Music degrees

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by Majoresteve, Feb 29, 2004.

  1. Majoresteve

    Majoresteve Member

    i just considerind going to uni to do a music degree at the moment.
    any recommendations, what are the normal entre requirements? i currently haev grade 5 theory and will have a grade 8 in cornet
    any thoughts
  2. impycornet

    impycornet Member

    Some command of the English language is useful
  3. Borfeo

    Borfeo Member

    Actually Rob, that's probably a very good point.

    You will probably need A level English to get in, as well as the obvious musical standard.
  4. midwalesman

    midwalesman Member



    Music A level
    Grade 8
    Grade 5 theory
    A good musical knowledge...(not available in most students at the moment)

    Uni's will give you various offers depending on standard of playing in auditions and also which uni u attend. A conservatoire will want high performance, whilst the best uni's will want good academic work.
  5. shedophone

    shedophone Member

    I'm at York university doing music, and i'd recommend it, the course is so flexible.

    Salfords good for the band course, as is Huddersfield.

    York ask for grade 8 in (at least) 1 instrument, usually ABC in A levels, with the A being music.

    Good academic work is probably more important than performance at universities, so if you want to just play all the time you'd be better off looking at a music college.
  6. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    Most of the things above are broadly correct, but (as admissions tutor for a music degree course) things can be much more flexible, certainly at the institution where I am based.

    For our BA Performance (Music) programme:

    A level music is not always a requirement. Many students arrive with A levels but an increasing number are mature students or overseas students who have different qualifications. Many UK applicants have taken vocational qualifications such as BTEC or GNVQ music courses - that's fine.

    Whilst Grade VIII is the approximate standard we require, you don't necessarily need to have taken the exam - we interview all candidates and we trust our ears rather than any paper qualifications; after all, it's students with potential that we're looking for, and we don't all develop at the same rate. Is there a Grade VIII for composers or conductors yet?

    A broad musical outlook, an open mind and a keeness to explore new styles are essential, and since we tend to prioritise practice over theory (since the students we recruit learn better by doing rather than by reading about how other people have done things) we need to recruit students who can work well in a team.

    If you are worried about achieving the necessary A levels, perhaps you should look at applying for a Foundation Degree. These are two-year courses which generally require slightly lower grades for admission, but you can still stay on for a third year to study for a BA. At present Leeds College, Bath Spa, Sunderland and Colchester offer Foundation Degrees in Music; we're launching one (in Music Technology) in January 2005.

    Send me a PM if you think I can help further.


    York St John College
  7. Maestro

    Maestro Active Member

    I agree with what Straightmute has already said. When I finally decided to do my degree, I had no alevels or anything. All I had was my experience and thestaff at my local university (Univeristy of East Anglia) took me on what they thought I could achieve and not what I had already achieved...if that makes sense.
  8. deave

    deave Member

    Huddersfield doesn't offer a band course, just a BMus! There is a brass band scoring/arranging module available in the 2nd yr tho. Thats about it tho, lucky beggers at salford get to study elvis and eric ball
  9. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

    Accrington and Rossingdale have a Band Studies course which I hear is very good. I know several people who did it...
    I was going to look into it and apply until I found out that they were changing 3 years full time into 4 years part time... not what I wanted... so I just applied and came to Salford, which had been recommended to me by Goff Richards.

    I have no A levels... but I did do 3 grade 8 exams, including music theory to help me get onto the course I'm on now.
    As SM said, foundation courses are always an option... or even an access course may suit you better.
    I did Music and Technology Training, which was an access course lasting one year. I did this at Estover Community College in Plymouth... (seeing that you're from Hatt!)... They also do the Foundation degree in Music Technology. They have fantastic facilities and the staff are great!

    Good luck in finding the right course(s) for you :)
  10. Dave Euph

    Dave Euph Member

    Huddersfield Uni is pretty good, especially for the Brass-Bander (although if it's exclusively brass-banding you're after go for Salford). Requirements aren't high, I got in on 3 Cs at A-Level - but I think they vary on experience, etc.
  11. greatcheese

    greatcheese Member

    I got into Huddersfield on one A Level (music) and a BTEC Nat Dip in Performing Arts. I never got grade 8 on my principle instrument and didn't need it to get in although I was required to get grade 3 on keyboard :shock: I think the interview/audition is the key for them to assess performance standard.

    I was personnally disappointed by the brass band module at Huddersfield. If that's what you want to do, I would try Salford. I've heard that Barnsley College do a decent course involving brass banding too (don't be put off by the disarray/shambles if you go for an audition there! They couldn't even find me a music stand that worked :lol: )
  12. Aidan

    Aidan Active Member

    salford isnt a band course either :p just a BA :)
    although it is very brass orientated :) and yes.. we get to study elvis and eric ball ;)
  13. Straightmute

    Straightmute Active Member

    ...but in the same class? That would be interesting and could possibly put a new gloss on Ball's SA work King of Kings.

    This morning I subjected my students to a lecture on David Bowie and Philip Glass...
  14. bassinthebathroom

    bassinthebathroom Active Member

  15. Dave Euph

    Dave Euph Member

    The advantage of being in Huddersfield for a brass bander is that you are at the centre of possibly the largest ring of top-brass bands in the country. The course may not be brass band orientated, but personally I'd rather have the variety than be totally focused on the brass band movement.
  16. music college

    For those wishing to "broaden" their horizons, the RNCM in Manchester has a VERY wide musical spectrum that encompasses symphony orchestra, chamber orchestra, new ensemble (modern music), 2 x brass bands, brass ensemble, symphonic wind orchestra, wind band and various chamber groups.
    Requirements are 2 A-level passes and (E or above) and a successful audition (you must be grade 8 or that standard for an audition).
    Students are required to submit one or two essays a term. Excellent tutors are at the RNCM including major brass personalities such as Roger Webster, David Thornton, Steven Mead, Owen Farr, Leslie Howie, James Gourlay, Chris Houlding, Ben Van Dijk, Murray Greig, John Miller, Brian Taylor, Andrew Berryman, Hakan Hardenberger, John Iveson, Roger Bobo, Patrick Sheridan, Jo Alessi, to name but a few!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    To top off that excellent list, you also have the opportunity to be conducted by awesome conductors such as Elgar Howarth, Mark Elder, James Gourlay, Nick Childs, Clark Rundell etc.............
    Black Dyke band is band in residence at the RNCM.
    For more information go to
    The RNCM don't provide a BA course anymore, just a BMus (hons).
  17. Pete Meechan

    Pete Meechan Member

    JWC - I hope that the Northern's promotions dept. have got you on the payroll after all of that!

    P.S. You forgot to mention the Big Band
  18. Funny.

    I have a B in English lit GCSE, have been playing french horn for a maximum of FOUR years, not taken any grades on it, and I'm doing very nicely at RWCMD.

    Requirements are actually 2xA level C or above (one being music).

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