Our HND in Music Performance is much more than a qualification, we view it as a two year work placement where our students benefit from developing a high quality CV and showreel, preparing them for working in the industry or moving on to University.
Delivered in our unique commercial environment, centred around one of Scotland’s most celebrated recording studios, this is the perfect course for those looking to build a successful career as a professional musician.
Frequent access to our commercial quality production and pre-production facilities, along with the opportunity to collaborate with other like-minded future industry professionals, provides our students with an exciting route into the music industry.
Practical applications of the Performance course will allow candidates to build their musical skills in group situations, develop a professional stage presence and learn about the practical aspects of performing. Our Performance students also have the opportunity to further develop their playing technique through individual study and one to one sessions with our experienced tutors.
At a glance our Music Performance students:
- Develop song writing skills and expand their knowledge of recording software and various recording techniques
- Generate high quality recordings and gain the required skills to become a recording or session musician
- Participate in a commercial record release and gain an understanding of promotion
- Network and participate in seminars and workshops with leading industry professionals
- Gain hands on experience at the other side of the mixing desk, accessing the latest music software and equipment
- Cover theory based subjects such as; Income generating organisations (PRS, MCPS, PPL, MU) and legal issues (contractual and copyright law, management, publishing, recording and live performance contracts)
Every single element of the course has been carefully designed and ties directly to industry relatable practices and activities.
HND Year 1 - Course Content
Our students learn the organisational aspect of the music industry, giving them the background and knowledge to build a successful career within it. This unit provides an in-depth look at the commercial organisations that form the creative industries, such as; PRS for Music, MCPS, PPL, MU and many others.
Get Industry Ready - Focus is placed on providing information on the opportunities for promotion and networking, relevant to building a successful career in the industry. Students will create a CV and identify the skills and qualities necessary to undertake a successful funding opportunity.
Although the focus is on self-employment legal issues and the research of available income streams, students will gain a valuable insight and transferable skills that could apply to other roles within the industry, for example, working with, or as, a promoter, managing bands or venues, working with sync companies etc…
Students will receive focussed one to one tuition with the aim of developing a high level of proficiency on their chosen first instrument.
Get Industry Ready - Elements of First study are crucial when considering roles such as; professional performer, music tutor, examiner or session musician etc…
Develop the skills necessary to perform in a live situation, including all the practical aspects involved and an understanding of the appropriate technology. Our students work towards performing at a live gig as part of the assessment.
This unit will improve candidates instrument skill and compliments first study as it establishes a rehearsal routine, encouraging a professional work ethic.
Get Industry Ready - This unit is primarily designed to provide students with the required skills to participate in a structured rehearsal program and perform in a live environment (A minimum of three showcase events at city centre venues; King Tut’s, Classic Grand, Stereo etc…)
This unit is used to supply bands and artists for our HND Sound Production, offering cross course networking opportunities highlighting this unique aspect of the Riverside learning experience.
Some of the HND Sound Production Units our Performance students participate in;
- Multi-track recording - Students will gather the required skills to become a recording / session musician, learning studio etiquette and how to communicate with relevant sound technicians in a professional capacity.
- Advanced Studio Techniques - Students are placed in a variety of situations including large ensembles or performing sessions in a live broadcast scenario.
- Sound for Live Events - Learning the correct procedures and protocols when communicating with appropriate technicians or personnel in the live environment.
Working with our Sound Production students gives our performers the opportunity to forge working relationships with like minded, future industry professionals, whilst building a portfolio of work.
The focus of the Music Theory unit is the rudiments of music and the relationship of the written symbol to sound. This unit is designed to promote knowledge and understanding of musical theory in context.
Get Industry Ready - Knowledge gained in this unit can help secure jobs within the music industry such as; music tutor, composer, session musician or performer.
Designed to deliver an understanding of a digital audio workstation specification and the ability to record and manipulate audio and MIDI for sound production. It gives our students an underpinning knowledge required to utilise the main functions of a digital audio workstation and to take an audio engineering project to a conclusion by creating a final production master.
Get Industry Ready - This unit is crucial for today’s musicians in a world of home recording and self releasing/producing. The unit teaches candidates to select the appropriate software and apply the appropriate techniques in order to record and produce high level professional recordings using a digital audio workstation.
Studying Digital Audio Workstations will benefit candidates when entering a professional recording studio as they will possess a broad knowledge of industry standard platforms, such as, Pro Tools and Ableton Live.
Designed to give candidates an insight into the multi-track recording process, related terminology and key factors concerning the recording of music. This unit is aimed at candidates who have little or no prior knowledge of recording equipment.
Get Industry Ready - Frequent access to a professional recording environment ensures our performers can be confident when articulating their needs to sound technicians.
The unit covers critical areas, such as; session planning, appropriate microphone selection and techniques, equipment selection, connections and routing, artist monitoring, Multi-track recording systems, gain structure, overdubbing, studio etiquette, EQ and processing.
This unit is crucial for today’s musician, in a world of self releasing and self producing, RTFM teaches candidates to select the appropriate equipment and apply the appropriate techniques in order to record and produce high level professional recordings.
This unit is designed to develop the skills required by a songwriter. This is achieved by listening, analysing and researching existing songs. Students will work through a series of musical examples and research their chosen genre, in order to assist the creative process and assimilate the necessary knowledge and skills. Students then undertake the process of songwriting based on the conventions of the chosen genre. Some elements of this unit are cross-assessed with the Digital Audio Workstations unit and reinforced within First Study, Live Performance and Music Theory.
Get Industry Ready - Perfect for those looking to pursue careers as recording artists, composers or songwriters.
The graded unit is designed to provide evidence that the candidate has achieved the following principal aims of HND Music Performance Year 1:
- An ability to analyse and synthesise knowledge and skills acquired through study
- An ability to develop study, organisational and research skills
- An ability to develop competencies in a range of specialised areas of their choice, in line with their preferred career aims
- An ability to prepare candidates for progression to further study in music
- An ability to adopt innovation and creativity in their work and be able to respond quickly to the challenges posed by changes in the music or audio industries.
The Creative Project is designed to enable candidates to develop expertise in the generation, development, completion and presentation of a project to a given brief, for an elected vocational area of the creative industries. This project acts as a ‘showcase’ to display skills and knowledge being acquired throughout the group award.
Get Industry Ready - Learners will plan and produce a portfolio of work that will prepare them to confidently take the next steps in their chosen career or further studies.
Both Graded Unit and Creative project work in tandem to enable candidates to work on a project that will see them specialise in a discipline of their choosing, both these units revolve around the culmination of a years learning and are delivered as a large project for which they will receive an end of year grade.
HND Year 2 - Course Content
This Unit is designed to provide the candidate with knowledge and understanding of their first study instrument and the skills to become a technically proficient musician. On completion of the Unit the candidate should be able to perform in a range of appropriate solo and/or group situations, displaying advanced technique and musicality. The Unit is aimed at candidates who wish to develop a high level of proficiency on their first study instrument.
This Unit is designed to enable candidates to evaluate the impact of digital technology on the music industry. It equips candidates with the skills required to recognise the challenges and opportunities arising in the production, distribution and consumption of music as a consequence of digitalisation. It would be relevant to candidates interested in working with artists in the marketing and dissemination of their work, whether in the capacity of artist manager or record label.
This Unit is designed to give candidates an understanding of the practical aspects associated with ‘gigging’ and to develop the skills necessary for a successful live performance. Candidates will also expand their knowledge and understanding of appropriate technology used during live performances. The Unit is aimed at candidates who wish to develop a high level of proficiency in the live performance of music.
This Unit is designed to give candidates an insight into the multi-track recording process, related terminology, and key factors concerning the recording of music. It is aimed at candidates who have no prior knowledge of recording equipment.
The Unit is designed to enable candidates to undertake and understand practical multi-track recording and mix down within a digital multi-track recording studio environment. This Unit is intended to extend the knowledge and skills of Recording Techniques for Musicians 1.
This unit will give candidates a broad knowledge of a period in music history with an emphasis placed on stylistic evolution.
This Unit is designed to give the candidate an advanced level of understanding of digital audio workstation operation and the ability to engineer a multi-track recording session for sound production. It will give the candidate the knowledge required to utilise complex functions and the synchronous running of dual applications in a digital audio workstation. It is also designed to give the candidate the knowledge and skills to take a sound production project to a conclusion by creating an edited production master.
This Unit is designed to develop and extend candidates’ knowledge and understanding of music theory and articulates with, and is a direct progression from, the Unit Music Theory 1.
The Unit is intended primarily for candidates who are interested in pursuing a potential career in all aspects of music, eg performer or composer and would benefit those who wish to progress to Higher Education in Music.
This Graded Unit is designed to provide evidence that the candidate has achieved the following principal aims of the HND Music:
- an ability to analyse and synthesise knowledge and skills acquired through study
- an ability to develop study, organisational and research skills
- an ability to develop musicality, expression and creativity
- to build proficiency in instrumental performance and stagecraft and/or composition and promote sensitivity in musical presentation
- an ability to develop critical analysis; to reflect on own work and continually strive for best practice
- an ability to integrate these skills in practical or business applications
- an ability to develop competencies in a range of specialised areas in line with their preferred career aims
- to enable progression to further study in music or a related discipline
- to enable the adoption of innovative practices and creativity in work and ability to respond quickly to the challenges posed by changes in the music industry
- an ability to develop personal skills and follow music industry protocol
Demonstrate and understand the roles and responsibilities of a session musician.
Fees & Funding
Riverside offers flexible payment options for students wishing to pay fees via our SAAS and non-SAAS funded instalment plans. Eligible students can also apply for living cost support via SAAS, who have a combination of loans, grants and bursaries available. Student loans of up to £6,750.00 and bursaries of £2,000.00 are available depending on individual circumstances. For further details please check the SAAS website.
Minimum of One Higher (Band C or above, music is highly desirable) or equivalent plus passes in at least 2 other subjects at NAT 5 or equivalent. Students must demonstrate ability on at least 1 instrument, or voice.
2 Years (HNC can be obtained after 1 academic year) August - June (full time)