A&R and Songwriting (BTEC HNC)

Two of the most important areas of the music industry. In depth. Level 4 Pearson BTEC Higher National Certificate in Music

Are you serious about making a living as a songwriter?
Get the skills to become a professional Songwriter, Composer, Arranger, Producer
Get connected and make the music industry work for you in just nine months

COURSE SPECIFICATION and REQUIREMENTS

Length of Course: 9 months
Study Mode: Full Time
Course Start Date: January 2022 (limited places available) and September 2022
Entry Requirements: Two A-Levels at C grade/equivalent, Level 3 qualifications, or relevant music industry experience
Qualification: Level 4 HNC IN MUSIC (A+R and Songwriting)
Awarding Body: Pearson
Assignments & Credits: 8 Assignments totalling 120 credits
Fees and Funding: £7395, loans are available www.slc.co.uk
Applications: Directly to Notting Hill Academy of Music

COURSE OVERVIEW

This cutting edge music industry focussed course is geared towards an artist understanding what it takes to gain a foothold in the industry on their own terms, building a fanbase, a sustainable career and how to become relevant to record labels, publishing companies, managers. The roles of A&R and Songwriting are very different but are also strongly linked. This course is designed to give a full understanding of two very different perspectives, whilst providing artists with music industry tools, skills and knowledge that will kick start their careers.

UNITS

THE MUSIC INDUSTRY
(Pearson Unit 1)

The music industry is an ever-evolving industry with a variety of areas that interact with each other; with technology being an ever increasingly vital driving force. It is essential that students wishing to earn money in the music industry are aware of the complexities and the structure of this industry and the potential income opportunities that are available to them. This unit will introduce students to the structure of the industry, focussing on how to create a business plan and in turn gain an understanding that when wanting various contracts with publishers or labels, that they are in fact looking for investment. Students will analyse various areas of the industry and assess their own place in it and how they are relevant to their own personal career goals.

MARKETING AND PROMOTIONS FOR MUSICIANS
(Pearson Unit 2)

It is likely that anyone wishing to work in the music industry will, at some point, be working as a versatile and enterprising freelancer, maintaining a portfolio career in which they can fully exploit their complete range of skills. ‘Marketing’, as a concept, is often misunderstood by freelancers working in the music business, and a bewildering variety of sources makes finding useful and relevant information about different types of activities difficult. This unit will provide students with knowledge that will form a ‘toolkit’ of information about freelancing and marketing activities they can use to further their career in the music industry. These ‘tools’ include offline techniques, such as effective networking, as well as online and social media marketing. Students will also be exposed to resources and utilities that will help them to create a professional marketing presence. Students will investigate and research the relative merits of each of these tools, helping them to evaluate the most suitable marketing activities for their area of practice, as they embark on the journey as an industry professional.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PORTFOLIO
(Pearson Unit 3)

The landscape of the music industry has changed dramatically over recent years; technology has influenced the way we both produce and consume music and whilst this has presented many challenges to musicians, artists, songwriters and record labels, it has also created new opportunities for music entrepreneurs. For employment in the music industry to be successful and sustainable, today’s professional is often versatile and enterprising, maintaining a portfolio career in which they can fully exploit their complete range of skills. Knowledge of your professional strengths and identity is the first step towards building a strategy that will inform your route towards professionalism. In this unit, you will explore the many potential avenues of employment that relate to your specialism, build an awareness of how to present yourself to the marketplace and embark on the journey of professional development.

MUSIC COPYRIGHT
(Pearson Unit 4)

Since a song is made up of the music (or composition), lyrics, performance and the sound recordings it’s important that the owners of each component of the music are able to protect how people use their work and are compensated accordingly. Copyright is just that, protecting the intellectual property of your creative work and ensuring that you’re able to monetise it. Copyright exists separately in recordings and songs, which means that record companies and publishers can use the rights in different ways. Music publishers are individuals and companies who help artists get fairly paid for their intellectual property in a variety of ways. This unit is going to teach you all about copyright, publishers, collections societies and how artists can protect their own intellectual property. In a digital music industry where rights are changing to reflect an online world, a knowledge of copyright is essential for young artists and creative industry professionals to succeed, particularly in a world where content is key.

THE MONETISATION OF MUSIC
(Pearson Unit 5)

Throughout the history of the music industry, technological shifts and developments have always caused disruption to business models within it. Some sectors experience threats, others opportunities. You will have the opportunity to understand where revenues are raised, both historically, in the present, and with an eye to the future. The early music business was only comprised of music publishing and live performances; how later, record companies arose and became a dominant force, only to decline in the face of digital disruption, whereas the live sector and associated sponsorship, endorsement and merchandising sectors grew rapidly as the music business entered the 21st century. The music business is a complex supply network in which multiple stakeholders are involved in providing different music products, services, and experiences. The relationships between these stakeholders and the final consumers and the value chain in between is useful to understand in the constantly changing digital music landscape. We will explore how music business assets are created, the ownership of such assets, and the exploitation in the marketplace, and the value chain between the different stakeholders.

MUSIC PUBLISHING
(Pearson Unit 6)

Historically, music publishing was the beginning of the modern commercial music industry, and existed long before record companies. Music publishers are responsible for the sourcing, protection, administration and exploitation of compositions in the music business. Music publishers, using A&R staff, find talented songwriters. They then enter into agreements with the songwriter, whereby the songwriter will write songs for the publisher to exploit for a period of time in return for fees or royalties. The publisher will then seek to exploit the songs by way of procuring recordings of the song, synchronisation of the song into films or games or commercials etc, public performance and/or broadcast of the song, and/or streaming or other dissemination of the song. By the end of the unit, you will learn how music publishing works and will have the opportunity to explore the journey of a composition from first writing through to the various forms of administration, exploitation and revenue collection undertaken by music publishers. You will also understand the different departments and roles within a modern music publishing company.

THE LIVE INDUSTRY
(Pearson Unit 7)

The Live Music Business’s primary activity is the booking and promoting of concerts, tours and festivals for artists at every stage of their career. Traditionally the live music business was seen to work as part of the promotion and marketing of the artist – an artist would tour to support a new album release, or open up for a more established act to get noticed by music fans. However, the issues and challenges faced by the recorded music business over the last 20 years now mean that live music has become of greater importance for most musicians. As artist manager Scott Welch says, ‘The top 10 percent of artists make money selling records – the rest go on tour.’ This unit will introduce you to the live music business and the key business practitioners – concert promoters, booking agents and concert tour managers – as well as the other participants in the production of the concerts and tours. You will gain knowledge of the process of concert booking and tour planning, and also how artists must anticipate and budget for the costs of performing live. By the end of this unit you will be able to create concert costings and offers for shows, tour routing and contracts for individual shows on a tour, a budget for the artist touring costs, and all the tour-related documentation that would be required.

SONGWRITING
(Pearson Unit 25)

Songwriting, in today’s music industry, requires a versatile set of skills and knowledge. Writing as an individual or writing as part of a collaborative project, involves a variety of transferable skills that will be explored and developed throughout this unit. The purpose and intention of songwriting material that is created must be at the front of any students wishing to earn money from their compositions. Skills developed in this unit include the social and cultural context of song creation and biographical context of song creation. Students will explore songwriting tools such as hooks, subject matter, song form, structure, arrangements and also communication tools and working with other musicians in a collaborative project or sharing ideas. The unit will develop processes for generating lyrical content and how to work with ‘inspiration’ through exploring the identity, purpose and intended market for songs related to genres. The aim of this unit is to equip students with the songwriting tools to create their own portfolio of material, whether as individual songwriters or as part of a collaborative team that is in line with current music industry needs. By the end of this unit, students will have developed their songwriting skills and how these skills can be applied to current music industry needs. Students will have created a portfolio of songs and explored any areas for future songwriting skill development.

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