course page main image

Musician as Educator - PgCert

Currently viewing course to start in 2024/25 Entry.

The PgCert ‘Musician as Educator’ course enables professional practitioners working across a variety of music education settings to access high-quality CPD that can be scheduled around their regular working hours to enhance their practice. You will be introduced to a spectrum of areas relevant to the 21st-century music educator....

  • School Royal Birmingham Conservatoire
  • Faculty Faculty of Arts, Design and Media

This course is:

Open to International Students

Overview

The PgCert ‘Musician as Educator’ course enables professional practitioners working across a variety of music education settings to access high-quality CPD that can be scheduled around their regular working hours to enhance their practice. You will be introduced to a spectrum of areas relevant to the 21st-century music educator. These will include the position(s) of music in society and the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion; creative approaches to curricula and assessment strategies; and situating your practice within the wider music education landscape.

Lectures and workshops will be interspersed by roundtable sessions, facilitated by staff from RBC’s Pedagogy and Community Department, where you will be encouraged to think about the application of learning theories and other pedagogical issues to your own practice. The rationale for this approach is to enable you (along with students working across different music education contexts) to tailor the module content to suit your own requirements, goals, and interests, whilst building and learning alongside, and from, like-minded professionals. Through group work and pre-/post- session tasks, you will share ideas about your emerging understanding, and be supported to collaborate and extend these conversations between taught sessions.

You will track your ongoing development through a reflective journal. Engaging in ongoing reflection and close professional mentoring will assist you in finding the precise focus that is of most benefit/interest to your professional development. You will be allocated a pedagogy mentor and be supported in devising and undertaking a small-scale research project in an area of your professional practice. The assessment brief contains significant flexibility to allow you to present your work in a format appropriate to you, including for dissemination in professional contexts.

This course may interest:

  • Conservatoire and university music graduates who have recently started teaching and do not wish to pursue classroom training via PGCE or similar routes, and are seeking to build on the pedagogical training offered at undergraduate level.
  • Instrumental/vocal/composition teachers at different stages in their teaching careers who are working in private practice where CPD opportunities are limited or not easily accessible.
  • Employers, including independent schools and Music Education Hubs, who are signposting formalised training routes for their instrumental teaching staff.
  • Generalist teachers of any discipline who are employed as music-coordinators in their primary school.
  • Musicians from a diverse range of musical backgrounds who deliver music workshops in the community.
  • Visiting instrumental teachers working in Higher Education Institutions.
  • Composers and music technologists working individually or collaboratively within the music education field.
  • International students will not normally be eligible for this course since it is part-time. However, students with ‘indefinite leave to remain’ can apply for this course. It may also be possible for students holding ‘pre-settled’ status to apply. Applications would need to be checked on a case-by-case basis due to multiple additional eligibility criteria. Please contact the Course Director for a discussion about this.

This course does not lead to QTS.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

You can tailor the course to your own particular interests and career development needs. The course involves participation in both academic and practical activities that promote professional development relevant to your career as a music educator. Building on your professional experience, you will learn to reflect deeply on your work and situate your practice within cutting-edge thinking on effective music pedagogy.

The teaching, learning and assessment you will encounter on this course is designed to:

  • Nurture your creativity as a music education practitioner through inspiring and interactive CPD and practice-led research
  • Promote an open-minded and enquiring attitude through engagement with peer-led discussion with like-minded participants in a professional learning community
  • Cultivate an appreciation of key theoretical concepts and practice-based issues in music education
  • Develop academic autonomy through the implementation of appropriate research skills
  • Equip you with a range of transferable skills, such as well-developed autonomy, self-reliance, organisation, self-reflection, problem-solving and decision-making skills
  • Enable you to develop areas of specialism relevant to your career as a music educator
  • Promote self-reliance and responsibility for personal and professional development
  • Provide ongoing opportunities for professional development

The course will consist of one 60-credit module entitled Professional Practice which will broadly comprise:

  • Principles and theories relating to learning, teaching and assessment and their application in a range of music education contexts
  • Approaches to reflective practice
  • In-depth research methods and ethical considerations
  • Presenting research findings

Assessment will be via a Professional Practice Project.

The PgCert Musician as Educator course provides an excellent grounding for those looking to develop their careers in music education. Specifically, the ‘Professional Project’ element enables working practitioners to tailor their learning to their individual needs, ensuring it is directly relevant to current and future practice in the sector.

Birmingham Music Education Partnership

Why Choose Us?

  • At Royal Birmingham Conservatoire we provide a friendly and supportive environment in which you can pursue your postgraduate studies.
  • You will receive specialist tuition from a highly skilled music education staff team who have considerable expertise as professional music education practitioners and researchers.
  • Course delivery will naturally draw on the expertise of RBC’s Pedagogy and Learning and Participation Departments, as well as our collaborative links with BCU’s School of Education and Social Work in the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences, and the Birmingham Music Education Partnership (BMEP).
  • Practice-led education and employability skills are at the heart of the course, promoting excellence in developing the pedagogical expertise of highly-trained musicians, and supporting transformative practice change in the music education sector.

Open Day

Join us on campus where you'll be able to explore our facilities and accommodation in person, and chat to staff and students from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

Next Open Day: Thursday 7 December 2023

Book now

Entry Requirements

UK students

Essential

Students should have professional working knowledge in the specialist discipline (instrument(s)/voice/composition/music technology, etc.) demonstrated at interview.

Students should be working as a music educator whilst participating in the course.

Desirable

Students should hold an undergraduate degree or other Level 6 qualification, but not necessarily in Music.

If you do not hold this qualification, we may still be able to consider your application; please contact the Course Director to discuss before applying.

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: PgCert

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation (capped at 5%) or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: PgCert

Starting: Sep 2024

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Project materials (mandatory)

This course includes project work that requires you to develop and produce a portfolio or collection. You'll be expected to provide the materials for use in your individual major projects; costs will vary depending on the options selected and the nature of individual practice.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Placement expenses (optional)

If you choose to undertake a placement, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst living or working away from home.

Field trips (optional)

This course includes the option of additional trips that may enhance your experience, at extra cost.

Subscriptions (optional)

You may wish to purchase subscriptions to additional journals and websites.

Memberships (optional)

You may wish to join a union or professional body related to this course.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

International students will not normally be eligible for this course since it is part-time. However, students with ‘indefinite leave to remain’ can apply for this course. It may also be possible for students holding ‘pre-settled’ status to apply. Applications would need to be checked on a case-by-case basis due to multiple additional eligibility criteria. Please contact the Course Director for a discussion about this.

Completing your application

Further information on writing your personal statement can be found on the UCAS Conservatoires website.

Course in Depth

PG Cert

In order to complete this course you must successfully complete the following CORE module (totalling 60 credits):

Download course specification

Download now

The PgCert Musician as Educator consists of one 60-credit module: ‘Professional Practice’. The course centres on examination of key themes for professional music educators to consider, but with significant flexibility to allow the course material to be adapted to work around ongoing professional practice. The classes introduce, explore, and unpick the coherence and connections across a range of pedagogic and academic literature, along with key issues in the contemporary music education climate to support the development of research skills and professional reflection. These will enable you to investigate an area of your practice/field in detail and facilitate longer-term planning and reflection for ongoing professional development. You will be able to present aspects of this work in a number of different forms, helping you to enhance the portability of your learning back to a professional context, benefitting from the support of a one-to-one pedagogy mentor.

Our mix of in-person and online workshops will support you to engage with key areas relevant to the 21st-century music educator. These will include the position(s) of music in society and the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion; creative approaches to curricula and assessment strategies; and situating music education practice within the wider music education landscape. All topics are explored from the perspective of connections to real-world practice rather than abstract ideas. You will have the opportunity to share developing ideas with your colleagues through roundtable discussions and collaborative tasks. There is also a a dedicated online resource bank to support your learning throughout the course.

Employability

You will learn of range of skills which will be key to enhancing your future employability and support your ongoing professional development. Many RBC graduates go on to secure employment as music educators and we have a proven track record in fostering opportunities in this area.

Specifically, you will reflect in depth on your continuing development as a music educator and design an action research project in an area related to the enhancement of learning and teaching in your specialist area.

You will be part of a community of practice learning alongside like-minded music education professionals and you will benefit from stimulating debates and discussions relating both to your own practice and to wider issues in music education.

You will develop valuable employability skills such as enhanced ability to reflect critically on your practice and an awareness of ethical implications when researching issues in music education.

International

International students will not normally be eligible for this course since it is part-time. However, students with ‘indefinite leave to remain’ can apply for this course. It may also be possible for students holding ‘pre-settled’ status to apply. Applications would need to be checked on a case-by-case basis due to multiple additional eligibility criteria. Please contact the Course Director for a discussion about this.

Facilities & Staff

RBC concert hall

RBC’s Pedagogy and Community Department is a vibrant and thriving community of staff and students who are all incredibly passionate about their work. As a student on this course you would be part of this learning community, giving access to opportunities to connect with professional practitioners, partner organisations, and a wide range of events relating to music education. We have an experienced alumni network who contribute to our modules and courses, providing direct connections to the musical workforce at all career stages and across a range of settings.

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire’s £57 million music building opened in September 2017, and is located on Birmingham City University’s City Centre Campus in the Eastside ‘learning quarter’ of the city.

This brand new music facility includes five public performance venues – a 500 seat Concert Hall, 150 seat Recital Hall, Organ Studio, Eastside Jazz Club and the experimental black box performance venue known as The Lab. As well as these stunning performance venues, we have nearly 100 practice spaces; including 70 small practice rooms and larger ensemble rooms and workshops.

Our new home is the first conservatoire built in the digital age, and as such it has been vital to ensure that the technical infrastructure installed is on par with any advanced commercial facility. We have seven recording studios, a mastering suite, a distance learning hub, and all of our performance venues feature high specification audio-visual equipment that enables interconnectivity and advanced functionality throughout the building.

These impressive modern facilities guarantee that we are able to excel in our unique dual purpose of providing the highest standard of music education deserved by our students, as well as meeting our role as a concert and performance venue for the people of Birmingham; taking our place in the vibrant cultural landscape of the UK’s second city.

Our staff

Dr Adam Whittaker

Head of Pedagogy and Lecturer in Music

Adam is Head of Pedagogy and a Lecturer in Music at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, having previously worked as a Research Fellow in BCU’s CSPACE, and at the University of Nottingham. Adam is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and is an internationally recognised scholar in musicology and music education, having given invited lectures at...

More about Adam

Dr Luan Shaw

Director of Postgraduate Studies (Music)

Dr Luan Shaw is Associate Professor: Director of Postgraduate Studies (Music) at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire where she has taught since 2011. She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and was made an Honorary Member of RBC in 2001. In her former role as RBC’s first Head of Pedagogy (2011-2018), she led the significant...

More about Luan