Prepare yourself for a career as a community music leader.*
- Expand your career opportunities by training in this exciting and growing area of musical expertise.
- Develop a deep understanding of community music theories, from non-formal learning to reflective practice.
- Collaborate with professional music leaders during exciting placements on this practical course.
*New for 2018 entry, this course is subject to final approval.
Community Music is an exciting new pathway building on a number of years of successful musical engagement between our students, our music organisations and groups in the community.
You'll develop as a practising musician into a confident music leader through improvisation, creative workshops and placements.
The course explores the diverse sector of community music in non-formal settings including community singing, the justice system, early years, the disadvantaged and those with special educational needs. You'll develop a sense of where community music sits in relation to professional music leading, teaching and music therapy.
'Before this year I had not considered the social power of music, but this module has made it clear that it can be used as a tool for empowerment, communication and inspiration.'
Emma Davies, Music graduate
What you'll learn
You'll learn the skills you need to become a professional community music leader. You'll understand the importance of reflective practice, together with the ideologies of inclusive and accessible music making in a non-formal setting.
You'll study approaches from music psychology and music therapy that support community music practice, and design and create a community music project. You'll identify the aims and outcomes, understand the importance of partnerships, and learn to evaluate and budget accordingly.
You'll understand the community music "marketplace" in terms of the competitive process of obtaining funding for your projects.
The first year provides a grounding in all aspects of music. One-to-one lessons in performance focus on instrumental/vocal technique, and you'll also benefit from workshops in rhythm and improvisation, jazz, classical theory and harmony classes, and aural analysis. You'll study composition - notation, arranging, free composition and music technology, and musicology - history, style and context. You'll also benefit from a study of the music of other cultures in our Global Music module.
The second year introduces you to the world of community music across a range of situations, age groups and abilities. You'll study Music Psychology, gaining an overview of recent research on the subject, and Performance - one-to-one lessons, solo and group performance workshops.
Optional modules include: Jazz Studies (focusing on critical listening, transcription and arranging), Composition, and Music Research, where you'll focus on music in its cultural contexts and undertake fieldwork in the area of community practice. There's the option to take a work placement related to community music, enhancing your industry awareness and employability. You'll also be given the opportunity to study abroad in the first semester.
Next, you'll advance your skills working in a real community music environment through the Professional Music Leader module together with Music Psychology (applied and experimental) where you'll run an experimental project related to community music environments and/or music therapy. Independent Study will comprise a creative/practical research project or a dissertation in community music.
In Performance, you'll learn in advanced solo and group performance workshops, plus public performances. In Jazz Studies (optional) you'll investigate issues in jazz and jazz performance, as well as undertaking independent jazz research in your chosen area. In Composition (optional), you'll undertake project-based composition for ensembles.
How will I be assessed?
Your practical assessment takes place through contribution to improvised creative workshops, leading to a performance. Written and practical assessments through placements in the field will form your coursework.
How will I be taught?
You'll be taught in collaborative lectures, seminars and workshop sessions guided by tutors and peers, and observed practical sessions in the field.
Work placements, industry links and internships
Our students have worked with clients including Bath Festivals, Royal United Hospital Bath, BANES Music Hub, Wiltshire Rural Music School, Bath Philharmonia and many more regional organisations.
Many of our students have continued to build portfolio careers (including community music projects) together with performing and teaching careers. A number have successfully started their own projects in the region, attracting both local and national funding.
'Since graduating, I now teach the clarinet to children living in deprived areas of Bristol and support singing sessions for Alzheimer's patients.'
Emma Davies, Music graduate
Facilities and resources
Where the subject is taught
Community Music is taught at Newton Park's Michael Tippett Centre, which has numerous ensemble rehearsal spaces, a concert hall and practice rooms.
You'll have access to a range of excellent facilities, including: