BA (Hons) Music (Folk)

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Study BA (Hons) Music (Folk) at Leeds Conservatoire

Rebellion. Tradition. Activism. Our exciting, inclusive approach to folk and traditional music explores music, stories and traditions from all over the world. We explore traditional music from the British Isles and globally, expanding it through innovative performance, composition, arrangement and recording techniques.

You will consider how traditions have evolved and travelled, social movements, protest music, global themes and cultural identity, expanding these ideas through an innovative approach to performance, repertoire, composition, songwriting, arrangement and ethnomusicology.

  • Starts:
  • Duration: 3 Years
  • UCAS Code: W309 - Apply through UCAS - Institution Code: L30
  • Study Mode: Full time
  • Validated By: University of Hull

“Performing at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards was incredible – all of my tutors came and supported me and it was just wonderful to know that I have the support from everyone at Leeds Conservatoire. I’m really, really surprised to have won the award but it feels amazing and I’m so grateful!”
– Maddie Morris, Folk Student and BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award Winner
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Course Overview

Folk origins

As a performer, composer, or both, you will explore folk music from its origins in oral tradition and its interpretation through different cultures and musicians. You’ll discover how different folk styles evolved in different communities and nations, and how traditions have been created and preserved.

Experiment and innovate

From this grounding in traditional music you will experiment with other genres and cultural identities, forming and joining innovative ensembles, building your repertoire in performance or composition. You’ll also capture field recordings and collaborate with students from other pathways.

Live music scene

Leeds has an eclectic folk scene, with a wealth of opportunities to perform in well-known venues, including the Howard Assembly Rooms, Seven Arts, Brudenell Social Club and The Grove.

Conservatoire education

With one-to-one and group tuition from experts in your specialism, you will learn to master the complexities of rhythm, melody and harmony. You will also apply theory creatively and explore contextual studies that enhance your musicianship.

Career destinations

Graduates from Leeds Conservatoire have gone on to a wide variety of careers including Award-winning Folk artists, Film Scorers, Record Label owners and Producers. Find out more in our Alumni section.

What you will study 

The BA (Hons) Music (Folk) modules focus on developing you as a professional musician through one-to-one tuition, ensemble study and creative projects. The professional studies strand will develop your core business skills, and other optional modules will introduce additional cross-genre capabilities. See our module specifications page for detailed module specification documents.

Specialist Study 1

Through one-to-one tuition and small group work you will learn and develop the fundamentals of composition or instrumental/vocal performance, as well as developing existing skills in technique and musicianship and building your specialist composition or performance skills

Specialist Group Study 1

You will develop a strong foundation in ensemble performance and/or composition. Issues of style and repertoire will be discussed and taught, alongside a developing awareness of rehearsal etiquette and good practice. Composers will be specifically composing for group ensembles.

Creative Project

You will choose from the project menu and have the opportunity to collaborate with students and tutors from other pathways. Previous projects have included Film Music, Crash Course in Big Band Arranging, Location Recording, Practical Crowdfunding and Live Vocal Sessions.

Contextual Studies 1

You will develop compositional/performance understanding through musicological analysis and formal frameworks. Through the examination of repertoire from global folk traditions and their styles, you will investigate the parameters through which we assess and construct music including the consideration of how we communicate, their impact on commercial constricts, and the manner in which we can employ these parameters to the craft of composition and/or performance.

Professional Studies 1

Working in the Creative Industries

You will be introduced to the professional framework and mechanisms of the creative industries, focusing on developing your project management skills and understanding the legal and commercial issues likely to impact on your future employability. You will also develop your core information, digital and media literacies.

Specialist Study 2

You will further develop your understanding of the techniques and skills of musical composition/performance, showing a technical command in their execution. You will realise and develop your emerging musical voice and perform with appropriate expression, creativity and presentation, or apply these skills to your compositions.

Specialist Group Study 2

You will be expected to take responsibility for your contribution to both the rehearsal process and performance in addition to demonstrating greater technical command in regard to the range of skills appropriate to the chosen musical idiom. Composers will be specifically composing and/or arranging for group ensembles.

Contextual Studies 2

You will further enhance your compositional/performance understanding, undertaking a detailed examination of repertoire, its style, effects on society and cultural influences through a number of defined analytical frameworks. Through the analysis of global repertoire, you will apply analytical approaches to seminal works, significant musicians (their place in society), and compositional techniques along with their reception.

You will also choose one of the below options to study:

  • Introduction to Music Technology
  • Songwriting
  • Music for the Moving Image
  • Collaborative Composition
  • Music and Ideology
  • Performance with Electronics
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Arranging and Orchestration
  • Musical Direction
Professional Studies 2

You will choose one of the below options to study:

  • Business Start-up
  • Working with Music in the Community
  • Instrumental Music Tuition
  • Self-Promotion & Music Marketing
  • Structure & Functions of the Film Music Industry
  • Concerts & Touring
  • Artistic Management
Specialist Study 3

Performers will deliver a stylistically informed performance with a command of appropriate musical and repertoire skills, leading to the presentation of a public performance. Composers will have the opportunity to compose ambitious pieces and to have a highly developed awareness of your compositional identity and to be able to apply this in a consistent and focused manner.

Final Project

This module is designed to offer students flexibility in their final year by providing opportunity to delve deeper into a specialism specific to their course and interests.

Contextual Studies 3

You will study one of the below options: 

  • Computer-Based Composition
  • Software Environments for Performance & Sound Creation
  • Electroacoustic Composition
  • Composition and Production for Film and TV
  • Composed Theatre
  • Extended Improvisation
  • Intercultural Music
  • Emerging Music Models
Professional Studies 3

You will study one of the below options:

  • Live Music Management
  • Community Music Project
  • Music Journalism
  • Business Leadership & Ethics
  • Film Music: Aesthetics & Narrative Function

These module specifications are for applicants choosing to start their course in the 2020/21 academic year. In compliance with University of Hull regulations, the conservatoire retains the right to make minor amendments and improvements to course, programme and module content year on year. This may result in minor changes to these specifications by September 2020.

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Careers

Our alumni go on to win awards, tour and record as part of bands and ensembles, and have diverse careers in and out of the music industry.

Careers Include
  • Session musician
  • Touring musician
  • Music Producer
  • Band leader
Meet our alumni
“When I first started the Folk degree, I was interested in diversifying my drumming to include global traditions in my performances, which I’ve been able to do in all of the different ensembles I play with. I have a second study in bass with an amazing tutor, which has made me a more diverse musician. The course has given me the extra knowledge and skills I need to perform to the best of my abilities, and I’ve got to meet some great musicians within the industry!”
– Tanatswa Bvumburah,Folk student

Course Tutors

Jim MorayPrincipal Lecturer: Folk

Courses taught: BA (Hons) Music (Folk)

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Pete FloodPrincipal Lecturer (Folk)

Courses taught: BA (Hons) Music (Folk)

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archie churchill moss melodeon tutor at leeds college of music folk
Archie Churchill-MossSenior Lecturer (Folk)

Courses taught: BA (Hons) Music (Folk)

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Rachael Sutcliffe
Rachael SutcliffeProgramme Leader: Folk

Courses taught: BA (Hons) Music (Folk)

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Maddie Morris & LCoM Folk team

Maddie Morris (Folk student) collecting the BBCR2 Young Folk Award

Maddie Morris, Young Folk Award 2019

In 2019 Maddie scooped the prestigious Young Folk Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. Previous winners Greg Russell and Ciaran Algar presented the award to Maddie at a ceremony in Manchester.

The BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award is an educational talent contest, open to musicians from the UK aged 16-21, that exists to discover the next generation of folk and acoustic acts. Eight shortlisted acts performed at a public concert and from those acts, Maddie was chosen as the winner by a panel of judges.

Read the article

Folk musician and principal lecturer Jim Moray also hosts a podcast in which he talks to key figures in the folk scene. Past podcasts have featured visiting lecturer Sam Sweeney, and fellow lecturer Nancy Kerr.

Entry requirements, fees & applying

Course Facts

Course Type: Undergraduate, Single Honours
Duration: 3 years
Study Mode: Full Time
Start date: September 2020
Validated by: University of Hull

Course Key Information Document 2020/21

Entry Requirements

Academic entry requirements:

96 UCAS tariff points from level 3 studies or equivalent, which normally include A Level Music or a BTEC Extended Diploma in a Music-related subject.

A minimum of three GCSEs including English Language at Grade C / Grade 4 or above or equivalent international qualification, eg IELTS 6.0 (5.5 in each component).

Other entry requirements:

Performance standard (assessed at audition)

Performers are expected to demonstrate at audition a playing/singing standard of Grade 8 (commensurate with ABRSM, London College of Music, Trinity College, Rock School (as appropriate for the pathway)).

Read full entry requirements.

Audition Information

UK applicants to certain courses at Leeds Conservatoire will need to audition, interview or submit a portfolio of work. Auditions for Clearing 2020 applicants will take place online. Further information can be found in our Clearing Guide.

We are currently working with our programme and admissions teams to develop our audition experience for 2021 entry applicants. Your audition may take place online or in-person, but we will provide full guidance for you in due course.

Find more information and course-specific indicative audition guides for UK applicants and International Applicants.

How To Apply

Apply via: UCAS
UCAS Code: W309
UCAS Institution Code: L30
Application Deadline:The UCAS equal consideration (‘on time’) deadline is 15 January 2020. We may still accept applications for all of our courses after this date, although this may change at short notice as places fill up.

Read our step-by-step application guide

 

Fees & Funding
International Applicants

If you are an international applicant, visit our dedicated International section of the website for information on:

  • How To Apply
  • Auditions
  • International Entry Requirements
  • Fees & Funding
Facilities

We have over 70 teaching rooms, practice rooms and bespoke ensemble rehearsal spaces, as well as a comprehensive library of instruments, mics and recording equipment, that are all available until late during term-time.

Find out more
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“I have jammed with lots of people since starting at Leeds Conservatoire. This is something I have never done before and having the opportunity to play with so many musicians has drastically helped me to improve my musicianship.”
– Iona Lane, Folk student
Online Open Days

Find out what it’s like to study at Leeds Conservatoire by coming along to one of our Online Open Days.

As well as talks specific to the courses you're interested in, you can also chat to members of our Student Support Team about your application, support for students with disabilities, tuition fees and more.

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