Thursday, August 16, 2018

Practicing Performance

Welcome to TICE Music.

The music industry is one of the toughest businesses to break into and the huge gulf between jamming in the bedroom to making it on a professional level often deters young people from making it a serious career option. TICE Music helps bridge this gulf. We equip the students with a broad knowledge of the music industry, from the creative to the business. However, we realise not every student will end up with a career in this field, so our programme aims to cover a number of other curriculum subjects and to enhance a students personal development.

Over the course of the year the students develop listening skills, learn how to play a cover version, how to write their own song, how to record and how to perform live. There are the obvious musical skills learned, developed and improved during the programme, however TICE Music also covers other key areas of the curriculum.

Live PerformancesDuring the 3 stages students develop critical examination skills on technical and emotional levels. They focus in deconstructing a work to find out how it is created – basically reverse engineering a work of art. It complements critiques of poetry and prose encouraged in English Literature. We examine global themes of songs that parallels aspects of sociology and psychology – what makes people engage with some songs and not others and what is going on in our brains when we do engage with a particular lyric? How do songs impact on wider culture and why are they important socially?

As the programme moves into the Silver and Gold stages students are increasingly required to think creatively. This often takes the form of problem solving. There is a strong connection to Maths, as both patterns in whole song structures and rhyme schemes must be developed. On a lyrical level the meter of the words is intrinsically pattern based and must work in close conjunction with creative English skills, so here we always see a very uniqWorking in professional settingsue blend of Maths and English Language. The impacts of Maths runs strongly during the application of music theory to the songwriting process – the arrangement of notes and the relationships between keys and chords is completely mathematical and the good music students will be engaging their analytical and mathematical skills almost without knowing it, as we look into these aspects.

The Gold stage covers some area of musical and technological History and some students who choose to compose in certain styles are required to examine the social and historical context of their genre. The students acquire a keen self-critical ear throughout this final stage which helps them across all subject areas. They are continually in a cycle of creative and analytical thinking with a critical feedback mechanism that means whatever they are creating continually improves. In the process of creating a song from nothing and often working in groups of people they have not met before, we see our students acquire and develop fundamental personal skills that employers are increasingly seeking. They must work alone and in groups, be open to others ideas and to be Working at Newcastle Universityable to effectively communicate their own. They must also work to challenging and tight deadlines, be self motivated, self disciplined and also be very determined.

Towards the end of the programme possible routes forward are explored and real industry feedback is given on their work. Students are given an introduction the the various career paths in the music industry. We know not every aspiring musician will make it as an artist in their own right and nor may they actually want to. Our students are encouraged to be open minded to employment in this sector and to look at the myriad of other jobs that exist – Management, AnR, PR, Marketing, Law, Tour/Event Management, Accountancy and many more.  The course is a clear and concise introduction to a vibrant creative industry, which hopefully sets many students on course to a happy and fulfilling career.

Core Subjects: Music, English Literature, English Language, Maths, Socially, History, Psychology, Business Studies