Portfolio Advice Music and Performing Arts

Portfolio Advice: Music and Performing Arts

Some courses require you to submit a portfolio with your application. Here's what you need to know.

What is a digital portfolio?

During the pandemic Bath Spa University has not been able to invite applicants to campus for face to face auditions. As a result we have asked applicants to provide us with a digital portfolio. For the majority of our performing arts applicants this has taken the form of a selection of videos demonstrating your skills. For some of our music courses we have asked for audio recordings only.

The easiest way to share your videos is by uploading them to a publicly accessible site such as YouTube. For audio portfolios we recommend using SoundCloud.

What should I include in my digital portfolio?

Each subject has its own portfolio requirements which are provided below. Please read the portfolio guidelines carefully. If you have any questions regarding what to submit email mpainterviews@bathspa.ac.uk.

I have to record my videos at home - is this a problem?

We're aware that for many applicants there may be problems getting into normal performance spaces. Recording from your home or bedroom may be necessary and you may feel that this could limit your performance. The course teams are aware that these are difficult times and as result applicants may have to compromise on their submissions as a result. They will be looking for your potential in your submissions and will take into account the surrounding factors.

Can I submit recordings not specifically recorded for Bath Spa University?

If you have pre-recorded pieces that you've used for submissions for other applications, or for another reason, and they fit the criteria, you are very welcome to use these as your submissions.

If there is more than one person in your video submission please make it clear which performer you are.

Advice by course

BA (Hons) Acting and BA (Hons) Comedy

Your digital portfolio should consist of two contrasting monologues. Each monologue should be no longer than two minutes long. The monologues should be from contemporary plays (after 1970) and we advise you to perform in your own accent and playing range.

Please consider movement in your presentation - though a head and shoulders view would be good in one monologue. You should try to find monologues that show the panel the kind of person and actor that you are.

Please begin each piece with a short introduction to camera stating who you are, the course you are applying for and the title of the piece you’re presenting.

We know that you may not have access to your usual school facilities or filming equipment; just ensure that the audio and film is of a reasonable quality and do the best you can with what you have available.

Once we have received your submission we will ask you to attend an interview. The qualities we’re evaluating from the interview and portfolio are:

  • Responsiveness to ideas and direction
  • Creativeness of responses
  • Spontaneity demonstrated in tasks
  • Proficiency of skill
  • Breadth of knowledge
  • Approachability

Please submit your materials using this submission form.

BA (Hons) Commercial Music

Your Audio-Performance Portfolio should consist of three tracks and a link to a video which shows you playing your instrument and/or singing live.

The performance video could be one you may already have of you performing at a gig or college event, or you may need to record something new. In this case a video shot with your smartphone would be absolutely fine, but do ensure that the sound quality is good enough to enable us to hear your playing/singing.

The music that you upload could be written/performed by you as a solo artist or you may have contributed towards in an ensemble context. Each track should be no longer than four minutes.

Please use the questions in the Audio Portfolio details form to provide us with a brief description of each of the tracks, explaining your role in the writing, performance and/or recording of this music.

Submission Guidelines:

  • Please sign up for and create a free SoundCloud account, and upload your three chosen tracks to your newly created SoundCloud page.
  • Please complete the Audio-Performance Portfolio Form, answering all questions for all three tracks. Please use this form to prepare your answers; there are spaces to copy and paste your answers in the google submission form linked below.
  • Provide a video of you performing (singing or playing your instrument) and upload this to a video sharing platform. A YouTube private link is fine.
  • When you are happy that your three tracks and video have been successfully uploaded to SoundCloud and Youtube and you have completed the Audio-Performance Portfolio form, please submit your links and portfolio questionnaire responses via the portfolio submission google form.

Please submit your materials using this submission form.

BA (Hons) Creative Music Technology

Your audio portfolio may consist of up to four tracks and provide further information and background using this submission form.

The audio portfolio should represent your audio production, compositional, and/or sound design achievements to date. We are not seeking evidence of wide stylistic ability, but by all means provide a variety of approaches if this best describes your output. We hope to hear something that demonstrates you are listening closely to the music you make and that there is evidence you have used technology to explore composition and some aspects of production.

Your course may have enabled you to record ensemble playing or bands – but this is not relevant in this instance – it is your own recorded compositions/re-mixes which are of particular interest.

The interview process will also provide an opportunity for you and a course tutor to discuss your achievements to date and for you to assess the course, facilities and the University as a whole. At the interview you will be asked to discuss how you think our course will suit your interests and needs.

BA (Hons) Dance

Please send a range of work online in order to support your application. This should include three or four extracts of work that are at least two to three minutes in length each and a short two to three minute video statement introducing yourself and explaining why you are applying for the course.

You should ensure that the material you send allow you to demonstrate:

Essential

  • Dance technique: Demonstration of your knowledge and ability of dance techniques. In addition to centre work we are looking for your ability to work on the ground as well as moving through space. The course has a strong emphasis on contemporary dance so evidence of your skills in this style would be most useful to provide.
  • Performance work: example(s) of your performance work in an appropriate style. A solo dance can often provide the subject team with the best opportunity to review your performance skills.

Desirable

  • Choreographic/creative work - example(s) of original choreographic work that you have created.
  • If there is more than one person on any of the footage you provide then it must also be clear who the team needs to observe. You should indicate this with an accompanying note informing us of what you are wearing and where you are in the space. If you think this might be difficult then you should reassess whether the material is suitable for your portfolio.

Qualities we are reviewing

The materials you send will allow us to assess your physical potential and suitability for the course. We will be looking to see that you can demonstrate:

  • An understanding of, and potential to work in, a contemporary dance style
  • Technical ability (physical evidence of a dance training to an appropriate level)
  • Focus, alignment, energy and accuracy
  • Commitment and enthusiasm
  • Creativity and originality

Once we have received your submission we will invite you to attend an online interview.

Please submit your materials using this submission form.

BA (Hons) Drama

Please submit the following:

  • Two minute video monologue from a play of your choice (any period or genre)
  • Two minute presentation focusing on at least two of the following topics:
    • Who are your favourite practitioners and/or playwrights and why?
    • Which plays and books have had the biggest impact on you?
    • What are your particular drama skills and interests?
    • If you were collaborating on a performance project, which playwright or genre of theatre would you like to work with and why?
    • Why you want to study drama and how this relates to your career goals.

Please submit your materials using this submission form.

BA (Hons) Drama (Musical Theatre)

Please submit the following:

  • Two minute video monologue from a play of your choice (any period or genre)
  • Two minute video of yourself talking to camera in which you briefly set out your reasons for wanting to do the course (30 seconds max) and then analyse a practitioner, play or musical which you admire in terms of what you find interesting about them. Please try to be specific in your analysis, giving examples of the things you are discussing.
  • A video recording with reasonable audio quality including some scales sung to an accompaniment. MP4 is the preferred format.
  • A video recording of you performing the first 32 bars of a musical theatre song (any style, any show). MP4 is the preferred form.
  • A completed Vocal Health questionnaire (included in the google portfolio submission form).

Please submit your materials using this submission form.

BA (Hons) Music

Please provide links to two pieces that demonstrate your current level of technical ability and personal musical interests. We want to get to know you and your musical voice - play us the music you feel passionate about, be it classical, musical theatre, jazz, contemporary, world music, or combination thereof.

Aim to have about six minutes of music for us to hear. At least one of the two items should be performed on your first study (instrument or voice) but you may choose to perform one of the two items on a second study if you wish.

If you identify as a composer, arranger, or other music creator, then please send us some examples of work you have made to discuss at your audition. This could be a score, a recording, or something else entirely!

Be ready to talk for approximately five minutes about a recent musical experience that has inspired you, and be prepared to answer some informal questions on what you have said. There is no need to prepare a formal script in advance, but you may wish to think about your response before you arrive.

Please submit your materials using this submission form.

BA (Hons) Theatre, Festival and Event Production

Please provide a sharable digital portfolio of your work. This could be a Slide or PowerPoint presentation, website link or a link to a digital document or folder of work.

Your portfolio may draw from a wide range of topics including art, productions or events you’ve been involved with either on stage or backstage, design work, costume, fashion and textiles, technical drawings or plans, prompt copies, lighting designs, production videos, audio files, model making, film making, software designs, product design, prop making, mask making, film making, photography, work experience or even hobbies such as cosplay or World of Warcraft.

We are looking for transferable skills that we can link to the subjects we teach. We are also looking for a genuine interest in the creative industries and a willingness to communicate well and work hard.

You only need to demonstrate one or two of the skills listed above and you can also include any hobbies or interests that could be linked to the production industries.

Please submit your materials using this submission form.

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