Academic Studies

Academic and Supporting Studies: Introduction

Academic Studies are essential to every BMus student’s creative development. A comprehensive range of topical courses is offered across the disciplines of Historical Musicology, Analysis, Performance Practice and Composition, as well as Aural Training, Keyboard Skills, Technology, and Conducting (Supporting Studies) courses which are designed to reinforce students’ critical awareness as performers and/or composers.

Years 1 and 2 of the BMus comprise a common core. In Years 3 and 4, students select their own specialisms from a wide range of electives. The programme’s flexibility encourages students to pursue their own individual interests in order to prepare for a range of careers within the music profession.

Techniques and Analysis

This two-year, seminar-based course aims to develop understanding and appreciation of music at a technical level. Pastiche composition aims to provide facility in manipulating musical materials and ideas. Analysis of musical processes cultivates an ability to make informed performance decisions. Electives in T&A are available in Year 3.

Introduction to Performance Practice

An investigation of performance techniques and interpretative issues. This equips students with tools to investigate repertoire in both historical and contemporary contexts.

Class Electives

Offered to students from the third year onwards, class electives encourage exploration of specific repertoire (e.g. Mozart Opera, Brahms, Messiaen, etc) and development of areas of specific technical expertise (e.g. Instrumentation, Specialist Keyboard Skills, Historical Performance, etc).

Classes run as seminar groups, and students are expected to engage with emerging critical ideas and take the initiative in individual project work.

Topics in Western Music History

This one-year course focuses on the musicological, social and political context of composers within the western art tradition.

Presentational methods range from formal chronological surveys of historical periods to discussions of selected works. The course aims to generate an environment where students feel able to question received terms and definitions.

Musical Thought

This curriculum, which is unique to the Academy, is designed to introduce students to new disciplines and thereby extend creative abilities through encouraging critical thought. Subject areas, which range widely, take into account the aesthetic, social, political, and ethical issues facing the contemporary performing artist. Classes are structured as seminars, offering students an opportunity to engage in lively debate. 

Academic Studies



Christian Gerhaher and Chloë Hanslip announced as Visiting Professors


The Academy is pleased to welcome two internationally acclaimed musicians to its extensive roster of visiting professors: baritone Christian Gerhaher and violinist Chloë Hanslip.