Music Technology is a diverse subject area offering students the opportunity to develop skills in composition, production, sequencing and recording. Students have access to over 40 iMac workstations across two well equipped Mac suites, supporting Logic Pro and Ableton Live. They will also have access to the recording studio and a two separate post-production spaces.

 

On the course, you will develop your skills in composition, production, sequencing and recording, along with improving your IT skills, your communication skills, your attention to musical detail and your ability to create and generate musical ideas.

The course is varied and gives a thorough grounding in music production, technology-based music and acoustics. You will produce two pieces of non-examined assessment work. The first piece of work is a recording, for which you will choose a song, plan recording sessions, set up microphones, record performers and then spend time mixing and producing in class. The second is a technology-based composition, where you will blend synthesis, sampling and creative effects with the musical elements to produce a 3 minute piece of work. Alongside your practical work, you will study a variety of theoretical topics, from capture of sound to acoustics, and from effects and processing to mastering. These will be assessed via two exam papers in the summer of Year 13; assessing your listening, analysing and producing skills.

 

About the department facilities

 

Students have access to two Mac suites with Logic Pro, Ableton Live Lite and Sibelius Ultimate installed. They will also have access to the recording studio and two rooms equipped with post-production equipment. Music Technology students are strongly encouraged to participate in the extensive musical enrichment programme which encompasses a wide range of musical ensembles and performance opportunities.

 

Topics you will cover

 

You will follow the Pearson specification, studying four components:

  • recording

  • technology-based composition

  • listening/analysing

  • producing/analysing.

 

The course is 40% coursework based and 60% examination based. Students will understand the principles of sound and audio technology and how they are used in professional and creative practice.

 

Students will understand a wide range of production techniques as well as developing recording skills to demonstrate an understanding of sound and its capture. Alongside this, students will develop the skills to manipulate sound in imaginative ways, whilst also understanding the historical and cultural contexts of the use of technology in the creation, performance and production of music. As part of this, students will listen to and analyse a variety of different music in lots of different styles.

 

The course will place great importance on the activities of recording, processing, mixing, sound creation and creative music technology applications, underpinned by analytical listening. You will apply your music technology knowledge to various unfamiliar situations as part of your exams.

 

Entry guidelines

 

This course will appeal to students with more contemporary musical interests. You should be able to play an instrument to a reasonable standard and have some prior experience of working with sequencing software. Keyboard skills are desirable.

 

A Level Music Technology contains a topic called 'technical numeracy' which touches on maths and physics content with regard to acoustics, wave theory and some associated calculations. This builds on knowledge from GCSE Maths and Science, and could form part of a study programme with either A Level Maths and/or Physics.

 

It is possible for you to study a combination of BTEC Music, A Level Music and Music Technology at A Level. We would discuss this with you at interview to make sure it is the right choice for you.

 

Careers and progression in Music Technology

 

Music Technology is a fast-developing career path, leading to a diverse selection of careers. These might include composer, sound/audio engineer, performer, producer, teacher, acoustician, DJ or sound designer.

 

Recent student destinations

 

University of Salford

University of Leeds

University of Hull

University of Huddersfield

Leeds Beckett University

 

Trips and visits

 

The department enjoys a close working relationship with the University of Huddersfield who have previously run masterclass sessions such as deconstructing modern rock music production, modular synthesis and music mixing tools from the past, present and future. We have also run sessions in combination with Spirit Studios in Manchester and have visited local universities such as Leeds Beckett to find out more about music technology in higher education.