Vocals

BMus (Hons) Popular Music Performance

Overview

The vocals programme combines high-level instrumental study with the opportunity to engage with music technology, songwriting skills, and a wide range of modern music styles. At BIMM London, we understand that live performance is the key to you becoming a great vocalist, so you’ll spend a lot of time on stage to help you develop and find your niche as a performer.

You’ll participate in weekly Live Performance Workshops (LPWs) in all three years, performing with your fellow students while receiving expert guidance from highly skilled BIMM tutors. You’ll study vocal techniques each year, enabling you to develop your technique to a high professional standard and achieve a level of fluency that will meet the demands of any musical situation. Plus you’ll explore and develop your potential career pathways through research and professional projects, learning the essential skills required to work successfully in the music industry.

Through a range of optional modules, including Composing and Arranging, Music Technology, and Music Pedagogy in Practice, you can tailor the degree to fit your own personal goals.

Above all, the BMus (Hons) Popular Music Performance offers flexibility and an unparalleled breadth of education. As a graduate you’ll have developed into a well-rounded, versatile musician capable of performing a variety of musical styles, and comfortable in wearing a number of different musical hats. You’ll be ready to pursue a range of different career options, including session musician, touring artist, theatrical musician, musical director and arranger/composer.

So, what are you waiting for? To make your way as a vocalist, connect with us, and we’ll connect you to a life in music.

Click here to find this course on UCAS.

:

2018/2019 Fees

Student Loan Finance Available*

more information

*For students to be eligible for SLC funding, they must be studying a designated course. Courses at BIMM Institute are designated each year by the Department for Education. We have made an application for our courses to also be designated for the 2018-19 academic year. We expect this process to be completed in early 2018. Visit www.hefce.ac.uk/reg/desig/cdforstudents for more information.

Year 1 (FHEQ Level 4)

In Year 1, students address the essential music skills that will underpin not only the rest of their studies but also their future career. This includes investigating and performing a wide range of music and developing an understanding of music theory, sight reading, music technology and the music business. Students take six modules (120 credits). All modules are mandatory and run throughout the academic year (30 weeks). Module names and structure may be subject to change.

  • Performance Studies 1

    This module is designed to support the development of the individual performance skills of students and enhance their ability to perform effectively within an ensemble. By being on stage every week, they’ll have the opportunity to enhance their performance abilities to become a rounded and artistically diverse performer through tutor-led workshops focusing on learning and performing a range of key tracks.

  • Essential Styles

    This module covers the technical and performance skills required to play a diverse range of popular music styles. Students will develop their technical facility and self-sufficiency in preparation for performing music. In addition, they’ll gain the necessary practical experience to allow execution of these skills in ‘real-life’ performance situations. The module also includes an Ensemble lesson that features both instrument specific and mixed discipline classes, in which rhythm section instruments (guitar, bass and drums) and vocalists will work in independent groups and perform with tutors, and later in the course full ensembles will perform together.

  • Techniques 1

    This module will support the development of the students towards a professional level of instrumental or vocal technique. It aims to enhance creativity and innovation in performance skills, as well as consolidating their evaluation of stylistic and interpretative issues. They’ll also develop their music reading skills and apply them in various scenarios: exercise-based drills, short pieces, real-world charts and reading on sight.

  • Musicianship

    This module supports students’ development of skills in key areas: music theory and ear training. They’ll consider key theoretical concepts and their application in popular music, including interval and chord identification, harmony, chord/scale relationships, and arranging for different instruments.

  • Music Technology 1

    This module provides students with fundamental skills required to use industry-standard music technology hardware and software, within the context of Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs) in recording and also live performance.

  • Popular Music Studies

    This module considers the history of popular music and the work of key artists in the context of the social, political and cultural developments of the 20th and 21st centuries. Students will exercise the research techniques necessary to write academic papers and they’ll study alongside students from the BA (Hons) Music Production, BA (Hons) Songwriting, BA (Hons) Music Business and BA (Hons) Creative Musicianship courses.

Year 2 (FHEQ Level 5)

Year 2 requires students to apply their skills to increasingly ‘real-world’ scenarios while studying the cultural heritage of popular music. Students also have the chance to select optional modules that allow them to specialise in either music technology or composing and arranging. Students take five modules (120 credits). There are four mandatory modules and students select one out of two optional modules. All modules run throughout the academic year (30 weeks). Module names and structure may be subject to change.

  • Performance Studies 2

    This module continues the development of the students’ individual and ensemble performance skills through weekly workshops focusing on learning and performing key tracks from a broad range of styles. In term three, students will specialise by choosing from a variety of stylistic options.

  • Techniques 2

    This module builds on the skills and techniques acquired in Essential Styles and Techniques 1, providing students with the opportunity to develop the necessary technical and creative skills to perform music from a range of popular music styles.

  • Ensemble Skills

    This module will develop the sight-reading ability of students within a band context. In terms two and three, students will work under the direction of professional conductors, composers and musical directors. It will also provide extremely valuable experience by demonstrating the demanding nature of professional work under musical direction, with time taken for rehearsal as a constant consideration. Students will find themselves performing music from a variety of sources such as sessions, theatre, film music and music for television

  • The Music Industry

    This module gives students the opportunity to study the fundamental aspects of the music industry. The aim is for them to have an understanding of its historical and contemporary structure, including learning the roles of key stakeholders and providers within it, and how those roles are constantly adapting to market pressures brought about by advances in new technology. Treating the industry as a set of related smaller organisations, students will cover aspects such as the facilitating of licensing, marketing, promotion, distribution, selling and production of music-related product. They’ll learn to apply study skills and basic research and academic writing techniques, and will study alongside peers from the BA (Hons) Music Production, BA (Hons) Songwriting, BA (Hons) Music Business and BA (Hons) Creative Musicianship courses.

  • Optional – Composing and Arranging 1

    This module further develops and consolidates the core areas covered in the module Musicianship. It enables the student to effectively identify and analyse these concepts in popular music and provides an opportunity for them to apply the theoretical knowledge in a creative context. Further advanced concepts and styles are covered, with the aim of working towards an original project for submission at the end of the module.

  • Optional – Music Technology 2

    This module builds on the Music Technology 1 module and further develops student skill-sets when using industry standard music technology hardware and software. It focuses on advanced topics such as live recording, sampling technologies, mixing and mastering, in order to empower students to become musicians with wide-ranging and broad ability.

Year 3 (FHEQ Level 6)

Year 3 has increased optionality with students able to choose the suite of modules that will enable them to make the transition from student to professional. Third-year projects include the self-directed final Performance Project, where students deliver a 30-minute show of their own project. Students take five modules (120 credits). There are four mandatory modules and students select one of three optional modules. All modules run throughout the academic year (30 weeks). Module names and structure may be subject to change.

  • Performance Project

    In this module, students will autonomously plan, manage and deliver a 30-minute band-based performance in which they take a leading role. They’ll submit a portfolio of materials in support of their performance project, including lead sheets and promotional material which will provide an insight into their pathway and project construction. They’ll also submit an extended piece of academic writing. This takes the form of an essay suitable for a Level 6 module (i.e. third person narrative, research, critique, referencing, bibliography, etc.). The module begins with the student attending a research methodology lecture series during term one that is designed to empower them to undertake research suitable for a level six module. They’ll then be assigned a suitable supervisor from the faculty who will support the delivery of their project.

  • Performance Studies 3

    This module gives the chance to focus on a particular performance style or genre in each term. Students will learn and perform key songs in a series of workshops supported by specialist performance tutors. The School will offer a different range of specialist options each term, for example: fusion, world, jazz standards, rock metal, R&B/gospel and directed music skills.

  • Techniques 3

    This module aims to enhance creativity and innovation in performance skills, as well as consolidating evaluation of stylistic and interpretative issues. Students will be expected to achieve and maintain advanced performance standards in order to fulfil their potential with a view to obtaining professional employment in the music business.

  • Personal and Business Development

    This module gives students the opportunity to explore and develop the personal, interpersonal and team skills that count towards success. It will introduce what are often called the 'soft' skills – or the 'emotionally intelligent' skills – that are increasingly vital for personal and business success, and are particularly important for freelancers. Students will study alongside peers from the BA (Hons) Music Production, BA (Hons) Songwriting and BA (Hons) Creative Musicianship courses.

  • Optional – Music Technology 3

    This module enables students to engage at a high level with music production and music technology schematics. It focuses upon advanced traits and concepts from the world of music production, covering aspects such as recording, editing, mixing, mastering, synthesis and sampling.

  • Optional – Composing and Arranging 2

    This module further develops the concepts and techniques covered in Composing and Arranging 1. It expands on the traditional composing and arranging techniques, and focuses specifically on the skills required to compose and arrange music to moving picture. It also covers advanced compositional techniques and theory, but remains within the commercial boundaries.

  • Optional – Music Pedagogy in Practice

    This module helps participants develop the skills for engaging in community music projects, alongside setting up a successful teaching practice. Private, group and classroom teaching is integral to many professional musicians’ business plans, and two or three days teaching a week can provide the financial security needed to pursue other long-term career goals. Students will learn how to: plan and deliver lessons, assess students and give them feedback, and evaluate their own teaching in order to improve it. Community-based music projects provide an opportunity for a music industry professional to engage in work that supports people to enjoy and learn from making music. Students will study alongside peers from the BA (Hons) Music Production, BA (Hons) Songwriting and BA (Hons) Creative Musicianship courses.

Want to apply?

Minimum requirements

Minimum of 2 A-levels at grade C or above (64 UCAS Points), OR BTEC Level 3 equivalent, and five GCSEs at a minimum grade of C/4, including English Language. Overseas students where English is not their native language must meet a minimum English language requirement of IELTS 6.0. We require a minimum of 5.5 to be achieved in each band.

After this course:

Progression

Graduates can progress directly to employment in the music industry in roles such as solo performer, band member, session musician, backing vocalist or songwriter, or can continue their study with a Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert) in Learning and Teaching at BIMM Brighton.

Help with your career +

Want to study here?

How to apply

All degree applications must be made via UCAS. To request an audition and/or assessment call 0844 2 646 666. All students will be invited to attend an audition and/or assessment. International applicants who can’t attend an audition and/or assessment will be sent demo guidelines and an application form for a remote assessment.

Find out how to apply +

Coming from abroad?

International students

We’re proud to welcome students from all around the world. Our dedicated International Team is on hand to help with applications, visas, accommodation, settling in and much more.

More information +
Apply Now

Any questions? Get in touch

Course Specification

Mode of attendance:
Full-time
Length of course:
3 years
Awarding Institution:
University of Sussex
Teaching Institution:
BIMM London
UCAS Code:
W315
Language of study:
English
Final award and exit awards:
BMus (Hons)
Admission criteria:
Minimum of 2 A-levels at grade C or above (64 UCAS Points), OR BTEC Level 3 equivalent, and five GCSEs at a minimum grade of C/4, including English Language. Overseas students where English is not their native language must meet a minimum English language requirement of IELTS 6.0. We require a minimum of 5.5 to be achieved in each band.

Teaching this course

BIMM Tutors

From headlining the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury with Moby and playing drums in the soundtrack to the Hollywood movie ‘Nine’, to performing for The Queen and being a vocal coach on the Russian version of The X Factor, our BIMM London tutors have done it all. Imagine what you could achieve with direct access to their knowledge, guidance, experience and enviable industry connections!

See all London Tutors

Success Stories

Making it in music

Our students prove that talent and hard work are an impressive mix, with nearly 80% of our graduates making a living out of music alone. Take a look at our shining stars.

See all Success Stories
Chat with us!