music performance degree student performing at Splendour

FdA Music Performance

Key information

Delivered in partnership with Nottingham Trent University.

Duration:
2 years full-time for FdA

Upon successful completion of this course you will be qualified to study a BA Music top up course

Location:
Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies, Nottingham

UCAS course code:
W310

Institution code:
N91

Entry & admission criteria:

  • 64 UCAS tariff points (160 points in old UCAS tariff) from A-Levels, BTECs, or equivalent
  • A* – C in GCSE Maths and English, or equivalent

Fees & funding

Visit our fees & funding page for more information

Introduction

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.

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. This will enable you to develop your identity as a professional musician, whilst ensuring you gain a broad set of practical skills to aid your future career.

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

Confetti Institute for Creative Technologies in Nottingham works in partnership with the record label Denizen

Our campus

We’re developing our campus to make sure you’re studying in the best facilities with the latest industry-standard equipment – find out more about our campus developments – including a brand new home for music & events at the Contemporary Music Hub, the new TV & Film facilities at Space2 and our £9.1m Digital Media space – the Digital Media Hub.

Contemporary Music Hub

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.I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Connecting with Industry

Live projects will help you gain industry experience, make contacts and build your portfolio and CV. Our students are given opportunities to perform throughout the course, either at smaller venues, such as acoustic and open mic nights, or at major festivals, as Confetti is heavily involved with Nottingham’s biggest festival – Splendour.

As a Music Performance student, you will 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)

In addition, our students have the opportunity to perform in a monthly slot on Notts TV, which is broadcast on Sky 117, Virgin 159 and Freeview 7. Confetti’s Head of Talent Development also works closely with the course, linking students with opportunities across the local and regional music industry.

Facilities

  • Access to high-end recording facilities including Confetti’s flagship commercial studio; Electric Mayhem with vintage Neve VR60 analogue console, Pro Tools HD, Studer A827 24-track tape machine
  • Our own dedicated performance rehearsal spaces
  • Production facilities running Logic X, Ableton Live suite, Native Instrument Komplete and Sibelius
  • A range of modern and vintage equipment from manufacturers such as: Fender, Vox, Marshall, Roland, Yamaha, Korg, Gretsch, Mesa-Boogie, Electro-Harmonix
  • Access to a recording and development label (Denizen)
  • Links to promoters and venues around Nottingham and the UK

Teaching and Learning

Teaching and learning is 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 biggest artists on some of the world 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 will have direct access to the Confetti Media Group’s in-house record label and artists management company Denizen who will be on hand to offer help and guidance throughout your studies.

How to Apply

Applications for this course must be made through UCAS, for more information and to register and apply please visit the UCAS website.

Contact us

What you’ll study in year 1

Composition and Arrangement (40 Credit Points)

This module aims to develop your understanding of composition and music arrangement. You’ll be given grounding in music theory, arrangement techniques and composition, whilst developing hands-on skills in music production software. During this module you’ll study different approaches to composing. You’ll 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’ll develop technical competence in playing an instrument, through studying contemporary performance techniques, developing skills in sight reading, as well as listening skills and improvisation. You’ll 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. This module also deals with the various technical demands of the performing musician, including instrument maintenance. You’ll carry out research to inform your developing practical skills, giving you an appreciation of contemporary theories and techniques.

Recording Studio Practice (20 Credit Points)

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. You’ll 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)

During this module, you’ll develop knowledge and understanding of how changes in industry impact on consumer trends and working practices. In addition, the module focuses heavily on your development as an emerging professional, so there’ll be a strong emphasis on completing work for clients as part of your study. You’ll 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 employment in industry.

What you’ll study in year 2

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’ll continue to develop a technical mastery in your first instrument – performing individually and collaboratively to develop your stage craft and hone your skills as a performer. As well as a focus on traditional musicianship, you’ll also explore the integration of different technologies in performance. You’ll research the historical and contemporary use of technology in performance, and use this research to inform the integration of technology into your own work.

Composing Music for Visual Media (20 Credit Points)

This module focuses on composition for visual media. 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. You’ll 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 – through the study of a wide range of commercial compositional work and analysis of your own work.

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.

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.

See our students’ work

Check out the work of our talented Music graduates below and see the final year projects from our FdSc Audio & Music Technology, FdA Music Performance and BSc Audio & Music Technology (top up) students.