Music Technology

BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma

This current BTEC qualification will be replaced by RQF qualifications for students starting in 2020. More information to follow. To give an outline of modules studied previously, please see below.

The BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate in Digital Music Production will teach the technology of computer music including; sequencing, audio manipulation, MIDI composition, mixing and mastering techniques and re-mixing.

The BTEC is open to students who are less familiar with reading sheet music but admission is nevertheless by audition or portfolio submission only, since the subject still requires a strong sense of musicality.

Key indicators for eligibility are likely to be:

– A portfolio of compositions made in a DAW (Cubase, ProTools, Logic, FL or Garage Band);
– Grade 3 or above equivalent on an instrument;
– Being able to read traditional sheet music to some extent e.g. treble or bass clef.

Auditioning for the course is an informal process and involves a short quiz and practical task guided by a music technology teacher.

Audio or video evidence of performing on an instrument or past compositions are good ways to effectively demonstrate your suitability for the course. This process will happen as part of Wyke Start.

A combination of internal and externally assessed coursework and an external exam. 

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Course content

Exam Board

Edexcel

Course Details
Year One

Listening Skills (Unit 14)
The aim of this unit is to enable learners to develop their listening skills, with a focus on the sonic and musical components particularly of interest to music technologists.

Music Production Techniques (Unit 25)
The aim of this unit is to develop learners’ awareness of the equipment and techniques used in recording studios to the extent that they can produce a complete studio recording.

Live Sound Techniques (Unit 29)
The aim of this unit is to develop skills in the use of live sound reinforcement equipment. Learners will become familiar with the sound equipment used in a music venue and will set up a sound system, use outboard equipment and set up monitor mixes.

Year Two

Music and Sound for the Moving Image (Unit 20)
The aim of this unit is to develop learners’ music production, composition and sound creation skills relating to projects involving the moving image.

Sequencing Systems and Techniques (Unit 32)
The aim of this unit is to develop learners’ knowledge of music sequencing software and the transferable skills that facilitate the realisation of musical ideas in both audio and MIDI environments. Learners will develop the skills to set up, use and discuss sequencing systems and techniques.

Sound Creation and Manipulation (Unit 35)
The aim of this unit is to develop learners’ abilities to use the functions of synthesisers and samplers in creative music projects, establishing a basis in acoustic theory that will be.

Assessment

Each unit will be internally assessed through essay-based assignments, recording and composition portfolios, and practical exams.

How the course is delivered

4 lessons per week with the Music Technology teacher, Ben Newton. The lessons are split between the theory and principles of music technology (including the scientific and electronic aspects), and practical studio and computer-based work. Much like other practical art-based subjects, a good deal of time is spent working under your own initiative, as you will be undertaking your own coursework.

Departmental Enrichment

In addition to academic courses, the department thrives on its practical work. Music ensembles  exist as enrichment for both examination and non-examination students. There is a busy schedule of weekly rehearsals and a diverse range of groups including choir, orchestra, wind, string and brass ensembles, chamber groups and jazz orchestra. There is also the opportunity for students to perform as soloists. Rehearsals culminate in the Christmas and Spring Concerts, and the more informal Summer Recital. The department also supports students continuing to learn music theory.

The Music department at Wyke Sixth Form College

The Music Department wishes to imbue students with a love of music and to educate and touch the soul through the study of music as a practical and academic discipline; to cultivate an ethos of hard work, high standards and high expectations from both staff and students; to enable students to fulfil their musical potential in concert performances, academic study and public examinations through the thorough preparation and delivery of all lessons and rehearsals; for students to experience an excellent rapport with music staff and to enjoy their musical studies; for students to experience a pleasant, disciplined and happy learning environment; for students to consider themselves improved musicians as a result of their learning at Wyke.

What can I do now that would help prepare me for this course?

The most important thing is to ensure that your musical skills are good; fluency of reading music in both treble and bass clefs, a thorough working knowledge of key signatures, scales and chords will be needed; also work on your instrumental skills. It is not required to have any prior knowledge or experience of recording or music software.

Each unit will be assessed based on coursework with some being externally examined.

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