The Music Department has five recording studios running Logic Pro on Macs and there is a wide range of microphones, suitable for all recording applications. Additionally there is a large suite of Macs equipped with Logic Pro to allow students to undertake individual work in their own time.
The A Level Music Technology course is split into four main disciplines: recording, sequencing, producing and listening. In order to get the most out of the course, students should be interested in a variety of popular styles of music – from the 1950s to the present day.
The Music Department is a great place to meet like-minded musicians and form bands. Performance opportunities are in abundance and include lunchtime gigs, the Spring and Winter Concerts, annual Battle of the Bands competition and Reigate College Leavers Music Fest.
Studying Music Technology offers a variety of career paths. There are many employment opportunities including: composing for film, TV and games, live sound, studio engineering, music management and events, solo artist, session musician and song-writer.
Further Study opportunities include degree courses in all areas of Music Technology, for example:
- Surrey University Tonmeister course. Usually two or three students a year secure places on this highly acclaimed course. Tonmeister course requirements are stringent. Students must have high grades in Maths, Physics, Music Technology/Music and Grade 5 Theory
- Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts
- Popular Music and Recording, University of Salford
- Popular Music, Napier University, Edinburgh
Each year students produce two assessed recordings, and at the end of each year there are two exams, one covering the technical aspects of Sequencing and Recording, and one the analysis of production techniques throughout music history.
Students will develop skills in:
- Sequencing, synthesis and sampling
- Multi-track recording, mixing and mastering
- Composing and arranging
- Listening and analysing styles most common in popular music
Course Specific Trips, Visits & Experiences
Music Technology students have the opportunity to take part in a variety of course related experiences. During the first year, students will visit a professional recording studio to record a song and sit in on a mixing session. They will return to the same studio during the second year and take full control of a mix session on an analogue SSL desk. There are also numerous opportunities to gain real experience of performing and sound engineering at College-organised events.
The Music Department is a great place to meet like-minded musicians and form bands. Performance opportunities are in abundance and include lunchtime gigs, along with:
- Music videos such as Times Like These and Don’t Go Out
- A chance to perform in the College’s Winter and Spring Concerts and the annual Battle of the Bands as well as regular lunchtime recitals
- A chance to perform at the College’s annual Leavers’ Festival
- The opportunity to take part in Reigate’s New Music Fest – both behind the scenes and on the stage
In addition to course specific experiences, students also have the opportunity to get involved in the College’s Activities Programme.
All students need to gain an experience of the work place during their time at College and for students studying vocational courses it should ideally be linked to one of their subject areas.
The course is assessed through two practical and written examinations in June of the second year and externally assessed coursework.
The exam board for this A Level is Pearson Edexcel.
All students need to have at least five GCSEs at Grade 4 or above (and a satisfactory school reference) in order to be accepted on an A Level/BTEC Level 3 Programme.
In addition, students should meet the following minimum entry requirements:
- Evidence of musical ability, for example GCSE or BTEC Music, ABRSM Grades or those offered by similar awarding bodies
- Grade 4 in Maths and
- Grade 4 in Combined Science or Grade 4 in Physics
Acceptance on the course is subject to an audition, at which prospective students will be asked to perform their instrument to Grade 5 ABRSM standard, willl be given a basic piano sight reading test and discuss why they wish to take the course. A pass at Grade 5 ABRSM Instrument is not required as long as students can play to this standard.
Students will do well on the course if they are:
- Natural performers – perhaps already in a band
- Fascinated by the workings of music studios and production companies
- Good with IT
- Team players
- Keen to develop studio skills to a high level
Students should be able to perform in public both as solo artists and as members of a group. In addition, students should be willing and able to organise groups of people for a recording session.
Why take this course?
If you’re passionate about a wide range of music, you’re fascinated by the technology used in its production, and you want a career in music or sound, this is the course for you.
What will I do on the course?
Practical work is divided between recording projects (learning to capture and mix musical sound) and composing projects (learning to compose to a brief using synths, samplers and effects). Throughout the course, new technical concepts are introduced and applied within these projects. We learn to analyse production techniques used throughout recorded music history, so students must have an open mind to a wide range of genres. We also visit a world class recording studio to experience the industry environment.
Why is there an audition process?
Each year we have more eligible applicants than available places on the course. The audition process exists to give opportunities to those whose expectations of the course are aligned with its outcomes, and whose musical ability best supports the technical learning.
What will my audition involve?
You will be asked to perform to the equivalent of Grade Five ABRSM standard or above, perform a simple sight-reading test on piano, and discuss your passion for music. If you’ve already made some recordings, we’d love to hear them.
How much performing is there on the course?
Students must play and sing on each other’s recordings during the course. We also have two College concerts each year which Music Tech students are expected to perform at, and a number of ensembles you can opt to join. You can also participate in the annual Reigate College Battle of the Bands competition, held at the Harlequin Theatre, Redhill.
Do I need to have made music with computers before, or have music software at home?
No as we learn Logic Pro X starting with the basics, although previous experience is welcome. Practical coursework must be completed using the College facilities.
I’ve made music using software but I don’t play an instrument to the required standard. Can I still apply?
All applicants must be capable enough to play on each other’s pieces using a score or a chord sheet and a metronome. If you’re not sure if you’re Grade four standard or are self-taught, just come and show us what you can do!
Can I use the department studios to work on my own music?
Currently the possibilities for this are limited by the Covid-19 restrictions, but it is strongly encouraged where possible. The coursework itself will be quite demanding.
I’ve been making beats at home and want to progress further. Is this the course for me?
It could well be, but you will need to be open to working on and learning about music in a wide range of genres, and to the technical content of the course. To make beats, all you really need is some free software, some online tutorials, and some patience. Our learning includes this and goes way beyond it.
Who are the teachers?
Nick Nekanda-Trepka has over ten years of experience working in professional studios and with world-class artists in a variety of roles and continues to run a studio in London alongside his teaching. Wayne Mohanaraj is a very experienced music teacher and a talented musician, with extensive expertise in Logic Pro X, music production and songwriting.