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BA (Hons) Music with Teaching

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Institution C58


3 Years Full Time

Entry Requirements and Fees

2020/21 UK fee: £9,250

2020/21 International fee: £13,500

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fee page.

Typical Offer (individual offers may vary):

Tariff points: 96 - 112

A Levels: BCC - CCC


International Baccalaureate: 26 points

Interview: Candidates will be required to demonstrate, in a performance audition, ability in an instrument or voice and display musical awareness and skill. Applicants with high levels of performance skills may be considered for a lower academic offer.

IELTS 6.0 overall with no element lower than 5.5

Scholarships available for selected instruments – please enquire with the Head of Music.

Student view

Saara Sofia Paakko
The atmosphere at the university is lovely due to the small size of the institution, and I love being around like-minded people.
Rob Murray

Being given the opportunity to teach a student on a one to one basis was an extremely valuable experience.  The hands on experience gave us the opportunity to put the skills that we had learned into practice.  The opportunity opened your eyes to the real world of teaching and prepared you to think with great creativity and imagination. Now, as a director of my own peripatetic music academy I continually monitor the ways in which the students learn so that our tutors deliver tuition to the highest standards. 

2007 Graduate, Rob is now Director of Music Academy of Schools

Matthew Clarke

The combination of informative lectures and seminars from superb staff with the practical placements made the IVT course a thoroughly enjoyable and enhancing learning experience. It has certainly helped me in my current private teaching practice since graduating.

2014 Graduate, private teacher, performer

Jess Bhatty-Garcia

The teaching modules were by far my favourite modules; the lectures were engaging, interactive and motivating. I would thoroughly recommend this course to anyone who is interested in becoming a teacher.

-2015 Graduate went on to enroll on a PGCE course.

Course content

From the beginning of the degree students explore the technique and mechanics for their own instrument and how this works physically with various learners, from young children’s changing bodies to adults who have more established muscular routines.

They move on to research the various graded examination systems across classical and popular music and how music is taught in the National Curriculum, both for mainstream and special needs children.

Learning about teaching would be nothing if students did not learn a new instrument themselves. Everyone learns as a beginner and has to sit a mock Grade 1 exam and the experience of a singer learning the violin can be revelatory, as suddenly the instrument is not within, but external to the body.

This experience coincides with preparing assembly presentations and workshops for KS1 and KS2 children.

Going to a variety of schools gives the university students a rounded view of different contexts they can work as visiting private teachers.

Academically, students learn about the psychology of learning and teaching.

This is vital, as each pupil is different and learning to prepare, assess, reflect, and revise interactions and the way material is presented can allow for positive pupil-centred teaching instead of a reactive approach. 

In the third year of the degree, students gain experience with both one-to-one and group teaching.

Students teach individual lessons to peers and colleagues, video the lessons, and reflect on their planning, progress, and effectiveness in tailoring the lessons for that individual’s learning needs.

Finally students create their own curriculum learn how to plan a year’s repertoire and study for a student of their choice. Many areas in teaching follow a curriculum, but in music lessons this is not something that exists.

There are exam syllabi, but they are not learning curricula.

Having the opportunity to think through and plan for a future pupil gives our graduates a real head start in the profession, equipping them with skills they would otherwise have to learn in the field while they were working.

This is the only course of its kind that takes students from beginning to end and prepares them to work in this way.

The final module involves international experience, where students are involved in all aspects of planning, arranging workshops and performances, intercultural exchanges, and the logistics of timetabling the schedule of getting from A to B. Real world experience in the real world.

Teaching lessons in music is about performance skill and technique, but it includes a great deal of people skills too.

The Music with Teaching degree puts our graduates leaps ahead and ready to take their places in today’s competitive professional world.

Our facilities

Over the past few years, we’ve redeveloped both of our campuses so that you have the best facilities available for your degree. We pride ourselves on the quality of the learning environment we can offer our students.

At the Bishop Otter campus there is an integrated approach to the provision of learning resources and support.  We offer a substantial collection of books, journals and other materials to help you further your research. A range of study areas for group and quiet study including Wi-Fi areas for laptop use are available, or you can use our open access PC and Mac areas.  We use an electronic learning environment with an expanding portfolio of online library resources from anywhere at any time.

Tuition takes place in our modern music facilities, which include computerised recording and media studios, well-equipped practice rooms (with new grand pianos supplied by Steinway & Sons) and an acoustically superb performance venue. The Music department have access to several soundproofed practice rooms for rehearsals and lessons, as well as lecture and seminar rooms. The Chapel is a fantastic venue for performances and rehearsals, and is the centre piece of the campus.

The Learning Resource is the hub of the learning environment.  It has two upper floors of library resources, one for silent study and one for quiet study, both of which have recently been refurbished. On the ground floor, you’ll find the Support and Information Zone, Media Centre, Otter Gallery, Costa Coffee and a variety of IT resources.

Where this can take you

We understand the importance of ensuring that you’ve the knowledge, skills and experience to compete successfully in today’s challenging jobs market.In addition to the work placements and sector-specific employability and enterprise modules that many of you will have embedded in your course, we’ve developed a student and graduate internship scheme.

Our commitment is to make sure that students and graduates from all disciplines that register on the programme, and successfully complete the necessary preparation, have the opportunity to apply for internships.

The areas our graduates have progressed into include:

  • Film, television and radio
  • Teaching at all levels of education
  • Work in various community ventures
  • Music therapy
  • Musical theatre
  • Music administration
  • Music leaders
  • Opera singers
  • Group instrumentalists
  • Composers
  • Instrumental or vocal peripatetic teachers

Work placements

We understand the importance of ensuring that you’ve the knowledge, skills and experience to compete successfully in today’s challenging jobs market. In addition to the work placements and sector-specific employability and enterprise modules that many of you will have embedded in your course, we’ve developed a student and graduate internship scheme.

Our commitment is to make sure that students and graduates from all disciplines that register on the programme, and successfully complete the necessary preparation, have the opportunity to apply for internships.

Indicative modules

Some of the typical modules you can expect to study include:

Performance Development

This module introduces various approaches to performance that can serve to assist the student when communicating music to the listener. A variety of skills particular to their individual vocal or instrumental style will be explored with teachers. The construction of balanced or otherwise effective programmes is discussed and students will explore different approaches to performance. The adoption of a year long mode of learning, with assessment taking place in semester 2 allows learners to develop and consolidate whilst adapting to what are often new teaching strategies. Learning Strategy: Individual lessons will be supplemented by formative assessment workshops, participation in relevant tutor led ensemble work and by individual tutorial support. Students will be involved in the process of formative assessment, using the Subject criteria, and will also be required to evaluate their own learning on the course.

Music Now

This module introduces various critical and analytical approaches that can serve to assist the student when encountering new music. A variety of skills which will prove necessary during the degree course will be explored. Students will be involved in the process of assessment, using the Field criteria, and will also be required to evaluate their own learning on the course. Case studies of contemporary work will be introduced by tutors, and as the module progresses students will use an increasing range of practical skills to critically examine these models. To carry out assessment tasks, students will be encouraged to familiarise themselves with library and recording studio resources.

World Music

(Module information to come)

Introduction To Popular Music

(Module information to come)

Style & Genre

Lectures, analytical listening and set reading materials will take students on a chronological survey of the Western Art-Music tradition from it’s beginnings in ancient Greece, through the birth of polyphony, early opera, the works of Mozart and Beethoven, to the Tristan Prelude and the roots of modernism. Emphasis will be placed on the understanding of the development of genres, musical structures and compositional style.

Popular Music In The Community

(Module information to come)

Musical Grammar

Designed to enable each student to work at their own pace, whilst moving towards a common level of achievement, the module will introduce, reintroduce and familiarise students with a range of aspects of musical structure and its notation. Alongside this, students will present and discuss their work, both individually and in groups – enhancing skills in teamwork and presentation, and building confidence in this knowledge base.

Technique for the Young Performer

Sound approaches to technique will be explored as the essential foundation for expressive musical performance and a range of technical strategies will be tested and analysed, drawing upon students' own experience as learners, particularly in the early stages of study. The imaginative communication of ideas and the appropriateness of different teaching methods in instrumental or vocal technique to relevant age groups will be examined in relation to technical performance skill, in combination with broader issues such as sight reading and memorisation, and children's physical development.

Grades and Development

This module is designed to make connexions between the measured progress of the young player or singer and the general musical development of the child. Sessions are focused on graded development at early stages, with particular attention being paid to the acquisition of aural training and sight reading skills. During the course consideration is given to general aspects of repertoire and skill development and students are encouraged to focus at least part of their study on an elected specialist area. The concept of musical curriculum is explored. With Grade VIII acceptable as an A level for university entrance purposes, this process is as academically important to the young player as other work they undertake at school or college.

Preparing Young Musicians for Assessment

The practical, placement experience allows you to become a beginner all over again by learning a ‘new’ instrument during this term, recreating the feelings experienced by beginners. Reflections on this experience will inform and shape your approach to teaching in placement contexts. You will also observe school children in the early stages of learning to sing and will reflect on how the observations relate to their personal experience during the module. Various repertoire, aural tests, scales, and sight reading will be included in a broad exploration of assessment and discussions will cover the pressures or constraints that exams place on students.

Arranging for Vocal Ensembles

(Module information to come)

Arranging for Instrumental Ensembles

(Module information to come)


(Module information to come)

Modern Jazz: Seven Steps To Heaven

(Module information to come)

The Baroque

The module explores a broad range of musical genres, ideas, styles and constructional devices from the birth of opera in 1600, through the rapid development of concerti grossi, the mass and the oraotorio, to the seminal theoretical and compositional writings of Jean-Phillippe Rameau

Reading Popular Music

Students will explore key critical texts and concepts such as authenticity, anthropology, ethnography and textual analysis, applying these to a variety of models in contemporary popular music.

Music And Society

(Module information to come)

Performance Anxiety

This course will look at the problem of performance anxiety/stage nerves studying both the theoretical background and how to effectively deal with them. It will not only look at the performance itself but also the surrounding physiological and psychological factors that lead to stage nerves during performance. The course introduces a wide range of theories from relevant disciplines including cognitive behavioural therapy and neuro-linguistic programming. This will provide an interdisciplinary and integrated model for understanding and providing tools and strategies to analyse this widespread problem.

Personal Study (Music)

This module aims provide students with an opportunity to select an area of study of their choice to research theoretically and practically and to give students the opportunity to organise and sustain in depth study and research over a period of time.

Module content will depend entirely on the choice of topics, practical projects and creative styles of individual students, but will focus on one of four main areas of work: a written study an original composition or improvisation with supporting written work a practical performance with supporting written work a lecture recital with supporting written work


This course will seek to develop in students a more confident and probing analytical style with a closer exploration of compositional intention, particularly where this is allied to programmatic or narrative elements in models studied. Lectures will be supplemented by seminar discussion, individual tutorials and practical group tutorials.

Structures And Politics Of Rock Music

Students will examine a broad range of contemporary musical texts in order to develop a broad definition of rock culture. As in-depth study of a selection of significant artists and groups will provide insights into a range of stylistic and structural devices employed by rock musicians as well as demonstrating the political space inhabited by their music. Creative tasks in song-writing and collaborative composition and improvisation will provide an experiential framework for study. The use of music technology as a facilitative device for composition and as a recording medium may be integrated into the module.


This course will consider Modernist style in music, dividing into two sections which focus respectively on the recognised major figures of the era (Messiaen, Stravinsky and the Second Vienese School) and lesser known but important contextual figures (such as the Futurists, Varese, Cage and the Free Jazz movement). Especial consideration will be given to developing a contextual understanding of the notable compositional processes and techniques employed within this era, enabling not only an understanding of the theoretical methods within the music but the cultural placement of the works and composers themselves. The module will also encourage active listening to the ‘difficult’ music of this period, promoting an understanding of the Modernist aesthetic. The students will also partake in research tasks, group presentations and response papers in order to ready themselves for the final assessment.

Psychology of Learning and Teaching

This module explores psychology - the internal process - involved from both the teacher and student perspective during musical learning. Students gain a general understanding of the historical framework of learning theories and social frameworks with psychology. Specific relationships to musical learning and a student's concept of musical ability and understanding musical identity and the relationship of the body and instrument are explored. The understanding of motivation, self-efficacy, self-regulation, mental skills and cognitive strategies are explored and applied to real-life situations. These form a base of knowledge that can improve current learning and inform the future practice of teaching.

Approaches to Teaching 

(Module information to come)

Expressing Music Through Movement & Gesture

This course will explore the opportunities that exist for enhanced communication within the formal performance context, using the performer’s own physical projection of self and personal narrative of intention. Work will also be developed in a broader context, allowing a deeper understanding of the semiotics of movement – the kinesic variables which impact upon the viewer – and the generic codes which attach to the music they play.

Musical Event

This course will focus on one or more major performance projects and will involve opportunities for students to work creatively with a variety of ensembles and collaborations, including those which cross arts disciplines. Connexions will be made with current projects in other institutions and at performance venues outside the university.

As you progress through your degree programme, you’ll need to enhance and build on your skills as a musician, as a performer and as a scholar. In making your module choices, you‘re able to draw on study skills modules that you feel are relevant to your personal developmental needs. Some of the study skills modules you might take are:

Musical Grammar

Building on the experience gained by students in semester 1, this module will seek to engender the habit of continuous and self critical learning and to deepen understanding of key elements of musical structure. As before, students will present and discuss their work, both individually and in groups – enhancing skills in teamwork and presentation, and building confidence in this knowledge base. The importance of the transferable skills of musical theory will also be highlighted.

Writing about Music

Through the introduction of a range of concepts and debates which inform our lives as musicians, this course will combine the development of a critical and analytical approach with the confidence and skill needed to express this in written form. These concepts and debates will be introduced and explored through the study and examination of a range of musics and related artworks from different styles, genres, and historical periods.

Listening Skills 1

(Module information to come)

Music and Society

(Module information to come)

International English Studies

Include International English Studies: 

Teaching and assessment

We pride ourselves on the quality of the teaching given to our students. Innovation, enthusiasm and expertise combine to deliver the excellent standards that give our institution its high reputation in this field.

You will be taught by a core team of experienced and highly-qualified tutors together with a wide-ranging team of more than 40 specialist instrumental and vocal teachers.

You will be assessed by a variety of methods, including essays, examinations, exhibitions, performance/practical work, project work, presentations and seminar discussions. Our course will include a mix, so that you will be assessed on different types of work. Modules are assessed at every stage of the course, offering cumulative assessment of your progress. You can monitor your own progress, allowing you the opportunity to discuss any issues with your lecturers throughout the course. Special arrangements can be made for students with an identified need.

Additional Costs

Include Additional Costs: 

Additional Costs

DBS Costs

Applicants are required to have an enhanced Disclosure Barring Service check which needs to be paid for before the start of the course. This will cost £52.20.

Audition details

For more information on the audition process download the Music audition booklet here.

Audition booklet