National Award in Music (Performing)
The course is designed to enable you to:
Develop skills and gain confidence in performing in a wide range of musical styles, using a range of sources including recordings and notation
Develop specific skills in rehearsing, arranging and preparing for performances, and in performing effectively to an audience
Develop aural perception skills; recognising and commenting on the use of pitch, rhythm, harmony and tonality.
The course suits those who have some instrument and/or vocal skills, are interested in working as a musician in a range of styles and enjoy working with others to create performances. This course is taken over 2 years, is equivalent to 1 A level and is all coursework based.
The BTEC National Award is made up of 6 units studied over two years.
The units are; Music Performance Session Styles, Music Performance Techniques, Aural Perception Skills, Planning a Music Project, Major Music Project and Working and Developing as a Musical Ensemble
For the practical units you will often be given projects which will lead to a Gig. The size of your band or ensemble, and the type of material you will be playing will vary greatly – it is an aim of the course to introduce you to a wide variety of music and performance experiences.
You will get the chance to develop a variety of practical skills including; working from some form of notation; learning to run rehearsals and develop arrangements; working under the direction of other students; developing second instrument skills or some singing. Each of these different skills is assessed separately, and in order to achieve a good grade you need to show strengths across a wide range of activities.
You will perform at several events across the two years, both in college and at venues in the local area. For some of these events you will have additional responsibilities such as setting up, marketing, ticket sales, introducing performers etc.
Aural Skills will develop through practical work, but this will be supplemented with classroom sessions developing your ability to recognise and describe the use of pitch, rhythm, chords and chord progressions, and tonality through exercises and listening to music from a variety of styles.
Students who successfully complete the National Award in music can go on to higher education courses in a variety of subjects including;
Popular Music and Music Technology
Popular Music and Music Management
Students may well start working as musicians on a freelance basis very soon after the end of the course. This could include performing, private tuition, promoting concerts or songwriting.