Certificate: The Practice of Music Making

The Certificate: The Practice of Music Making, is a new one-year programme developed by Trinity Laban in partnership with the Open University. It offers adults with a passion for music the opportunity to develop their practical music making and performance skills. It is delivered through distance (online) learning plus a residential learning week at Trinity Laban’s World Heritage Site home in Greenwich, working alongside our world-renowned tutor team. The Certificate is available as a stand-alone programme, and can also count towards degree study with the Open University.

Applications are now open for study starting in October 2017 via UCAS Conservatoires. Our conservatoire code is T75 and the course code 501M.

The Certificate is for musicians with curiosity and passion who want to be stimulated by new experiences. The programme is open to instrumentalists and singers who participate in any genre of music and there are no auditions to gain entry. It is ideally suited to those who make music regularly in a group or ensemble and who would like to further develop their skills. You might be an army musician, jazz, folk, rock or pop performer, sing in a choir or play in an orchestra, for example. It is suitable for those who have learned to sing or play music without gaining a formal qualification, those who wish to return to music making after a time away, or who have previously studied music and who wish to further develop their performance skills.

Read more about this programme in the following sections:

Programme outline

  • One year of part-time study of c. 16-18 hours per week
  • Four modules of distance (online) learning undertaken individually by students. This year the course begins on 7 October 2017 and ends on 25 May 2018.
  • 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 learning week in Greenwich, London, Fri 6 – Wed 11 April 2018, to further develop practical skills and make music with others on the course
  • Four written assignments and a personal project submitted with associated audio material

Is this programme for me?

  • YES, if you wish to develop your knowledge and understanding of musical practice, rehearsal, communication and creative expression
  • YES, if you play an instrument or sing, in any genre, and make or perform music regularly with others
  • YES, if you are willing to commit to a formal, ‘bite size’ programme of degree level study, requiring 16-18 hours per week, with written and recorded assignment
  • NO, if you are only seeking instrumental or vocal coaching from a specialist in your particular instrument or style of singing. This is not part of the Certificate’s programme
  • NO, if you are not willing to commit to regularly making music with other musicians for the duration of studying for the Certificate, as this would exclude you from elements of the course

What will I study?

The programme will support you to develop your practical skills, knowledge and understanding of 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 will include:

  • Evaluating and refining your own performances
  • Exploring approaches to practice, preparation and performance
  • Communication skills, such as in rehearsing and making music with others
  • Creativity and interpretation
  • Creative technologies
  • Arranging music for your ensemble
  • Planning performances and developing an audience

Please see the Programme Brochure for full information.

Fee (all students)

The programme fee for 2017/18 is £3,350. This includes the cost (including accommodation and all meals) of the residential learning week.

Our standard programme terms and conditions apply.

This does not affect your rights under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

This programme is eligible for Student Finance England providing you are not undertaking other concurrent Student Finance England funded study. The Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) will not provide funding for this programme as it does not meet their eligibility rules.

How do I apply?

Applications to The Practice of Music Making 2017/18 are via UCAS Conservatoires. Our conservatoire code is T75 and the course code 501M. As well as providing information about any prior qualifications you hold, you are asked to attach a personal statement, outlining any other relevant experience, your reasons for wishing to enrol on the programme, and your current or planned musical activity. A standard UCAS application fee of £24 applies. Please note the application cycle for this programme differs from most conservatoire programmes and applications are currently open and will remain so until August 2017 (for entry in October 2017).  

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

For reference, the course starts on 7 October 2017 and ends on 25 May 2018. Please specify these dates if you are applying for Student Finance. 

Please contact us if you need any further information or visit our FAQs section.

Developed in partnership with the Open University.

The Certificate: The Practice of Music Making is validated by Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance (Summer term 2016). 

Open University logo

Apply now

Laughing brass players

Apply through UCAS Conservatoires for the Certificate: The Practice of Music Making 2017/18. Please use conservatoire code T75 and course code 501M.

Programme Brochure

Download the programme brochure for Certificate: The Practice of Music Making (pdf)

Student testimonials

“I am only half-way through the course, but it has already exceeded my expectations. As an adult amateur viola player, who only started learning to play the instrument several years ago, I have already benefitted from the course in various ways: from learning about different approaches to practice sessions and rehearsals to dealing with performance and performance related challenges. I am certainly looking forward to the second half of the course!”

"When I saw this course, I realised it would ideally complement my other music studies with the Open University. The practical nature of the course was also relevant because I play violin with several ensembles including a large orchestra. I have found it interesting to learn about different styles of music and the types of music making by other students. The course has made me more aware of the wider implications of playing music from effective practice and reflection to improvisation and looking after our health; it has shown me how I can help my own ensembles understand their playing more."

"I opted for the CPMM course for my final module in an Open University BA degree course of study, as an alternative to the OU level 3 music module, and have not been disappointed. The course is well-structured and the course materials are comparable in every way with those of the OU. Having played with instrumental groups and sung in choirs since my youth, the course has been highly informative and invaluable in consolidating my prior experience and in providing new insights into the practice of musical performance. And having the opportunity to study at a music conservatoire with the academic rigour expected of a level 3 OU course has been a bonus.”

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