Popular Music (Performance)

Popular Music (Performance)

Vocational Level 3 Extended Certificate
Full-time, Sixth Form Study Programme
Examining Board: EDEXCEL

About the course

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.

Huish students working at Glastonbury 2017

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.

Music band, Red Room, performing at The Fleece, Bristol

Music band, Red Room, performing at The Fleece, Bristol

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.

Performing Live and Loud at The Master Thatcher in Taunton

Performing Live and Loud at The Master Thatcher in Taunton

Without having been surrounded by teachers with such a diverse and rich background in all aspects of the music industry, I doubt I would have gained as big of an appreciation for all musics as well as an artistic vision for myself."

Hugi Lagnado, Popular Music and Music Production student

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.

Progression routes

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

  • At Music College
  • ACM and Tech schools
  • Music Performance degrees
  • Music Industry Management
  • Commercial Music
Vocalist at Live and Loud

Vocalist at Live and Loud

The course has definitely improved my skills as a musician. This subject involves going out gigging and this has impacted the confidence in my skills greatly, and I believe I have become a better performer and musician because of this subject. Even the coursework has helped me develop as I realise what I need to do if I were to pursue this after college."

Grace Lilley, Popular Music and Music Production student

Watch the films of Jack and Ryan talking about the Pop Music course.

The course is good to learn skills about pulling off good shows and taught me how to get work in the music industry."

Peter Manders, Popular Music and Music Production student

The course has been very valuable in educating me on how I am going to make a living in the music industry. We have had hands on experience of organising our own gig as well as interviewing people working in the industry such as Jim Fox from the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury. The teachers have also been actively organising gigs in venues all over the South West regularly allowing us to gain valuable experience in a real gigging environment.

Sam Midgley

If you think this course might be for you but you have any questions, contact the course manager Andy Wild andreww@richuish.ac.uk.

Huish also offers an Extended Diploma in Popular Music and Music Production.

To do this course you need the following:

  • Standard college entry requirements: 5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, including Maths and English Language
  • Ability to play an instrument/sing well

Get help with applying

College facilities

Aspen Centre for Music

View the Aspen Centre for Music facilities

Case study

Pop Music band Red Room

Pop Music band Red Room

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