FdA

Music Performance

student performing at Confetti Live
  • UCAS code(s): W310
  • Level(s) of study: Undergraduate
  • Study mode(s): Full-time
  • Location: CCT
  • Starting: September 2019
  • Course duration: 2 year(s)
  • Entry requirements: More information

FIND US ON

Study our FdA in Music Performance and you’ll be equipped with a broad set of practical skills, while being given the opportunity to focus on your personal development as a professional musician. At key points during the course you’ll also have direct access to Confetti’s sister company - record label, Denizen - for advice and guidance.

This course is taught at Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies in Nottingham.

A key feature of the course is an individualised approach to your studies, allowing you to develop technical mastery of your first instrument whilst also broadening your understanding of other subject areas and ways of thinking about music, performance and composition.

Key features

  • This course is designed to meet the demands of industry.
  • Course activities are both independently led and collaborative, directly mimicking working practices in the industry.
  • Core areas of study include; stage craft, music theory, composition and arrangement techniques, audio and MIDI sequencing, studio sound recording, editing, composing and performing with technology, musicology and event management.
  • Have access to Confetti’s annual Industry Week - previous guests include Professor Green and Casetteboy.
  • Undertake an industry-focused module in each year of the course.
  • Benefit from bespoke guest lectures and workshops delivered by visiting industry professionals.
Video Icon
Degree Showcase Showreel - 2017
A showreel of work from our undergraduate degree-level students exhibiting at 2017’s showcase

What you'll study

Our Music Performance degree is tailored to your musical goals allowing you to develop technical mastery of your first instrument whilst also broadening your understanding of other subject areas and ways of thinking about songwriting, composition, performance and music management.

  • Year One

    Composition and Arrangement (40 credit points)

    This module aims to develop your understanding of composition and arrangement through the study of the theoretical and practical aspects of music. You will be given grounding in music theory, arranging techniques and composition, while developing hands-on skills in music production software. The latter will provide you with additional options or may form the backbone for the work you do within the areas of composing and arranging.

    During this module you will study different approaches to composing. You will work both individually and collaboratively on projects that show a developing understanding of music genre and create a body of work that demonstrates your developing practice as a composer, arranger and producer.

    Performance Techniques (40 credit points)

    This module aims to develop your performance techniques, focusing on several key areas. You will develop technical competence in playing an instrument, through studying contemporary performance techniques, developing skills in sight reading, listening skills and improvisation. You will develop your skills as a performer in solo and group contexts, considering the communicative nature of musical performance, your relationship with the audience and exploring the performance environment.

    The module also deals with the various technical demands of the performing musician, including instrument maintenance and the ‘tool kit’ required by a performing musician. You will carry out research to inform your developing practical skills, giving you an appreciation of contemporary theories and techniques.

    Recording Studio Practice (20 credit points)

    The role of the modern musician requires an understanding of the technological aspects of recording and producing music. Advancements in technology mean that more and more musicians are recording their own music and ‘self-producing’. In addition to this, the ability of musicians to effectively communicate thoughts and ideas about their work with sound engineers and producers can be an invaluable asset. Consequently, this module aims to develop your understanding of sound recording practices to aid you in your future career as a professional musician.

    A large emphasis of the module is on practical recording techniques. You will also study the historical development of recording technology and its impact on musical styles, as well as the wider influence on society and culture.

    The Music Industry (20 credit points)

    This module aims to equip you with knowledge and understanding of how changes in the industry impact on consumer trends and working practices. In addition, the module focuses heavily on your development as an emerging professional.

    Consequently, there is a strong emphasis on you completing work for client(s) as part of your study in the module. You will be required to carry out independent study into current industry trends, examining and evaluating how changes in technology have affected the creation and consumption of music and audio content.

    You will also be introduced to the pressures of working for clients through the completion of a live client brief. The aim is for you to acquire practical experience of the skills and attributes needed for work and employment in industry.

  • Final year

    Music, Technology & Performance (60 credit points)

    This module aims to further develop your performance techniques, enhancing your technical skills whilst broadening your contextual understanding of musical performance. You will continue to develop a technical mastery in your first instrument through timetabled and self-directed rehearsal and performance schedules. Throughout this module you will demonstrate your ability to perform individually and collaboratively, continuing to develop and working on your technique in both settings in order to develop your stage craft and hone your skills as a performer.

    As well as a focus on traditional musicianship and solo / ensemble performance, you will also be exploring the integration of different technologies in performance. You will research the historical and contemporary use of technology in performance, and use this research to inform the integration of technology into your own work. You will investigate pioneering individuals in the integration of technology in performance, and acquire the technical know-how required to implement these technologies.

    Composing Music for Visual Media (20 credit points)

    This module follows on from your first year studies in composition and arrangement, this time focusing on composition for visual media. This subject area brings with it distinct challenges for a music composer. A composer for visual media must be able to work collaboratively, taking direction from others in the development of their work. It is also important to understand the emotive impact music can have and how to write music that enhances the viewing experience. Therefore, you will explore the application of compositional tools for specific themes such as horror, romance, drama, sadness, suspense and comedy.

    There is a strong emphasis on critical thinking and reflection in this module through the study of a wide range of commercial compositional work, together with an analysis of your own work in this context.

    Contextual Studies in Music (20 credit points)

    Music plays an integral part of everyday life across a diverse range of cultures and societies. In many ways, music provides the touchstones of human experience. Music can transcend language and cultural barriers. It can have an effect on individual and social identity, politics, fashion and technology. This module encourages you to examine the historical significance of music and its impact on global cultures and societies. You will also study the fundamental aspects of the psychology of music and its effect on the human brain in terms of emotive response to music and sound.

    There is a strong emphasis on research throughout this module and you will be required to spend time carrying out independent research activities to widen your understanding of the subject area. There will also be practical aspects of the module with guest workshops and lectures from industry professionals.

    Industry Practice (20 credit points)

    During this module you will undertake appropriate self-directed projects, working collaboratively on creative work, allowing you to directly apply the knowledge and skills learnt throughout the programme in the context of the workplace. This module aims to develop your overall professionalism and provide you with the knowledge and resources to begin a career in the creative industries. The nature of creative industries is increasingly defined by freelance and self-employed models of work. Consequently, individuals seeking work in industry need to appreciate the pressures of working on multiple projects to strict deadlines and the subsequent demands this place on time and resources.

    Similarly, an understanding of professional practice and the legal and economic imperatives in industry is important, as is effective communication, self-efficacy and autonomy.

    This module aims to develop these skills and knowledge by challenging you to develop a range of self-directed projects.

You'll gain professional, creative, intellectual and technical skills you will need to work successfully within the international audio and music industry whilst offering a broad range of work-based learning opportunities

How you’re taught

At Confetti our classrooms are unique. As part of their course, our students get the chance to go out into industry and Do It For Real at locations across the UK! Check out our interactive map to see how our classrooms are different and to get a taste of the kind of experiences you could take part in whilst studying at Confetti.

Teaching and learning are designed around developing your practical and technical skills, whilst also enhancing your critical and analytical thinking. Classes are a mixture of rehearsals, live performances, workshops, seminars and tutorials. During these sessions you will develop your expertise, working alongside Confetti’s expert tutors who are active professional musicians who have performed with some of the world’s biggest artists on some of the world’s biggest stages, such as Glastonbury.

The course will involve a number of performances at a wide range of events, at both local and nationally recognised venues, such as Splendour. In some modules you’ll work on ‘live’ projects, where you’ll be required to complete work for industry clients, giving you the opportunity to demonstrate your developing professionalism and build a portfolio of work that will support your future career.

Guest lectures from professional musicians, promoters and producers will also help enhance your knowledge and experience of the music industry. In addition, you’ll have direct access to the Confetti Media Group’s in-house record label and artists management company Denizen who will offer help and guidance throughout your studies.

Assessment

Assessment is 100% through coursework. You will receive feedback throughout.

Forms of assessment include:

  • practical tests
  • written research
  • technical papers
  • presentations
  • independently led coursework
  • projects.

To progress through the course you must achieve 120 credit points each year. Your final degree mark will be based 100% on your final year work.

Industry Week

As a Music Performance student, you’ll also take part in Confetti’s Industry Week, where you’ll meet a range of professionals within your field of interest, as well as other areas of the creative industries. Previous guests include:

  • Michael Eavis
  • Professor Green
  • DJ Yoda
  • Mandy Parnell (Bjork, Aphex Twin, The White Stripes)
  • Jon Kelly (Paul McCartney, Kate Bush)
  • Goetz Botzenhardt (Bjork, Sugababes, Faithless, Dido, Pet Shop Boys)
  • George Shilling (Oasis, Primal Scream, James Brown)
  • Aziz Ibrahim (The Stone Roses)
  • Andy James
  • Eleanor Goodman (Metal Hammer Magazine)

Degree Show

In your final year you will exhibit your work as part of Confetti's Degree Show. This event includes all final year students across Confetti's courses and is a great platform for you to showcase your work to key influencers across the creative industries.

Assessment methods

  • Year 1 coursework (100%).
  • Year 2 coursework (100%).

Contact hours

A full-time student on average can expect to spend 1200 hours a year learning which will typically be broken down as follows:

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (35%), independent study (65%).
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (28%), independent study (72%).

This foundation degree is focused on providing you with a range of live performance experiences, so you’ll spend plenty of time on stage, working with our Technical Events students to put on performances, both on a local and regional level.

Careers and employability

Upon completion, you’ll have the option to progress to top up your degree at Confetti and gain a full qualification.

The music industry offers a broad range of career prospects for graduates. Students studying the FdA Music Performance will study subject areas that will help prepare them for the diverse nature of the industry.

You will also study the wider context of their industry, investigating working practices, legal frameworks, business models and career opportunities. In addition, the course also aims to develop your cognition, autonomy and research skills, enabling you to continue in further academic study at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Work placement and internship opportunities

You will increasingly be faced with freelance and self-employed models of work upon graduation. Consequently, the course aims to equip you with appropriate skills for this type of workplace through ‘live’ client-led briefs with local and national industry partners, which will help you build a varied and distinctive portfolio of work throughout your studies.

Additionally, there is a strong emphasis on close interaction with industry in the form of lectures, workshops and seminars from industry professionals throughout the two years of study.

The Denizen artist management company also works with our students to nurture talent and facilitate development

Our new home for music and live events will focus on music production and performance, and live technical events education. The 38,500 sq. ft. complex, designed by U.K. firm White Mark, features music studios, rehearsal rooms, editing suites, social spaces and an auditorium.

Entry requirements

What are we looking for?

You will need one of the following options:

  • A-levels - DDE
  • BTEC Extended Diploma - MPP
  • 64 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications.

You will also need:

  • two GCSEs including Maths and English grade C.

We will accept a BTEC Extended Diploma as equivalent to three qualifications. We will accept an Art and Design Foundation Diploma as equivalent to two qualifications.

This course is not suitable for tier 4 visa applicants.

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please contact our International Team for advice.

How to apply

Application for this course is through the UCAS application form.

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Selection for this course takes place through UCAS application form.

Application deadline

This course starts in September and applications should be submitted by the UCAS deadline, 15 January.

Applications received after this date will only be considered if places are still available, after all applications received by the deadline have been assessed.

Mature students

We welcome applications from mature students (over the age of 21) for this course. We will assess applicants of this nature on an individual basis.

If you are a mature student, you will still need to apply to us by UCAS form, but you don't necessarily need to meet our minimum entry requirements.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember, we can only make a decision based on what you tell us. So include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades,

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It's your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You've got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you're applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Keeping up to date

After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process - so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page.

Getting in touch

If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

This course is not suitable for tier 4 visa applicants.

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

English language entry requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to show us that your language skills are strong enough for intensive academic study. We usually ask for an IELTS test and we accept some alternative English language tests.

Help and support

If you have any questions about your qualifications or about making an application to the University please contact our International Team for advice.

Please read our notes on the University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Further information on how to apply

Need help with your application?
For admissions related enquiries please contact us:
Telephone: +44 (0)115 848 4200

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there's no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

You might be able to get a scholarship to help fund your studies. We award scholarships to those international students who can demonstrate excellent achievement, passion and dedication to their studies.

Please take a look at our International students page for information about fees, scholarships for international students, visas and much more.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

While we aim to keep any extra study costs to a minimum, please see our page on additional costs and optional extras to find out about any additional expenses you may incur on your course.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418