Are you are a musician that loves performing both in bands and as a soloist? Do you want to develop your skills and grow as a performer? Then this is the perfect course for you. From Rock to Pop, Folk to Fusion, this course is well suited for all types of musicians from drummers to singers, guitarists to keyboard players, in fact anyone interested in gaining the essential skills and knowledge needed for future study, or a career in Music. This course is a practical music course, centred around rehearsing and performing in a wide range of pop music styles, and learning about the inner workings of the music industry. There are regular formal assessments in the form of performances, presentations and creative written work. You will take part in many gigs in local and national venues and benefit from meeting industry guest speakers and visiting top performance venues.

In the first year you will focus on developing your own music technique and working as a band. There will be group and solo performances to do, both in classroom workshops and in more formal and public situations. Throughout the year you will keep a blog that documents and reflects on your progress.

The second year takes a closer look at pop music styles from 1950 to the present day. These will be styles you might not naturally choose to perform in, but nevertheless broaden your stylistic vocabulary and make you a better and more employable musician.You will also work as part of a production team to stage a major music event in the year, choosing repertoire, perhaps writing your own songs, designing promotion material and working within a budget. Some of the activities you will do include:

  • Prepare and perform solo pieces
  • Working and developing as a band
  • Deliver a large-scale music project such as planning and preparing for a gig or record an EP
  • Research and perform different music styles from the 50s to the present day
  • Produce marketing materials to promote a band
  • Interviews with business professionals

Rehearsals and gigs are central to this course and you will have the opportunity to record and produce an EP of your music. Huish also offers an Extended Diploma in Popular Music and Music Production.

“This course is brilliant in the fact it allows a lot of freedom when wanting to take control of your future in music. Already within the course I have had the opportunities of gigging inside and out of the college. I have enjoyed experiencing different settings to gig at and to build a great friendship within my band. I have learned a lot about becoming a professional musician and all the hard work that goes into it. “

Popular Music Vocational Student

Standard College entry requirements: 5 GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including Maths and English Language or Literature. Plus the ability to play an instrument or sing well.

We have a full programme of gig dates throughout the year to give our students the most experience of performing in the real world as possible. We gig every two weeks at local venues and further afield from The Cavern Club in Exeter to Gloucester University.

Over the last few years we have welcomed the following speakers:

Jim Fox :  John Peel Stage Glastonbury Festival

Zac Peters : DMF Music Exeter

Paul Grey : Musicians Union

Chris Tait : Shipboard Musician


Our students have had the chance to visit:

The John Peel Stage Glastonbury Festival (our 12th year of attending)

Loud Mastering Taunton

Real World Studios Box near Bath (Peter Gabriels studio)

Theatre Royal Bath

Theatre Royal Plymouth

Bristol Old Vic

Colston Hall Bristol

The Phoenix Art Centre Exeter

All music students on A Level or Vocational Music courses at Richard Huish College will receive a bursary off the cost of instrumental or vocal tuition.

For more information on the Music Bursary please click here.



The Aspen Music Centre is officially opened in December 2018 with the help of pupils from St George’s Primary School

Aspen Music Centre has been purpose built to offer the best experience for students wanting to advance their musical skills.

The music suite and performance space has:

  • 2 recording studios with RedNet Technology
    Studio 1: Audient ASP 8024 HE Mixing Desk
    Studio 2: Allen and Heath ZED 16 Mixing Desk
  • Industry standard microphones, guitar amplifiers etc
  • 2 sound proof live rooms for recording
  • A Mac suite equipped with the latest Apple iMac computers running Logic X, Ableton, Sibelius 8
  • Editing/production suite with Allen and Heath QU24 Digital Mixing Desk
  • 2 large specialist music teaching classrooms
  • 5 purpose built practice rooms equipped with pianos for instrumental lessons and individual bookings
  • Secure instrument store cupboard and vast library of printed music
  • Instruments and sound equipment available to loan

Also on campus we have a number of well equipped practice rooms;

  • Red Room – Large practice room with stage, full PA and recording facilities, Drum Kit, Amps and Piano
  • Green Room – Piano, PA, Drum Kit, Amps
  • Blue Room – Drum Kit, PA Amps and Recording facilities.


Do I need to have GCSE Music or music theory to do this course?

No, what you need is the ability to play an instrument and have some performance experience and plenty of enthusiasm.

What can I do with Popular Music?

Some students have successfully continued to become nationally renowned e.g. the Darlingtons. Combined with Music Technology, this prepares you well for a career in music production.

What progression routes are there from this course?

There is a record of excellent progression into higher education with the majority of students going on to study: