Certificate: The Practice of Music Making

The Certificate: The Practice of Music Making, commencing October 2016, is a blended programme of study, developed by Trinity Laban in partnership with the Open University, for musicians with any level of practical experience. It combines flexible, online learning with a residential study period of practical music making Friday 7 – Wednesday 12 April 2017 (inclusive).

Designed for instrumentalists and singers who participate in any genre of music, the programme is ideally suited to those who have learned to sing, play or write music without gaining a formal qualification in practical music making, those who wish to return to music making after a time away or those who make music regularly in choirs, orchestras or other groups. The programme offers students the opportunity to receive tuition from outstanding teachers from Trinity Laban’s Faculty of Music in Greenwich while contributing toward degree study at The Open University. It is also open to those not registered with The Open University as a stand-alone programme.

The Certificate: The Practice of Music Making is a 60 credit Level 6 higher education certificate validated by Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance (subject to validation approval Summer 2016).

Read more about this programme in the following sections:

Is this programme for me?

  • You wish to develop further knowledge and understanding of your own practical music making.
  • You make or perform music regularly with others in any context, or are interested in starting to do so.
  • Your musical skills can be at any level of attainment (you don’t need to have undertaken formal study or grades).
  • We welcome students who represent any genre. This might include, but is not limited to, those who sing in choirs and play in ensembles, army musicians, jazz, folk, rock or pop musicians.
  • We welcome applications from self-taught musicians as well as from those who have had lessons at some time in the past, but not recently.
  • You should be willing to commit to a formal programme of study in order to gain a qualification worth 60 credits at Level 6 on the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (OU Level 3). This is equivalent to around 50% of the final year of a degree programme.
  • The programme is not suitable for those who make music using technology (only) or who do not make music with other musicians.

Programme outline

  • One year of part time study requiring c. 16-18 hours per week. This comprises 10-14 hours of weekly online content plus additional private study which will include practical music making.
  • Four modules of distance (online) learning curriculum undertaken individually by students between October 2016 and May 2017.
  • Weekly reading, listening and practical tasks to enable you to apply new ideas to your own music making, alone and with others.
  • Online group tutorials and discussion forums.
  • A residential study period in Greenwich, London, 7-12 April 2017 (inclusive), where you will develop practical skills and make music with others.
  • Four written assignments and a personal project submitted with associated audio material recorded by you on a mobile phone, tablet or similar device.

What will I study?

Smiling upright bass playerThe programme will support you to develop your practical skills, knowledge and understanding of individual musical practice, ensemble music making and musical performance. It does so by exploring a range of ideas and approaches developed by other musicians, before applying these to your own music making. Please note that the programme does not include specific tuition on your instrument or voice but focuses on transferable musical skills relevant across genres and disciplines.

Areas studied within these modules will include:

  • Evaluating and refining your own performances
  • Exploring approaches to practice, preparation and performance
  • Examining communication skills, such as in rehearsing and making music with others
  • Investigating creative technologies in music making
  • Looking at how to plan performances and develop an audience

Throughout the programme, you will be asked to record your own musical development through the use of audio recordings and a reflective journal. This process will not require specialist audio equipment – a mobile phone, for example, may be an adequate recording device. Technical advice will be provided.

Application requirements

To apply for this programme you need to:

  • be actively involved in practical music making, including some form of music making with others (e.g. playing in a band, singing in a choir, rehearsing as a duet) for the duration of the programme. If you are not already involved in music making with others, please note that successful completion of the programme will require you to find opportunities to participate in group music making on a regular basis. If you are not currently undertaking music making with others you are required to indicate how you intend to do so whilst a student on the programme, within your application.
  • demonstrate excellent communication and interpersonal skills, including English at or equivalent to a pass at Trinity Integrated Skills in English (ISE) Level IV, GESE Levels 7-9, IELTS 6.5 overall (min. of 6.0 in all areas). Equivalents from other English language course providers may also be considered.
  • have a level of prior learning in music at or equivalent to Level 5 on the Framework for Higher Education. FHEQ Level 5 is equivalent to a Foundation Degree, HND, DipHE or the second year of degree study (in most institutions). For Open University students this may be gained by successful completion of The Open University module A224: Inside Music. For others, this prior learning may be demonstrated in the following ways:
    • Music study at Level 5 or above in another institution (you may, for example, have studied for an academic music degree in the past and now wish to focus more on performance)
    • Study at Level 5 or above, combined with significant experience of practical music making (e.g. regular music making for 2 years or more)
    • We are able to accept students on to the programme who do not have formal qualifications but can instead demonstrate sufficient relevant experience and knowledge. Please contact us for further advice.

Fee (all students)

The programme fee for 2016/17 is £3,280. This includes the cost of the residential study period, accommodation and all meals.

How do I apply?

Fill in our online application form to apply for the Certificate: The Practice of Music Making 2016/17. You will be asked to complete a personal statement and list the names of two referees. 

There is no audition for the Certificate: The Practice of Music Making programme.

Please contact us if you need any further information.

Developed in partnership with the Open University.

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Fill in our online application form to apply for the Certificate: The Practice of Music Making 2016/17.