music colleges

music colleges
   Courses available at British music colleges generally include the more traditional performance-based conservatoire training which centres on the music of the Western European classical tradition, side by side with newer style courses covering disciplines as diverse as jazz, music therapy, early music, music technology and education.
   Music colleges generally offer first degree/diploma courses of two kinds, either a more performance based course or a more academic Graduate or BA/BMus course. Skills typically covered include tuition in the student’s principal instrument or voice, study of western European classical forms, harmony, orchestration, keyboard skills and ensemble playing. Entrance qualifications for undergraduates generally include a minimum performance standard of Grade 8, usually to be demonstrated in an audition, in addition to possible keyboard, aural and academic requirements. Music undergraduates are subject to the usual DFE funding arrangements, though funding for postgraduate courses can be hard to find: students are often obliged to make many approaches to charitable trusts though the colleges themselves can sometimes offer assistance from special trust funds. It is usually necessary for music students to work their way through college as they are obliged to provide themselves with instruments of sufficient quality to maintain a high performance standard, which often includes subsequent auditions for professional engagements.
   There is an increasing awareness of the need for students to emerge from music training with the flexibility to move in new directions as the scope of professions in music expands. Consequently, music students are more often being encouraged to explore musical skills additional to that of their principal discipline, and to move away from European classical styles. An example of this more adventurous approach is the performance and communication skills course run by the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, both as a one-year postgraduate course and as a part of undergraduate training. Areas covered by this course include composition, theatre, workshop and presentation skills, t’ai chi and improvisation. A similar approach of artistic cross-fertilization is evident in the courses offered by the new Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, which are aimed at contemporary performance styles.
   Most music colleges offer facilities for external students including examinations, part-time courses and summer schools which cover subjects from early music to jazz and rock. Many colleges also run junior departments aimed at school age musicians, providing tuition and opportunities for ensemble playing.
   Further reading
    Rich, F. (ed.) Music Education Yearbook, London: Rhinegold, published annually.
   ANDREA MARTIN

Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture . . 2014.

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