Guitar

BA (Hons) Creative Musicianship

Overview

The guitar programme combines instrumental study with the opportunity to develop collaborative and entrepreneurial skills while performing a wide range of original and adapted music.

At BIMM Berlin, we understand that live performance is the key to you becoming a great guitarist, so you’ll spend a lot of time on stage to help you develop and find your niche as a performer. You’ll participate in weekly Live Performance Workshops (LPWs) in all three years, performing with your fellow students while receiving expert guidance from highly skilled BIMM tutors.

Perhaps the most exciting part is that you get to choose where you complete your second year of study – BIMM Berlin or BIMM London. Wherever you decide, you’ll study guitar techniques in both Years 1 and 2, ensuring the development of performance excellence is facilitated alongside the pursuit of creativity and artistry, and you’ll have the choice to continue with it in Year 3 at BIMM Berlin as an optional module.

You’ll explore and develop your potential career pathways through research and professional projects, learning the essential skills required to work successfully in the music industry.

Through a range of optional modules, including Showcase, Music for the Moving Image, Creative Technology Applications and Music Pedagogy in Practice, you can tailor the degree to fit your own personal goals.

Above all, the BA (Hons) Creative Musicianship offers an opportunity for you to explore your creative side as a musician, encouraging you to experiment with your style, try new things and push yourself to become the most unique and original individual artist you can be. As a graduate you’ll be ready to pursue a range of different career options, including artist, band leader, band member and arranger/composer.

So to make your way as a guitarist, connect with us, and we’ll connect you to a life in music.

Validated by:

EU Students €7,450 per year

Non EU Students €12,950 per year

Payment options available

UK Students: please note that this course is not eligible for Student Loans Company funding.

Year 1 (FHEQ Level 4)

In Year 1, students address the building blocks of individual artistry that will underpin, not only the rest of their studies, but also their future career. This includes interpreting a wide-range of music in both traditional and experimental contexts while developing an understanding of songwriting, music technology and the music business. Students take six modules (120 credits). All modules are mandatory and run throughout the academic year (30 weeks). Module names and structure may be subject to change.

  • Band Performance 1

    Working within an ensemble from within the pop music world, this module provides students with the opportunity to explore performing material from a given repertoire. The module’s emphasis is on the students’ own stylistic interpretation, creating their own parts that fit a given theme and showcasing their own personality on stage. Delivered via a workshop, their performances will be coached by two Musical Directors.

  • Performance Techniques 1

    This module is based around the study and development of technical performance concepts. Its aim is to strengthen the technical dexterity of the students and provide a strong foundation for performance and future study. The module strives to apply techniques in a musical way and supports the development of their unique, creative voice.

  • Songwriting and Creative Technology 1

    Artistic, creative vision is at this course’s core and this module explores the creation of original musical material within popular music styles, using music technology to support this creative vision. An emphasis is placed both on writing within an ensemble environment and upon writing via industry standard music technology software and hardware. This module helps to strengthen students’ creative abilities and develop their own original repertoire.

  • Styles

    In order to flourish creativity, this module explores given repertoires and genres from a performance and musical perspective, and allows students to establish a solid understanding of existing popular music styles to support their performances and the development their own original material.

  • Harmony and Theory

    This module aims to support student development in the key area of music harmony and theory. As both an important skill for the development of original music and a fundamental language used for communication by all musicians, it is important that students develop a solid grasp of the foundations of harmony, theory, reading and aural, and can apply these frameworks to their own music and artistic vision.

  • Popular Music Studies

    This module considers the history of popular music and the work of key artists in the context of the social, political and cultural developments of the 20th and 21st centuries. Students will exercise the research techniques necessary to write academic papers and they’ll study alongside students from the BA (Hons) Music Production, BA (Hons) Songwriting, BA (Hons) Music Business and BMus (Hons) Popular Music Performance courses.

Year 2 (FHEQ Level 5)

STUDY IN BERLIN OR LONDON – YOUR CHOICE!
Year 2 requires students to apply their skills to increasingly ‘real-world’ scenarios while utilising the weekly Live Performance Workshop (LPW) to explore the original music of their peers. Students also have the chance to select optional modules that allow them to focus their learning journey on either showcase performance, creative technology applications or composing for moving image. Students take six modules (120 credits). There are five mandatory modules and students select one of three optional modules. All modules run throughout the academic year (30 weeks). Module names and structure may be subject to change.

  • Band Performance 2

    This module further develops the performance skills of the students when working within a band and ensemble context. Stylistic interpretation, creativity and stage presence provide the focus, building on previously studied themes. The module features a heightened emphasis on originality within every aspect of performance via study of live set construction, instrumentation and technology issues, arrangement and original repertoire (where applicable). Delivered via a workshop, students will explore aspects of constructing, directing and delivering band performances under the guidance of two Musical Directors for both given and original material.

  • Performance Techniques 2

    To strengthen the performance ability of students, this module continues to develop specific instrument-based technical concepts via a study of prescribed exercises and patterns. The module aims to support effective practice methods that maximise use of time and minimise risk of injury, to develop the musician as a technically proficient performer and to support their own unique, creative voice.

  • Songwriting and Musicianship

    Building on songwriting, harmony and theory from Year 1, this module brings these elements together to further develop students’ harmonic ability and melodic creations through the study of iconic songwriters of the past 40 years. They’ll learn how to recognise chord sequences by ear and transfer concepts to their original compositions.

  • Artist Development

    The focus of this module is upon developing and building the students’ own artistic presence. They’ll study aspects of project development, creative inspiration, branding, image, social media, leadership, management and business plan development, alongside further study of aspects from the wider music industry, such as music publishing, synchronisation licensing, event management, promotion and marketing.

  • The Music Industry

    This module gives students the opportunity to study the fundamental aspects of the music industry. The aim is for them to have an understanding of its historical and contemporary structure, including learning the roles of key stakeholders and providers within it, and how those roles are constantly adapting to market pressures brought about by advances in new technology. Treating the industry as a set of related smaller organisations, students will cover aspects such as the facilitating of licensing, marketing, promotion, distribution, selling and production of music-related product. They’ll learn to apply study skills and basic research and academic writing techniques, and will study alongside peers from the BA (Hons) Music Production, BA (Hons) Songwriting, BA (Hons) Music Business and BMus (Hons) Popular Music Performance courses.

  • Optional – Showcase

    This module gives students the opportunity to explore and engage in aspects associated with a showcase performance of original material. As a commonplace activity in the industry, the showcase represents an opportunity for a musician to deliver self-authored material to an audience often featuring industry professionals. Students will develop a portfolio of songs with an emphasis on performing them with a small pop music based ensemble, or via solo accompaniment. With an emphasis on creativity and originality, this module gives them the chance to develop their own distinctive voice and musical personality within both songwriting and performance. Students will study alongside peers from the BA (Hons) Songwriting course.

  • Optional – Music for the Moving Image 1

    Working with image content is a satisfying and rewarding area. With an expansion of musical material embedded into more than just TV and film (i.e. radio and online adverts, corporate trade fairs, etc.) both ‘synchronisation licenses’ and commissioned-based portfolios are becoming more and more commonplace. This module has a creative focus, concentrating on compositional skills to produce ‘musical beds’ for a variety of image-based products (i.e. film, TV, etc.). Students will study alongside peers from the BA (Hons) Music Production and BA (Hons) Songwriting.

  • Optional – Creative Technology Applications

    Recent advances in technology have had a huge effect on what is achievable in various musical situations. In this module students will use real time sampling, synths, MIDI triggering and visuals to enhance their performance. Artistry is in expression, not in expensive equipment, and using easily obtainable gear successfully will give them the confidence to trust their own ideas and artistic sensibilities.

Year 3 (FHEQ Level 6)

Year 3 affords students the opportunity to participate in the self-directed final Performance Project, while choosing from a range of optional modules that will best support them to make the transition from student to creative artist. Students take five modules (120 credits). There are three mandatory modules and students select two of four optional modules. All modules run throughout the academic year (30 weeks). Module names and structure may be subject to change.

  • Creative Project

    This module gives students the opportunity to engage in the creation of a high level, autonomous portfolio of work. They’ll select a suitable subject and under supervision from an industry specialist will deliver a portfolio of creative work that includes practical and/or portfolio-based content.

  • Band Performance 3

    Delivered in a workshop format, this module allows students to further explore band and ensemble performances based within the popular music cannon. With an emphasis on high-level stylistic interpretation and originality, this module allows students to explore performance in a creative environment. They’ll work with musicians and musical directors to define, arrange and perform both original and given repertoires via classroom sessions, study groups and self-directed rehearsal. A reflective journal provides the opportunity for Personal Development Planning and self-critique.

  • Personal and Business Development

    This module gives students the opportunity to explore and develop the personal, interpersonal and team skills that count towards success. The module will introduce what are often called the “soft” skills – or the “emotionally intelligent” skills – that are increasingly vital for personal and business success, and particularly important for freelancers. They’ll study alongside students from the BA (Hons) Music Production, BA (Hons) Songwriting and BMus (Hons) Popular Music Performance courses.

  • Optional – Songwriting and Creative Technology 3

    Supporting the ability to construct, create and produce original material, this module explores to a heightened level the conventions of songwriting and the use of industry standard music technology hardware and software within the field.

  • Optional – Techniques 3

    This module aims to enhance creativity and innovation in performance skills, as well as consolidating students’ evaluation of stylistic and interpretative issues. They’ll be expected to achieve and maintain advanced performance standards in order to fulfil their potential, with a view to obtaining professional employment in the music business. Students will study alongside peers from the BMus (Hons) Popular Music Performance course.

  • Optional – Music Pedagogy in Practice

    This module helps participants develop the skills for engaging in community music projects, alongside setting up a successful teaching practice. Private, group and classroom teaching is integral to many professional musicians’ business plans, and two or three days teaching a week can provide the financial security needed to pursue other long-term career goals. Students will learn how to: plan and deliver lessons, assess students and give them feedback, and evaluate their own teaching in order to improve it. Community-based music projects provide an opportunity for a music industry professional to engage in work that supports people to enjoy and learn from making music. They’ll study alongside peers from the BA (Hons) Music Production, BA (Hons) Songwriting and BMus (Hons) Popular Music Performance courses.

  • Optional – Music for the Moving Image 2

    Building upon previously studied concepts, this module allows students to explore composition traits and techniques to an advanced level, while working within the moving image idiom. Exploring a myriad of visual themes, they’ll study both the compositional and production traits associated with working within corporate video, advertising and commercials, television film and drama, brand idents and television themes, documentaries and animated features. Analysis of commercial work will instil reflective practice within their own work. They’ll study alongside students from the BA (Hons) Songwriting and BA (Hons) Music Production.

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS:

EU Students

To be considered for a place, students must have passed the Abitur with an overall grade of 4.0. A score of 10 / gut in the Hauptfach / Leistungskurs / Kurs mit erhöhtem Anforderungsniveau will meet necessary English Language requirements. Completion of the IB with a minimum score of 24 overall is required. Applicants studying A1/A2 in English will meet our English Language requirements.

UK Students

Minimum of 2 A-levels at grade C or above (160 UCAS points) or BTEC level 3 equivalent, and five GCSE qualifications at grade C and upwards, including English Language.

Please contact the Admissions Team if you’ve studied other qualifications. If you haven’t studied an approved English Language qualification, we require that you take an IELTS exam achieving a minimum score of 6.0 with no less than 5.5 achieved in each band.

Want to study here?

How to apply

Applications can be made directly to BIMM Berlin, to request an audition and/or assessment call +44 20 3701 3966. All students will be invited to attend an audition and/or assessment. International applicants who can’t attend an audition and/or assessment will be sent guidelines and an application form.

UK applicants can alternatively apply via UCAS – this course can be found on UCAS.com here.

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Coming from abroad?

International students

We’re proud to welcome students from all around the world. Our dedicated International Team is on hand to help with applications, visas, accommodation, settling in and much more.

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Course Specification

Mode of attendance:
Full-time
Length of course:
3 years
Awarding institution:
University of West London
Teaching institution:
BIMM Berlin
UCAS Code:
W3C5
Language of study:
English
Final award and exit awards:
BA (Hons)
Admissions criteria:
EU STUDENTS: To be considered for a place, students must have passed the Abitur with an overall grade of 4.0. A score of 10 / gut in the Hauptfach / Leistungskurs / Kurs mit erhöhtem Anforderungsniveau will meet necessary English Language requirements. Completion of the IB with a minimum score of 24 overall is required. Applicants studying A1/A2 in English will meet our English Language requirements. Please contact the Admissions Team if you’ve studied other qualifications. If you haven’t studied an approved English Language qualification, we require that you take an IELTS exam achieving a minimum score of 6.0 with no less than 5.5 achieved in each band. UK STUDENTS: Minimum entry requirements are five GCSEs at grade C or above (including English Language), plus two A-levels at grade C or above (160 UCAS points) or a BTEC level 3 equivalent.

Teaching this course

BIMM Tutors

From headlining the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury with Moby and playing drums in the soundtrack to the Hollywood movie ‘Nine’, to performing for The Queen and being a vocal coach on the Russian version of The X Factor, our BIMM Berlin tutors have done it all. Imagine what you could achieve with direct access to their knowledge, guidance, experience and enviable industry connections!

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Our students prove that talent and hard work are an impressive mix, with nearly 80% of our graduates making a living out of music alone. Take a look at our shining stars.

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