BA (Hons) Music Education

Welcome to Music Education

If you share a passion for music and understand the transformative power of music education, then the BA Hons Music Education here at University Centre Colchester is the programme for you. We have a great team of lecturers who are all highly experienced in both creative music and creative music education. This course is for students looking to develop a musical career with a clear focus on teaching, and with our high levels of knowledge and skills, we can help you realise your career ambitions.

This is an exciting course that combines training in music and performance with current professional practice in music education. In addition to being a strong introduction to the vibrant UK music industry, the course is an ideal preparation for the part of a musician’s career that will involve the creativity and stability of teaching music at any level.

Course enquiries: 01206 712777
Ask a question
Course IntroductionModulesEntry RequirementsGraduate CareersAdditional

The BA (Hons) Music Education programme has a unique design that examines education in both the private and public sectors. Modules in 1-1 teaching, workshop skills and leadership are delivered alongside modules in classroom teaching, educational theory and practice. A foundation of core musical and creative skills is developed in the first two years of study, whilst in the third year of the programme students have the opportunity to follow their own musical or educational interests by realising a substantial project.

1-1 lessons instrumental/vocal lessons allow students to develop their performance skills whilst the experience gained through self-study of an unfamiliar instrument encourages a greater awareness of the needs of those new to musical study. Students participate in ensembles by playing, writing and conducting.

A range of musical styles are examined from the classical, world, jazz and pop traditions; this develops deeper analytical skills along with a broad musical outlook. Musical techniques are then applied creatively in composition and arranging. As students progress through the course they are required to observe and reflect on different approaches to music teaching. This prepares the ground for experience gained in a school placement and in the delivery of 1-1 lessons and a workshop.

A substantial negotiated project in year 3 allows students to pursue their own particular interests by undertaking an in-depth and detailed study.

The course operates on a modular basis that provides flexibility and choice. Most modules count for 15 academic credits, with each credit taken equating to a total study time of around 10 hours, which includes scheduled teaching, independent study and assessment activity.

Full-time students take modules worth 60 credits per semester, with part-time students taking proportionately fewer credits per semester. A total of 120 credits per level and 360 credits are needed for an honours degree as a whole. Overall grades for the course and degree classification are based on the marks obtained for modules taken at levels 5 and 6.

Each module is worth a specified number of credits: you take a combination of compulsory and optional modules, enabling you to cover key subject knowledge while developing your own interests. The number of optional modules you can take depends on the number of core modules at a given level. Our teaching is informed by research, professional practice and industry engagement and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline.

Year One (Level 4) Year Two (Level 5) Year Three (Level 6) Single Modules

96 UCAS points* (normally 2 or more A Levels including Music or Music Technology, or BTEC Extended Diploma in Music). An appropriate level of practical instrumental or vocal performance skill. (It is not a prerequisite for entry to have passed a graded examination in instrumental or vocal performance but a standard equivalent to grade seven will be expected).
A satisfactory enhanced DBS check will be required for the second year of the course.
*2017-18 UCAS Tariff

International applicants

If English is not your first language you will need an IELTS score of 6.0, with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component (Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking), or an equivalent English Language qualification.

Additional requirements:

  • You must provide evidence of having been in general education for at least 10 years and of having studied within the last five years
  • a face-to-face interview is required before an offer is made.

What our Graduates do

Graduates can develop self-employment opportunities in music education that include 1-1 instrumental/vocal tuition, workshop delivery and leadership. Graduates may also progress to postgraduate study at MA level and higher, or to a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) for those wishing to pursue a career in classroom teaching.

Timetables: Timetables are normally available one month before registration. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week.

Teaching and Learning: You are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and practical’s. Seminars enable smaller group discussions to develop understanding of topics covered in lectures. You will use and have access to industry-standard software and facilities throughout your course.

When not attending lectures, seminars and laboratory or other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, learning zone or technical learning resources, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations

Assessment: The course provides you with opportunities to test your understanding of the subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. Each module normally contains at least one piece of practice or ‘formative’ assessment for which you receive feedback from your tutor. Practice assessments are developmental and any grades you receive for them do not count towards your module mark.

There is a formal or ‘summative’ assessment at the end of each module. Assessment methods include written examinations and a range of coursework assessments such as essays, reports, portfolios, performance, presentations and your final year major project. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.

 Feedback: You will receive feedback on all practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor.

Apply Full-time
Apply Part-time
BA (Hons) Music Education - Full-time
LevelLevel 6
LocationColchester
Duration3 Years
UCAS Code4A58
Academic Year2018-2019
Study ModeFull-Time
CampusUniversity Centre Colchester
Start DateSeptember 2018
Fee(s)2018-19: £9,250 per year
BA (Hons) Music Education - Part-time
LevelLevel 6
LocationColchester
Duration6 Years
Course CodeZE2BAMEP01
Academic Year2018-2019
Study ModePart-Time
CampusUniversity Centre Colchester
Start DateSeptember 2018
Fee(s)2018-19: £4,625 per year
Year One (Level 4)

PERFORMANCE STUDIES 1 (30 Credits)

What’s it about?

You will be developing your practical musical skills in performance, improvisation and accompaniment. You will also independently undertake a second instrumental or vocal study.

What do I learn?

Through a combination of instrumental / vocal lessons, performance workshops and ensemble activities, you will develop a secure base of technique and artistry in support of musical performance. You will also receive expert guidance in improvisation and accompaniment. By working on a second study instrument or voice, you will also learn how to develop an independent and self-motivated approach to practising and personal musical development.

What’s the assignment?

The above skills are assessed in a 20-minute performance, a short exam on improvisation and accompaniment skills (10 minutes), and in a 15-minute presentation of your development in your chosen second study.

To see the module description, please click here.

ARRANGING AND CONDUCTING (15 Credits)

What’s it about?

You will plan a musical work for a small group of musicians and then learn the techniques of conducting needed to rehearse and direct an ensemble.

What do I learn?

You will learn how to arrange music for different ensembles of instruments, including effective writing for a range of instruments. You will also learn how to conduct, including stick technique and the planning and effective management of a rehearsal.

What’s the assignment?

  1. One arrangement for ensemble of either a piano piece, a jazz/pop ‘lead-sheet’, an orchestral score or an unaccompanied folk song (50%).
  2. The conducting of a 12-minute ensemble rehearsal, in which you direct one of two set pieces nominated by the examiner (50%).

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Year Two (Level 5)

MUSIC TEACHING IN PRACTICE (30 Credits)

What’s it about?

This is a lively, practical-based module and is all about putting theory into practice, following on from the Principles of Learning and Teaching module.

What do I learn?

You will be creating and delivering your own practical activities in workshop settings. This could be aimed at students in primary, secondary, or in informal learning contexts. Observations will enable you to acquire skills in using an appropriate language with learners and in managing activities.

What’s the assignment?

There are two pieces to submit. One is a Personal Development Plan (equivalent to 2,000 words) arising from your work as a music educator, the other a report (4,000 words) which includes an essay.

To see the module description, please click here.

CREATIVE MUSIC TECHNIQUES (30 Credits)

What’s it about?

This module explores one of the most effective methods of developing new skills in composition: by first understanding how other composers have created works in the past, and by later applying those techniques yourself.

What do I learn?

You will learn how to better express your creative compositional ideas through an improved understanding of how musicians compose, and then through the development of new techniques that you will be using in your own creative work.

What’s the assignment?

The module is assessed in two parts: 1) a listening diary showing musical research and analysis plus two short compositional sketches 2) two contrasting compositions to a given brief (6-8 minutes in total).

To see the module description, please click here.

PERFORMANCE STUDIES 2 (30 Credits)

What’s it about?

Building on the Performance Studies 1 module, you will be developing your practical musical skills in performance, improvisation, and accompaniment. You will also independently undertake a second instrumental or vocal study, either as a follow on from your work in Performance Studies 1, or by starting a completely new instrument.

What do I learn?

Through a combination of instrumental / vocal lessons, performance workshops, and ensemble activities, you will develop an enhanced technique and musicianship in support of musical performance. You will continue to receive expert guidance in improvisation and accompaniment. By continuing to work on a second study instrument or voice, you will also learn how to refine an independent and self-motivated approach to practising and personal musical development.

What’s the assignment?

The above skills are assessed in a 20-minute performance, a short exam on improvisation and accompaniment skills (10 minutes), and in a 15-minute presentation of your development in your chosen second study.

To see the module description, please click here.

Year Three (Level 6)

CAREERS IN MUSIC (15 Credits)

What’s it about?

You will research different careers in music, before deciding on your own career specialism either within music education or in music more generally. Lectures include a wide range of specialisms, with contributions from visiting lecturers who are experts in their field.

What do I learn?

You will learn strategies to help you evaluate your own career skills, how to research your own specialist career path, and how to develop a career development plan.

What’s the assignment?

This module is assessed by a 3,000-word portfolio.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

MUSIC AND ASSESSMENT (15 Credits)

What’s it about?

You will investigate different styles of musical assessment – formal and informal – in both one-to-one and group situations. You will devise assessments of your own, trialling them and presenting your findings.

What do I learn?

You will look at the difference between formative (ongoing) and summative (final) assessments in various educational contexts.  There is scope for linking this module with the Curriculum Design and Planning module and with the Education Placement module, for instance by using groups in your Placement school to trial your own assessments, if desired.

What’s the assignment?

Having tested your ideas for assessment, you will prepare a 20-minute presentation to explain your findings.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

PROJECT REALISATION (30 Credits) 

What’s it about?

This module provides the opportunity to undertake a detailed study of an aspect of music or music education that you are especially interested in. In essence it is a research module but the work does not have to be all academic as the flexibility of the module also allows for practical work such as performance.

What do I learn?

You will learn how to put together a project or research proposal and how to plan and manage independent study and research.

What’s the assignment?

You will have to provide a proposal (1,000 words) but the main output can be in written form (4,000 words), or as a presentation, illustrated lecture, pre-recorded video, or lecture recital (30 minutes). Once the project is complete, you will reflect on the whole process in a 15-minute oral exam.

To see the module description, please click here.

PERFORMANCE PROJECT (Optional) (15 CREDITS)

What’s it about?

Today’s performers need to be multi-skilled practitioners. You’ll be planning, delivering and promoting your own performance. The module is about gaining a range of important skills to help you promote your creative work.

What do I learn?

Lots of specific and transferable skills. These include project management, preparing your performance, promotion and analysis.

What’s the assignment?

You will be submitting a DVD of your performance, complete with a critical evaluation (1,500 words).

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

EDUCATION PLACEMENT (Optional(15 CREDITS)

What’s it about?

Following on from the Curriculum Design and Planning module, you will head off to a classroom and work with students.

What do I learn?

You will have planned lessons and mapped out activities, but assisting and observing groups of learners will give you first-hand experience of how people learn, and how you can adapt your teaching to meet the needs of students. It’s all about focus, flexibility and team work.

What’s the assignment?

You will be writing up your experiences in a 3,000-word reflective report/portfolio.

Want to know more?

To see the module description, please click here.

Single Modules

The modular structure of the BA (Hons) in Music Education makes it possible to take some individual modules without having to enrol for the full degree programme. A range of modules is available including Performance Studies, Rhythm Workshop, Principles of Teaching and Learning, Creative Music Techniques and Music Leadership. A full list of modules available at levels 4, 5 and 6 can be found below.

Class tuition from staff teaching on the degree course is complemented by personal study.

Entry Requirements
Dependent on previous experience.
Duration
Single Modules will take either 14 or 28 weeks to complete
Attendance
Various. Generally 2-3 hours per week, over 1 and/or 2 semesters
How to apply
Part-time applications are made direct to University Centre Colchester at Colchester Institute.
Open events
Places to live
About finances
Academic calendar
Prospectus request
View School of Music

Disclaimer

All Fees and prices shown on the website are for courses starting in the 2017-18 academic year and correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes. Fees for courses starting in the 2018-19 academic year will be added to the website from June 2018.

The course information describes programmes offered by Colchester Institute. The College takes all reasonable steps to provide courses as described, but cannot guarantee provision. The information is for guidance and does not form any part of a contract.

The College reserves the right to update and amend information as and when necessary. Colchester Institute will do its best to provide the courses shown, but may have to modify or withdraw a course depending on customer demand and other factors.