Music in Scotland setting the scene

The city of Glasgow alone employs over half of the entire country's music industry workforce, has the largest population of music students and the highest density of music based courses in Scotland. It is estimated that in an average week 130 music events take place in the city alone. It is little wonder then that in 2008 Glasgow received the honour of being awarded UNESCO City of Music status. To keep Scotlands music industry buoyant and robust new talent must be discovered and cultivated. The choice of music courses available in Scotland is vast and the experience of learning in our award-winning universities and performing in some of the worlds best venues is unsurpassed. Just like our music there really is something for everyone!

Music courses in Scotland the classics

For classical training its hard to beat the historical Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD). Based in Glasgow, roots of the Academy are traceable back to 1847 when the Academy began life as the Glasgow Athenaeum, whose ethos was to provide education in the arts to all, regardless of class and background. Over the centuries the Academy has grown and developed but the ethos remains the same. Classical courses at the Academy cover everything from chamber music coaching to full orchestral ensemble opportunities with intensive teaching in the different instrument groups ranging from woodwind to brass and strings to keyboards. The objective of each course is firmly on enabling students to progress into professional roles in performing orchestras, groups and ensembles. Progression and development is at the heart of the Academy for students and the institute itself. True to its inclusive roots, the Academy also offers many short courses in Music and Drama for young people, regardless of geographical and economic backgrounds.

Festivals in Scotland opportunities and capital gains

In a city famed for its festivals and musical events such as the Military Tattoo, The University of Edinburgh offers courses in Music and Music Technology and offers unprecedented opportunities for participating in events in some of the capitals most spectacular, historic venues. Along with classical music training the university also runs short specialist courses on genres such as the Journey into the Film Soundtrack which offers students an insight into how film composers create soundtracks for films and Digital Composition which specialises in computer generated music.

Traditional Scottish music back to our roots

Traditional Scottish music is as relevant now to Scottish cultural heritage as it has been throughout history. The UHI Millennium Institute (University of the Highlands and Islands) is a partnership of colleges and educational institutes that provides university education to the Highlands and Islands and offers an undergraduate course in Gaelic and Traditional Music. The only music course of its kind allows musicians the opportunity to study the music, traditions and history of Gaelic. The course is taught at the only Gaelic medium college in the world and the college is based on the breathtaking Isle of Skye.

Study in Scotland: the bigger picture

Of course writing and performing music is only one aspect of the multi-faceted music industry. A number of Scottish colleges and universities offer wider courses in everything from music management to sound engineering and marketing. Many have an emphasis on providing real world training to give graduates the skills needed to get a foothold in this competitive market. Stow College in Glasgow aims to maintain the citys unequalled musical credentials by training and nurturing creative talent in the city. Specialising in, amongst many other things, Sound Production and Music Management and Marketing courses the college also runs three award-winning record labels. The Electric Honey, Gdansk and Root 8 labels are all run by students as part of college courses and have been instrumental in promoting the likes of Belle and Sebastian, Snow Patrol and Mylo as well as promoting world music.

The Music Industries MA course at Edinburgh Napier University provides a realistic view of the music industry and focuses on modules such as music publishing and recording and distribution. James Watt College in Ayrshire offers specialist courses such as Sound Production and Urban/Electronic Music Production along with Music Business courses covering all the basics of the industry. The University of the West of Scotland in Paisley offers a Commercial Music course that enables students to sustain varied, life-long careers within the industry. Incorporated into the courses are experience of record releases and performance events to help students develop a genuine insight into the industry.

With excellent links between all the colleges and the industry, successful students are provided with real opportunities for career progression in this ever changing industry.

Find out how to apply to Scottish schools, colleges and universities

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