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Student Spotlight

“It was actually through the songwriting class at Riverside that I realised I had a knack for lyrics” - Rianne Downey, RMC Graduate. Click to check out Rianne's RMTV session filmed right here on campus!

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Why study at Riverside Music College?

On completion of our 2 year Music Performance course our students leave, not only with an HND qualification, but also a high quality portfolio, preparing them for working in a number of industry vocations and gaining a unique insight into modern professional practices.

Overview

Our HND framework prepares candidates with the necessary knowledge and practical experiences to pursue a career in the music industry, with opportunities to specialise in particular areas of interest and develop a focused and relevant skill set enabling them to operate as confident industry professionals.

Some examples of career paths our students can focus on include:

  • Live Musician (Performing Artist)
  • Recording Artist (Studio Musician, Recording Contracts)
  • Media Composer (Music for TV, Cinematic Production & Games)
  • Songwriter/Composer (Publishing and Synchronisation Opportunities)

Our students and staff are held in high regard by Universities and employers alike and we always aim to deliver the best possible and most relevant learning experience, utilising our state of the art equipment and facilities.

 Our 2 year HND Music Performance courses with articulation to years 3 and 4 of BA Popular Music are designed to give our students real-world experiences and develop the necessary skills to pursue a career in their chosen career pathway.

The Composition, Songwriting and Production course focuses on developing writing and compositional skills as well as expanding your knowledge and experience of software and various recording practices and techniques for commercial releases and promotion.

You will learn about copyright, management, publishing, synchronisation opportunities, recording and live performance contracts and gain knowledge and understanding of collection agencies such as PRS, MCPS, and PPL, who can provide important income streams, allowing you to plan and manage your career.

Every element of the course has been carefully designed in line with industry relatable practices and activities. The unique learning environment as well as access to industry seminars and workshops held at Riverside Music College allow our students to interact and network with industry practitioners, gaining a valuable insight into potential future careers.

During your studies you will undertake hands-on learning in our high-tech facilities and have direct access to cutting-edge pre-production/ rehearsal facilities, the latest industry standard equipment and software and commercially successful recording studios.

Our world-class industry lecturing team with vast experience and knowledge of creative processes will offer direction and support making it the perfect course for applicants who are looking to build a successful career. You will also benefit from insight into their experiences and work ethic, helping you to contextualise your learning activities.

Our courses offer applicants opportunities to develop real and tangible high quality professional portfolios, making this course an exciting route to the music industry.

Through the core modules and the course option you have chosen, you can begin working towards a successful and sustainable industry career.

At Riverside Music College, you Choose Your Own Path! The course option you choose will help you to focus your studies and create the career pathway that’s right for you.

Curriculum

HND Year 1 - Course Content

Music Business for Musicians (1 Credit) J01H 34

This unit is designed to give learners the knowledge and skills to recognise the role and function of copyright, contracts and relevant income streams available to musicians and provide an opportunity to prepare for employment. The unit will provide a broad overview of copyright and contracts found in the music industry, as well as the role and function of a number of relevant collection societies. The learners will also gain insight into professional development through the exploration of employment opportunities.

Music First Study: Composition (3 Credits) J01K 34

This unit is designed to provide the learner with the skills to become technically proficient on their chosen instrument. The unit is aimed at learners who wish to develop on their first study instrument. The unit will develop technical ability through a range of relevant exercises and then through the performance of a range of pieces.

Graded Unit 1 (1 Credit) J0J4 34

This graded unit is designed to provide evidence that the learner has achieved the following principal aims of HNC in Music.

  • an ability to develop underpinning knowledge in music

  • an ability to analyse and synthesise knowledge and skills acquired through study

  • an ability to develop study, organisational and research skills

  • an ability to develop skills in musicality, expression and creativity in performance and stagecraft and/or composition and promote sensitivity in musical presentation

  • an ability to integrate musical skills in a practical or business application

  • an ability to develop competencies in a range of specialised areas in line with preferred career aims

  • to enable progression to further study in music or a related discipline

  • an ability to develop personal skills and follow music industry protocol

    Learners will plan and produce a portfolio of work that could be used to showcase their ability in, for example, a job application or interview situation for either employment or further study. They will also evaluate their effectiveness when planning and producing the portfolio.

Music: Live Performance (2 Credits) J01M 34

This unit is designed to give learners an understanding of the practical aspects of working with other musicians to rehearse and stage a live performance. Learners will develop and evaluate the skills necessary for successful live performance in a professional environment. Learners will undertake a series of rehearsals before performing a set live.

Music Theory (1 Credit) J01L 34

 

This unit is designed to give learners an understanding of the fundamental aspects of music theory and notation. Learners will explore note values, note pitch, key signatures, intervals, time signatures, selected scales, chords and chord progressions. Learners will develop skills in notating key signatures, scales, chords and rhythm. This unit is aimed at learners who wish to develop an understanding of the fundamental aspects of music theory and notation.

Music: Songwriting (1 Credit) J0MN 34

This unit is designed to enable the learner to develop the skills required by a songwriter. This will be achieved through listening and researching the work of existing songwriters or songwriter teams. Learners will examine the work of existing songwriters to gain an understanding of the techniques and key features of their work. Learners will then develop their own songwriting skills through undertaking the process of songwriting using techniques that they have researched.

Music: Improvisation (1 Credit) J475 35

This unit is designed to develop learners’ knowledge and skills in improvisation. Learners will develop their knowledge through analysing existing improvisations. Learners will then apply this knowledge in the performance of improvisations in two contrasting styles. The unit will be suitable for any learners wishing to develop skills in improvisation and is relevant for those working in a range of genres. As a key musical technique, improvisation can enhance the skillset of anyone wishing to pursue a career or undertake further study within music performance and composition.

Music for the Visual Arts (1 Credit) J0MS 35

This unit is designed to provide learners with the skills to compose music for the visual arts. This will be achieved by learners creating a composition in response to a chosen piece of visual art and then, to critically evaluate their own work. The unit is aimed at learners who wish to develop a high level of competence in creating music for various visual arts including: moving image, electronic games, still images, sculpture, dance and theatre.

Digital Audio Workstations (2 Credits) J019 34

This unit is designed to give learners an understanding of recording and manipulating audio and MIDI signals for sound production using digital audio workstations. It is designed to give learners the underpinning knowledge and skills required to use the main functions of a digital audio workstation and to take a sound production project to a conclusion by creating an edited pre-production master incorporating critical listening.

Creative Project (2 Credits) DM0W 34

This Unit is designed to enable candidates to develop expertise in the generation, development, completion and presentation of a project to a given brief, for an elected vocational area of the Creative Industries. This project should act as a ‘showcase’ to display skills and knowledge being acquired throughout the group award.

HND Year 2 - Course Content

Music First Study: Composition (3 Credits) J01R 35

This unit is designed to provide the learner with the skills to develop their technical proficiency on their first study instrument. The unit will begin by developing technical ability through a range of relevant exercises to improve fluency and accuracy. The unit will then give learners the opportunity to implement techniques learned and enhance their performance skills by learning and playing a range of pieces. The learner will reflect on their development through preparing programme notes and evaluating. The unit is aimed at Music students that have a level of proficiency on their instrument.

Music: Graded Unit 2 (2 Credits) J0J5 35

This graded unit is designed to provide evidence that the learner has achieved the following principal aims of the HND Music:

  • an ability to develop breadth and depth of knowledge in music

  • an ability to analyse and synthesise knowledge and skills acquired through study

  • an ability to develop study, organisational and research skills

  • an ability to develop proficiency in musicality, expression and creativity in performance and stagecraft and/or composition and promote sensitivity in musical presentation

  • an ability to integrate musical skills in a practical or business application

  • an ability to develop competencies in a range of specialised areas in line with preferred career aims

  • to enable progression to further study in music or a related discipline

  • an ability to develop personal skills and follow music industry protocol

  • an ability to develop critical analysis; to reflect on own work and continually strive for best practice

  • to enable the adoption of innovative practices and creativity in work and ability to respond quickly to the challenges posed by changes in the music industry

Music: Live Performance (2 Credits) J01N 35

This unit is designed to develop learners’ understanding of the practical aspects of working with other musicians to rehearse and stage a live performance. Learners will develop the skills necessary for a high level of proficiency in live performance. Learners will undertake a series of rehearsals and use evaluation of these rehearsals to improve their set before performing to an audience.

Music: Online Promotion (1 Credit) J01S 35

This unit is designed to enable learners to gain a broad knowledge of methods of delivering and promoting music online and to put this into practice by creating an online presence for a musical project. The unit explores platforms for delivery and promotion of music in relation to recent trends, before giving learners the opportunity to upload audio, video and other promotional content.

Songwriting 2 (1 Credit) J0N3 35

This unit is designed to provide the learner with an understanding of a range of songwriting techniques. It will extend the experience of learners who have completed some study of songwriting by providing opportunities to explore the key features of a variety of genres. This will be achieved through listening to and analysing existing songs. Learners will then undertake the process of songwriting based on the conventions of a chosen genre studied.

Recording Techniques for Musicians (2 Credits) J0MM 34

This unit is designed to give learners an insight into the multi-track recording process, related terminology, and key factors concerning the recording of music. It will give learners knowledge of the technical elements of a multi-track session and the opportunity to gain practical experience in recording and mixing music. Learners will use knowledge gained in capturing sound, the signal path and multi-track systems to plan a multi-track session. Learners will then contribute to the recording of a piece of music and create a stereo mix- down of the work.

Music Theory (1 Credit) J0MX 35

This unit is designed to develop and extend learners’ knowledge and understanding of music theory. The unit is a direct progression from the unit Music Theory (SCQF level 7) and builds on the knowledge of this unit, covering a range of time signatures, scales, modes, key signatures, extended chords and inversions before giving the learner the opportunity to transpose a melody and chord progression. The learner will develop their skills in musical notation while demonstrating that they can notate the given time signatures, scales, modes, key signatures, extended chords and inversions.

Music Business: Professional Development Project (3 Credits) J015 35

This unit is designed to develop learners’ skills in planning, developing and implementing a music business project. The learners will develop skills in creating a brief, marketing strategy and planning before developing this brief and seeing it through to completion. There will be opportunities for learners to draw on knowledge of marketing and promotion of music as well as relevant business skills in the development of a substantial project.

Fees & Funding

Riverside offers flexible payment options for students wishing to pay fees via our SAAS and non-SAAS funded instalment plans. Eligible students can also apply for living cost support via SAAS, who have a combination of loans, grants and bursaries available. Student loans of up to £6,750.00 and bursaries of £2,000.00 are available depending on individual circumstances. For further details please check the SAAS website. Read More

Entry Requirements & Duration

Practical applications of the Performance course will allow candidates to build their musical skills in group situations, develop a professional stage presence and learn about the practical aspects of performing. Our Performance students also have the opportunity to further develop their playing technique through individual study and one to one sessions with our experienced tutors.

Entry Requirements

Minimum of One Higher (Band C or above, music is highly desirable) or equivalent plus passes in at least 2 other subjects at NAT 5 or equivalent. Students must demonstrate ability on at least 1 instrument, or voice.

Don't meet the entry requirements? No problem, check out our Access to HND courses!

Duration

2 Years (HNC can be obtained after 1 academic year) August - June (full time)

RMCplus+, our Extracurricular Project Development Programme, is a unique opportunity for our students to build a working CV and high quality practical portfolio, preparing them to confidently take the next steps in their chosen career or further studies.

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Success Stories “Nothing can prepare you for the industry apart from gaining experience from someone who's already been there and done it”

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