BTEC National Diploma In Music Practice (Incorporating National Award)

West Herts College
In Watford (England)

Price on request

Important information

  • BTEC
  • Watford (England)
  • Duration:
    2 Years

Important information

Requirements: 4 GCSEs Grades A-C plus interview/audition


Where and when

Starts Location

WD17 3EZ, Middlesex, England

What you'll learn on the course

Music Production

Course programme

Course content

Operating Live Sound This unit will give you the opportunity to understand, set up and operate PA systems, ensuring good quality sound reinforcement when playing gigs.

Listening skills for musicians This unit offers opportunity to develop students' ears so they can determine intervals, scales, sonic and musical components, faults and textures within musical performances and recordings.

Music theory and harmony This unit covers basic to intermediate levels of diatonic theory, from notes on the stave, note values, melody and harmony through to types of scales and different forms of notation. It also re-inforces the units of 'improvisation' and 'listening skillls'.

Music performance techniques This unit is where students are split into instrumental groups and have the opportunity to be taught by professional musicians. We currently cater for Guitar, Bass, Drums and Vocals and students whose first instrument is different from these will be asked to study a second instrument. This unit covers practice techniques and regimes, to learning repertoire that can be used in live performance.

Singing techniques and performance Although vocal development is covered in the unit above for first instrument vocalists, every students at West Herts College is expected to develop their vocal skills. This gives all students the opportunity to develop what nature has given them, in conjunction with learning their chosen instrument. Exercises to develop the voice and chances to perform learnt pieces are covered in the unit.

Music project This unit covers the skills that are necessary to plan, organise, deliver and evaluate larger projects, such as themed performances that include the whole year group. Students will learn what roles and responsibilities are needed to orchestrate and succesfully deliver such a project as well as learn how creative decisions affect commercial success of a venture.

Pop music in practice This unit is where students will learn all about the history, and different genres of popular music. They will learn about instrumentation, vocal and musical styles, and also cultural, political and social changes that affect pop music. This gives them the opportunity to understand the wider context that a musician needs in order to become a better, well-rounded musician.

The sound and music industry This unit offers the opportunity to explore the music business. By looking at all aspects of the industry, from artist recruitment to contract law, the relationship between different organisations and how they work together, and also how to make it as a freelance musician, students can give themselves a greater understanding of the industry and the possibilities open to them.

Including these units, a further set of units will be covered in the second year of the National Diploma. These include 'Music in the community', 'Composition', 'Aural perception skills', 'Sound recording techniques',  and others.


You must be able to sing or play an instrument to a reasonable level and be able to
demonstrate musical potential. Band experience is preferred but not essential. The ability to
read music is preferred but not essential. 4 GCSEs at Grade C and above. All applicants will be invited to a short interview/audition and workshop at which they will be required to perform
and discuss their suitability for the course. Your audition will last for approximately 20
minutes. For part of the audition you will be required to perform on your chosen instrument.
The performance is used to gauge an appropriate level of tuition, should you be offered a place
on the courses.
Your prepared piece should last at least 2 minutes, and provide the tutor with a good insight
into your playing style, level of technique and competence. You should display a range of
styles and techniques (e.g. as a guitarist we would expect to see some rhythm playing, some
soloing, styles like rock, funk, jazz). You will be asked some basic theory questions during
your interview. Students will be required to take part in a workshop lasting 45 minutes (to judge
communication, ability and work ethic). Individual interview and performance of two prepared pieces that are contrasting in style. Each piece to be at least 2 mins in length.


Continuous Assessment


The music industry is one of the country’s biggest employers and opportunities for work in this
field extend much further than simply performing. A career in music might focus on education work on composing and arranging; on technical support
(recording or instrument technology), on management and/or administration, or on a whole range of opportunities in the publishing and retail sectors.