BTEC and BA studies

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Brass! PR, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. Brass! PR

    Brass! PR New Member

    A little bit of research I hoped TMPers could help with, with regards to studying music at BTEC and degree level.

    1) With the news that there are far less university places for potential students has anyone on TMP had any experience of finding it hard to get on a good music degree course and how do they combat this? also, what's the best BA courses you have found and is it tough competition for places?

    2) would students (of all ages) prefer a more flexible approach to taking a music degree course (full-time, part-time or distance) where options to include your music-making in bands and community groups played a part towards your credits and where you could fit it in around work or without having to move away, therefore more cost effective?

    3) How many people have experience of BTEC study as opposed to GCSE or 'A' Level? Would you have preferred more vocational BTEC courses as opposed to academic paths and does anyone have an interest in taking any courses in later life to enhance their own development?

    I look forward to the responses with interest!
    Thank you!
  2. TrumpetTom

    TrumpetTom Member

    The problem the teachers have at our school with the edexel gcse course, is that it's impossible to give us 10 hours supervised practing and recording time each without twisting things. The other problem with the edexel gcse course is that you spend ages on things like serialism.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2010
  3. Kjata

    Kjata Member

    It depends what you mean by 'good'? Me personally if I was going to do a BA would go to Salford for the band studies course because that would be best for me.

    Part of my music degree is to do with ensemble playing, and i'm very glad it is a part of the course.
    I think that thinking about costs for a degree is a bad idea, I (and i'm sure others as well) looked at the colleges that would be best for me, and didn't factor living costs, tuition costs ect when making my choice, and I think that staying at home is also inadvisable, because you miss out on the social side of things and don't mature as a person!
    To be honest I have no idea what part time degree would entail but again, surely you'd miss out on the social side of living? I'm sure someone with more experience would be able to shed more light on the matter.

    Again I have no experience with BTEC studies but my GCSE and A level music, was invaluable in my musical development and I wouldn't change the the way I've been taught for anything! :clap:

    I'm sorry I can't tell you much more than this but i'm starting the Bmus, not the BA!
  4. Kjata

    Kjata Member

    The EDEXCEL course has changed since I did GCSE, but the composition's I had to study (serialism, minimalism, experimental, theme and variations ect..) became very useful in A level, don't be too quick to dismiss it!
    For my performing I had to 5 mins of recorded music, relating to music I had already studied, but I didn't have to have 'supervised practice'. I think the performance counted for 20% of my GCSE, 40% for composing and 40% for the listening exam. So if you think about it, 80% will relate to the academic side of things where learning your composing techniques will come in handy!
    (That said it's been 4 years since I started GCSE so I could be wrong!)
  5. TrumpetTom

    TrumpetTom Member

    It changed quite alot when I started itapparently ; we do 4 areas of study (20th centuary classical music, popular music, world music and classical music (1600-1900 or somthing) and we have set works to study from each for the listening exam. We also do a solo recording and ensemble recording, each with 10 hours supervised practice/ recording time (impossible) and then two compositions, which you have to link to a different area of study each - I think there is supposed to be set supervised time on this too, not sure. Can't remember what the percentages are.
  6. Kjata

    Kjata Member

    What there're trying to do is bridge the gap between GCSE and A level, for me it was a massive gap (I suddenly had to be Bach harmony, study set works including a Symphony, and do much more performing!) which took several months to get used to, and I had to work my socks of to catch up (unfortunately for me, my A level group was very talented, and also a little ruthless)!
  7. Zappa

    Zappa Member

    Okay Brass! PR here it goes ...

    1. Must admit this was ten years back ... I went to University of Leeds and overall the course was great. I used to live in Wakefield so I commuted and obviously in West Yorkshire there were bands of ALL levels within half an hour travel time (and by public transport). My main reason for going here was I got euph lessons from Bob Childs and Phil Wilby taught composition. Great for my banding (which I was really into back then) ... However even then I wanted a more rounded music degree studying a large range of musical periods and genres away from banding. It also helped me as a performer to see other quality musicians on a variety of instruments and tutors from a variety of musical backgrounds which improved me as a musician and player.

    2. I majored in performance and minored in composition so from the middle of the 2nd year and definitely 3rd year, I attended university itself very little due to private study/coursework and private practice. From what i remember i organised a band concert and preparation for a contest was credited as well as other things non bandy. However, I also worked 30 hours a week and played for a top section band (never missing a rehearsal), so loads of flexibility given to me from the course as a full time student! Got a II.i. As stated I commuted which did not bother me in the slightest, still socialised with people from the course (when I wanted to), people from work, band, tours, depping etc etc. Infact holding all those things down certainly made me grow up and get organised big time! After the course did an extra PGCE course then moved 100 miles away! LOL

    3. I've been teaching for 7 years now and i'm currently Director of Performance Faculty at my current post. Have taught music edexcel and AQA GCSE spec, OCR and AQA A - Level spec, BTEC First Certificate, Diploma (level 2) and BTEC National Award and Certificate (level 3), also an Internal Verifier for BTEC within my faculty ... If you pm me your e-mail I will give you the facts (BTEC course options, unit options, GCSE %'s, A - Level set works etc etc.) and my honest opinion on these courses (probably not the typical teachery one!) and i'll let you know anything I can ...

    Basically with point number 3 there'd be too much to put on here and I feel like I've already given my life story! Lol!
  8. Brass! PR

    Brass! PR New Member

    Thanks for all the feedback so far - am keen to hear more.

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