MUS1015 : Composing in the Music Studio

Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


This module builds upon the learning knowledge and skills of MUS1005 and prepares students for studio and music technology practice in Level 5 and 6 modules across the music degree curriculum in SACS (for example MUS2015 and MUS2018). The learning position shifts from recording to composition and using the studio as a tool for creativity, not just a space to record sound. By the close of the module the student should be able to use the studio in for composition and be able to identify themselves (but not exclusively) as either a songwriter or producer. The students will also be able to undertake some aspects of E-Learning through use of Pro Tools online materials that will support the learning objectives of this module.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module begins with a demonstration of how the studio can become a place to practice creativity. In the following nine weeks the students self-identify as either a songwriter or a producer and receive a mix of alternating lectures and workshops on the aesthetics of studio based composition, techniques and structures of studio composition, and how to master a mix. The final two weeks are lecture demonstrations where the key practitioners delivering the content of the module showcase their own work within a studio environment and ask the students to critique their work.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion136:0036:00This is to prepare for the weekly formative tasks throughout the module.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture121:0012:00These are the 1hr lectures on each of the topics.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops121:0012:00These are the five workshops after each of the topics.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study140:0040:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Students will be taught in both lecture presentations and in workshops so that they have directed learning as a collective and then guided learning in smaller groups, each session then leads to a formative task so that the direction of learning travel is towards independent application of the skills shown during each week of teaching. This moving of the learning environment from large class, to small group, to self is an important stage in the repeated building of competence and confidence of the student to use a professional recording studio.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Design/Creative proj2A60Group submission of a multi-track recording, circa 4 mins.
Reflective log2A40c.800 word technical reflective log.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Design/Creative proj2AThese assessments will be set in response to studio based tasks.
Written exercise2AThese assessments will be set in response to reflection on studio based tasks.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Students will self-identify as either songwriters or producers in this module and whilst the learning outcomes are shared they are themed so as to provide complementary learning journeys, as such the assessment will similarly share this inter-relationship. The stereo mix will enable them to demonstrate their learning in a creative context, whilst the reflective log will enable them to evaluate and be critical of their own learning journey.

Reading Lists