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Music: 'Students should be analytical about their music making'


What are the entry requirements for this course?

Usually between 160 and 240 Ucas points.

What sort of people apply?

Music programmes are designed for creative, energetic students who wish to develop their skills in performance and composition to a high level. The degree programmes on offer are for students who are passionate about music, who derive real pleasure and satisfaction through performance and composition with supporting theoretical and musicological courses. Subjects on offer include music, music education, commercial music and performing arts, all designed for students who wish to change the world through their music making.

What does the course involve?

There is a focus on the place of music in our society with emphasis upon performance and composition, underpinned by theoretical understanding. Music students are involved in extensive music-making on a daily basis and students are required to reflect critically and analytically on this.

In the first year of the music programme, students take performance as their principal study, taught through a combination of performance seminars and weekly individual lessons. In fact, students will find that public performance is a prominent feature of campus life, with students taking part in regular concerts and in a number of competitions and festivals.

Alongside this, students undertake courses in music history, tonal music and music in the 20th century. Following the successful completion of level one, students begin to specialise in their areas of particular interest. For example, music degree programmes often offer excellent opportunities to composers, with individual tuition, frequent concerts of student composers' works, and seminars led by visiting composers (including Paul Patterson and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies).

Students can choose from a range of options, both practical and theoretical; for example, church music, contemporary music, ensemble studies, music arts and health, chamber music, jazz and conducting and arranging. In the third year, students continue with their principal studies of performance or composition through writing and independent study, and further develop their specialisms through a range of both theoretical and practical options.

Students will also find that they can study music as a single-honours degree or in combination with a variety of subjects. Part-time routes are also available.

How will I be assessed?

Largely through coursework, including performance. At the end of each year, students will undertake both a practical and a theoretical examination.

How long does it last?

A full-time degree course is three years and a part-time takes six years.

Are there opportunities available for further study?

Students can go on to study a Masters degree and then a PhD.

What career options will I have when I've finished?

Those who complete their studies have the opportunity to go on and become a professional musician, either as solo performers or as part of a variety of professional ensembles, including quartets, big bands and symphony orchestras. Some of Canterbury Christ Church University's students have gone on to sing on stage at Covent Garden, work as the music director touring Phantom of the Opera or play alongside Jools Holland. Some have gone on to compose professionally, while others have entered into the teaching profession. Other destinations include arts management (chorus manager of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra) and media (BBC Radio 3 radio producer). Whatever you decide, you can join the revolution and change the world through a variety of musical encounters.

Claire Robinson is the media relations officer at Canterbury Christ Church University

Current student

Alex Rider, 19, is a first-year student studying music at Canterbury Christ Church University

"When I was young I was taken to see Fantasia and that made me start to fixate on playing the harp. I became really interested in the sound and it started me off on the road to what I'm doing now.

At first, I was interested in studying languages - I had studied French and German at A-level. However, I felt that if I didn't take music to the next level, I would never be able to share it with anybody. I felt that a music degree was the only way to keep up that level of intensity.

I'm interested in performance on the harp and would like to undertake a postgraduate qualification. If that doesn't work out, I am interested in research in the field of music."

Recent graduate

Christos Andreou, 25, is about to complete a Masters degree in music performance at Canterbury Christ Church University. He is studying the clarinet but also plays the piano

"I come from a musical family and started taking piano, guitar and clarinet lessons from the age of six. I went on to study music at degree level at Canterbury Christ Church because I wanted to establish a knowledge and obtain a qualification because ultimately I want to get a job in the field of music and be eligible to apply for orchestration as an arranger or performer.

My Masters involves analysing pieces by listening to them. Ultimately I enjoy everything about music, and my ambition is to be a part-time music teacher and performer as well as film composer, arranger and orchestrator."

WEB WATCH

Paul Patterson

News, programme notes and audio clips from the composer

www.paulpatterson.co.uk

This Day in Music

Gen up on your musical history and find out what was number one on your birthday!

www.thisdayinmusic.com

Jools Holland

All the info on BBC 2's piano man

www.joolsholland.com

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