Performance

  • Award: MMus; PG Dip; PG Cert
  • School: School of Music and Performing Arts
  • UK/EU Fees: MMus tuition fees for full-time study are £6,210 (UK/EU students) or £10,905 (International students)
  • Fees and Finance Information
  • Course length: MA full-time: three trimesters (one calendar year); MA part-time: six trimesters (two calendar years); PG Dip full-time: two trimesters (one academic year); PG Dip part-time: four trimesters; PG Cert full-time: one trimester; PG Cert part-time: two trimesters.
  • Campus: Newton Park

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How to Apply

This course is aimed at performers with a strong interest in live or recorded performance within jazz or classical styles. The course will help you to develop and extend your repertoire and experience.

Why study Performance?

This course is aimed at performers with a strong interest in live or recorded performance within jazz or classical styles. The course will help you to develop and extend your repertoire and experience. You will be part of a vibrant Department of Music with a wide range of ensemble activities. Our staff include a number of highly regarded performers with international reputations. You will also receive one-to-one instrumental/vocal tuition from our team of experienced and expert tutors. There are opportunities within the course for performances in important venues (such as Bath Abbey) and for concerto performances for instrumental soloists.

There is an emphasis on developing high-level solo performance skills alongside ensemble and collaborative activities. You also develop performance-related research skills. Your final project will normally culminate in a high-profile public performance.

To see which instrumental and vocal tutors are currently available for one-to-one practical tuition please click here.

 

Course structure

In full-time mode, the course runs over three trimesters – you can start the course in October or February.

Trimester dates can be accessed via this link.

Bath Spa University Choir and Georgian Band

The first trimester involves you undertaking two modules: Performance 1 is designed to develop your performance skills and technique, and to extend your repertoire whilst the Context and Methodology module gives you a thorough grounding in research methodology. Your development as a performer is supported by regular one-to-one lessons with a specialist teacher.

The second trimester further extends your development as a performer. The performance module develops performance skills and repertoire whilst also furthering your understanding of performance history and practice. You also explore strategies for marketing yourself in this module. You have the opportunity to work with peers and across subject boundaries in the Context and Methodology module, as well as to take part in ensemble activities of different kinds.

The third trimester involves you preparing a programme for a substantial public performance. The content and structure of this project is to be negotiated with course tutors.

The course may also be taken part-time over two years. In this case, the first year comprises Performance 1, followed by Collaborative and Interdisciplinary Practice. The second year comprises Context and Methodology and Performance 2, and concludes with the Major Project over the summer. We welcome applications for part-time study, and anticipate grouping teaching on a single day each week to facilitate this.

Modules

Trimester 1

Performance 1: This module gives you an opportunity to develop your performance skills and technique, and to extend your repertoire. Your development is supported by regular one-to-one lessons with a specialist teacher. The module is assessed through a recital on your instrument or voice and through a reflective commentary on your process.

Context and Methodology: This module helps you to develop your research skills and methodology within the context of your own practice. The module is taught through a weekly lecture/seminar with tutorial sessions that focus on your specialism. The assessment item is a review of an area of your own choice, usually relating to repertoire or performance practice on your own instrument or voice.

 

Trimester 2

Performance 2: This module is designed to extend your performing skills and repertoire as well as to explore performance practice and performance history. You study and explore a wide range of performance-related issues and techniques through weekly seminars, workshops, instrumental/vocal lessons and tutorials. You analyze repertoire as well as recorded and live performances; there is set reading and listening, group discussion and performance. You also explore strategies for marketing yourself in this module. The module is assessed through a lecture recital.

Collaborative and Interdisciplinary Practice: This module focuses on collaboration of various kinds, including chamber music and ensemble work. You work with other students either on the Performance course or on our other MMus courses (such as composers or electroacoustic musicians), or indeed with creative individuals outside of the course. The module enables you to look beyond your core discipline and undertake interdisciplinary projects, but can also provide an opportunity to work in new ways within your core discipline through collaborative practice. Delivery centres around small-group seminars (focused on particular interest areas), and assessment is based on a portfolio of creative work and a self-evaluation/collaborative process document.

 

Trimester 3

Major Project: This double module enables you to work on a project of your own choice. This will usually be a performance project such as preparing a substantial recital programme for public performance. You receive tutorials and instrumental/vocal lessons accordingly.

Course assessment

Assessment takes the form of individual assignments for each module. These include practical assessments (such as recitals) and written assignments. 

This course is aimed at performers with a strong interest in live or recorded performance within jazz or classical styles, wishing to develop and extend their repertoire and experience.

Violin players at Bath Spa University

Teaching methods

Modules are normally taught via one-to-one lessons, seminars and practical workshops, supported by individual tutorials and online activity within the university's Virtual Learning Environment.  The Major Project involves student-directed work, with supporting tutorials and instrumental/vocal lessons. Visiting speakers, master-classes and other activities are arranged as appropriate. You are encouraged to make full use of library and IT resources within the University, and ample time will be scheduled in studios and workstation labs for independent study, as appropriate. In addition to the facilities available on the Newton Park campus, including the Michael Tippett Centre, we have access to the University's new Corsham Court Centre.

Performers are encouraged to collaborate with each other and with other students within the School of Music and Performing Arts (whether in music or in other disciplines). 

The Music Department currently runs a wide range of ensemble activity, all of which will be relevant to MMus Performance students. These ensembles include those in the western classical tradition (such as our Symphony Orchestra and Georgian Band) and jazz (BB1 and BB2) as well as in other areas (such as Gamelan and experimental music). BSU Music Department has developed close links with high-profile promoters of live music (including Bath International Music Festival, Bath Philharmonia, Bath Mozart Fest, Pump Room Series, Iford Arts) and these links will enable some significant performance-related opportunities for MMus Performance students.

 

Staff and Visiting Lecturers

MMus Performance is led by Dr Charles Wiffen and Professor Roger Heaton. Roger is a renowned clarinettist and conductor and performs throughout Europe as a soloist. He has played with the Arditti, Kreutzer and Smith String Quartets, and was a member of the London Sinfonietta and Ensemble Modern. He plays with the Gavin Bryars Ensemble, with whom he records regularly for CD and radio.

Charles Wiffen has performed extensively in Great Britain, Europe, North America, Israel, China, Japan and Southern Africa. Recent festival appearances have included the BBC Proms as well as numerous other festivals such as the Arundel, Brighton, Bath, Buckingham, Chelsea, King's Lynn and Warwick Festivals and concert tours have included Austria, Germany, Spain, Japan and China. Charles has broadcast for BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM and has recorded CDs for several labels including Toccata. He is a member of the London Archduke Trio and Contemporary Consort. Charles has taught at the Royal College of Music and at Trinity College of Music.

You may explore areas of your own interest, which may relate to staff specialisms, such as contemporary clarinet (Professor Roger Heaton), early music and music of the Georgian period (Dr Matthew Spring) and romantic and early twentieth-century music (Dr Charles Wiffen).

You will also benefit from the involvement of the many vocal and instrumental teachers within the Music Department. You can read more about them here.

Finally, there is a well-established masterclass programme at Bath Spa University. Recent visitors have included Dame Emma Kirkby (voice), Isobel Buchanan (voice), Stefano Parrino (flute), Badke Quartet (strings), Florian Uhlig (piano), Professor Colin Lawson (clarinet), Andy Sheppard (saxophone), Ensemble Bash (percussion) and Madeleine Mitchell (violin). This culture of high-level performance will be relevant and attractive to potential MMus (Performance) students.

Application method

Application forms are available online and should be completed and returned to us either electronically or through the post. If you have any queries please contact the admissions department:

Telephone: (01225) 875624.

admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

Applicants should submit a DVD recording with their application, comprising two contrasting works. Applicants should also submit an example of written work, particularly where this relates to your own practice, focusing on technical and/or aesthetic concerns.

Course enquiries

Please contact Professor Roger Heaton:

Telephone: (01225) 875628.

 r.heaton@bathspa.ac.uk.

 

Entry requirements

We offer places on the basis of our assessment of the student's quality, potential and commitment, and their ability to benefit from the course. Normally, but not invariably, a student will have a first degree. Applications are invited from candidates with a range of academic disciplines and from a variety of national backgrounds.

Career opportunities

Graduates from MMus Performance work in a wide range of performance-related areas such as:

  • Orchestral performance
  • Opera
  • Conducting
  • Choral direction
  • Chamber music
  • Accompaniment
  • Session work
  • Music promotion
  • Record labels
  • Broadcast media
  • Instrumental teaching
  • Group teaching
  • Community music projects
  • University lecturing

 

Bath Spa University 'Magic Flute' performance

What students say...

To see which instrumental and vocal tutors are currently available for one-to-one practical tuition please click here.

Jazz performer