, if not, then it’s a subject that simply allows you to go ahead and create what you want.

My strongest personal points are that I am punctual, reliable, able to work well under pressure and accept criticism. I am dedicated to practicing, persistent and determined and able to work well in a team if rehearsing and performing with a group. I am able to give and receive criticism, and always focus on learning from my mistakes and striving to improve my performance. I possess a good musical ear, am aware of acoustics, rhythmic skills and timing, and also fully understand tuning.

At college I was privileged to be taught by teachers who pushed students to achieve their best, and prepared them for the real world by setting realistic and achievable deadlines. It was great having the opportunity to play in a range of different situations and experiment with a variety of instruments. There were concerts, workshops and other events every week, with opportunities to perform both in college and public venues. For me learning to manage my time effectively was one of the biggest challenges at college, once I had done this, it made it possible to enjoy the vast range of extracurricular musical activities the college had to offer.

The music industry is competitive, and work experience is essential to make contacts, and gain relevant experience to give yourself that edge. I therefore got an entry level job as an assistant to a professional musician who was based in a modern recording studio. This hand’s on experience was invaluable to me as I was exposed to a range of experiences that changed my perceptions of music. I gained the technical skills, and manual dexterity required to play instruments well, and developed the poise and stage presence to be able to play in front of an audience. I also had opportunities to experience playing the trumpet, trombone, clarinet, saxophone, organ, as well as rhythm instrument such as the piano, string bass and drums.

Aside from music, I am an enthusiastic player of a local Football Club, where I have played for a number of years. This gives me great satisfaction of working as a team to try to be the best at something, and also forms a great way of socializing. In addition to this I enjoy drawing and creating Art, which offers me a form of relaxation.

Although my immediate goal is to further my studies, I would eventually like to make a career in music either through playing professionally or teaching.

I have visited many universities, some very admirable, but yours just felt right for me. It was very inviting, intellectual and boasted a brilliant reputation. From just wondering the corridors of your campus I got a sense of creativity, and innovation as well as the feeling that there is something there for everyone. I feel your ethos reflects the contemporary musical world, and that your institution is highly committed to all significant areas of musical practice and research. On top of everything else your campus is also located within easy reach of many musical venues, concert halls, opera houses and research libraries." 


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