About the course
This practical course offers two pathways - production and performance* The course is ideal for anyone who plays and instrument, producers music or has previously not had the opportunity to study these subjects but has an underlining desire to explore them in detail. The course provides as strong basis for developing confidence and core musical skills in order to progress on to one of our Level 3 courses.
*subject to applications.
Four GCSEs Grade 2 or above, including maths or English at Grade 2.
Performance pathway - We will invite you in for an interview, which will also require you bringing in a video of your performing/playing your instrument (details will be sent out once you apply). If you are offered a place on the course, will invite you in for a practical performance workshop later in the year.
Production pathway - We will invite you in for an interview, which will also require you bringing in a piece of music you have composed, or a review of an artist of your choosing (details will be sent out once you apply). If you are offered a place on the course, will invite you in for a practical production workshop later in the year.
We expect a minimum of 95% attendance and full engagement in every lesson and will regularly be reviewing your progress to ensure this is the right course for you.
Any student aged 16 to 19 who does not hold a GCSE 9 to 4 in maths and English will need to continue to study these subjects alongside the main course.
You will complete this course with a UAL Level 2 Diploma in Music Performance and Production (equivalent to 5 GCSEs 9 - 4) graded as pass, merit or distinction.
Completing the course with a merit overall, and 95% attendance we will provide you with opportunity to continue on to one of our Level 3 qualifications - Popular Music, Music Technology or Electronic Music Production.
What you'll learn (core modules)
Performance - Your primary focus is on developing your instrumental skills to be able to perform as a soloist and within a band. In addition you will develop your composition skills using Logic Pro X, enhance your listening skills, under music theory and events management and explore the wider music industry.
Production - You will learn the fundamentals of music production, learning how to compose and mix your own tracks to a high standard. You will learn about microphones, and core production techniques in addition to listening skills, events management and understanding the wider music industry.
Benefits, skills and character strengths
We have a record label called 'Digital Saint Records' and commercially release compilations throughout the year on platforms such as Spotify, iTunes, Deezer and Amazon Music to name but a few. All students are given the opportunity to submit a track for consideration, and our in house A&R team review and select tracks. If you don't make the album, you will be given support to help you prepare for forthcoming releases.
There are numerous opportunities to compose music for projects, perform in the local community and attend a variety of music events throughout the year.
How will I be assessed?
Throughout the course, you will be assessed in a variety of ways. There will be practical work including compositions, live performances and presentations with the main focus on developing a portfolio of work using Google Classoom. We make our assignments industry focussed and relevant - we don't ask you to do anything which doesn't develop the necessary skills to be successful within the industry, but we do expect full engagement. These assessments are formative, whereby you have to pass them, but they don't contribute to your final grade, but help prepare you for your final project which is graded.
You final project may be anything from writing an EP, to a live performance or a compositional portfolio - it's an opportunity for you to play to your strengths and prepare you fully for Level 3.
Where will the course take me?
The course provides an excellent starting point for those wishing to go forward and study on the UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma in Music Performance, Electronic Music Production or Music Technology courses. A number of students have progressed from our Level 2 course, through Level 3 , on to our degree and then in to employment.
Our ex-students tour the world as musicians, sound engineers and event managers. We have other students who work as professional composers for games, film and TV as well as artists in their own right. It isn't just a dream job, there are numerous opportunities out there. - the music industry is showing continued growth and is currently valued at £4.5bn.
Will I need any materials or equipment?
You will be required to purchase high quality closed headphones, ear protection (for performance pathway only), a USB 3.0 memory stick/hard drive and stationery before the course starts.
Access to a personal Macbook/Laptop and software is ideal, but not a necessity.
In addition, any musicians should have a fully working instrument, with case and access to replacement consumables such as strings and sticks.
I'm interested. What should I do now?
If you would like to find out more, please come along to one of our open events published on the college website or call 01284 716 354.
For information on upcoming music events and news, follow us online @digitalsaintmusic / @westsuffolk
Days & times
Starting September 2020