BMus Undergraduate

Our four-year Bachelor of Music (BMus) degree programme attracts talented young musicians from across the world to study with today’s finest musicians and teachers.

The BMus combines focused study in performance, composition or jazz, with supporting academic studies. Every aspect is designed to help you towards realising your full musical potential, and to prepare you for your career in music.

The Academy’s BMus students have many different interests, and their study programmes are similary diverse. But all share a common core:

Principal Study

This is the focal point of your musical development.

Principal Study includes individual lessons on your instrument or in composition, and a combination of masterclasses, performance classes, chamber music, concerts and everything else that you do in your specialism. 

The central component is to give you experience of performing in public concerts. We provide numerous performance opportunities, both within the Academy and throughout London.

Along with every other BMus student, you will have at least one hour of one-to-one tuition per week in your Principal Study. You may well also take a Related Study (e.g. piccolo for a flautist). It may be possible for you to take an additional Second Study (e.g. piano for an oboist) – you can apply to do this at the start of the academic year. 

You will be assessed during the year by technical testing and chamber music, and at the end of the year by recital examination. 

Academic Study

Academic study is essential to your creative, intellectual and professional development.

 A range of core modules reinforces your awareness as a listener, develops your interpretive abilities and extends your knowledge and imagination.

A range of electives encourages you to pursue your individual interests as you prepare for a musical career. Jazz and Composition students take classes specifically aimed to enhance specialist knowledge (see their department pages for further details).

Core Modules

Analytical Techniques are taught in a mixture of lectures and seminars, studying basic technical and analytical issues in common practice tonality, from Bach to Mahler. Advanced study can be taken in the analysis of twentieth century music.

Aural Techniques are developed in classes that teach you how to write down melodies and rhythms from hearing, how to identify chords and progressions, how to discriminate between different tunings and intonation, how to make an aural analysis of a complete piece, and so on.

Keyboard Techniques that you study include transposition, score reading (quartet, symphony) and improvisation.

Conducting Techniques are important to your general musical development and thus you study basic baton technique and issues of balance and communication with other players.

Historical awareness and critical thinking are taught through modules that discuss general issues and offer detailed explorations of case studies in Western music history, focussing in particular on the history of performance practices and the impact of recording on music history.

Principles of Education and Music in Community

Open Academy has a very active programme of work.

Electives 

In your third and fourth year you choose electives from a wide selection. Some class electives encourage exploration of specific repertoire (e.g. Mozart Opera, Brahms, Messiaen, etc) and development of specific technical skills (e.g. Instrumentation, Advanced Aural, Performing Baroque Music). Others enhance your professional skills (Principles of Education, Creative Music Leadership, Music and Business). You can also choose to do a self-directed Research Project in a specific musical topic or interest.

Professional Study

Successful musicians have more than pure talent. In your career in music, you will need to be able to draw on a whole range of professional and entrepreneurial skills. You will need to recognise opportunities when you see them approaching, and to make the most of them. 

Professional Development – preparing for a life in music – is at the heart of your study. We offer a wide range of activities, events, training sessions and modules for you to hone your skill in such things as studio recording and editing techniques, self promotion and marketing, writing CVs, making funding applications, understanding the music business and working in arts management. At the end of your third and fourth years, you submit a portfolio of professional materials that helps you to prepare yourself for professional life after the Academy.

The Tutor System

Your BMus Tutors are available to discuss any aspect of your programme of study, including 

  • the performance and academic options that are available to you
  • balancing your busy timetable
  • your progress in all areas of study and personal wellbeing

With responsibility for both academic and pastoral welfare, the Tutors work closely with your Head of Department and teachers to monitor every aspect of your overall progress. They act as an important link between you and the institution.