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BTEC First Level 2 Diploma in Music

(14 Posts)
catlover99 Fri 06-Jan-17 16:08:52

Hi everybody,

I have just posted this in extra-curricular, but then thought it could be better suited here: I was wondering whether anybody had any experience of this BTEC or of BTECs in the performing arts in general? My DD (year 9) is starting to think seriously about GSCE choices and she is really wants to do this BTEC. It would mean changing schools.

Any experiences would be very helpful! Thanks

EvilTwins Fri 06-Jan-17 17:22:35

I'm head of Performing Arts in a school that does it.

catlover99 Sat 07-Jan-17 14:55:20

Hi EvilTwins,

Thanks for responding, after posting my message yesterday I thought that probably I should be pushing for more info from the school, rather than posting on mumsnet.

If I do think of any particular questions, could I ask you at a later stage? At present it just all seems very vague to me. But the school seems great, and I think the more hands-on approach of BTECs in general would suit DD.

Anyway, have a good weekend!

Donthate Sat 07-Jan-17 14:56:48

Could she do GCSE music then a btec level 3 at college? It seems a bit extreme to move schools for one subject.

catlover99 Sat 07-Jan-17 17:43:14

Hi Donthate,

Thanks, yes, those were my thoughts too, but the school at present cannot even guarantee that the GSCE music will run (music is definitely not a priority there). On the other hand, there are reasonably good opportunities outside school and she does play in orchestras and groups and do grades etc.

Thing is, she would have to change school anyway after GCSE, while in the other school if things went well she could stay through to 18, so a change of school will be happening at some point. So there are pros and cons.

I think in the end she will make this decision rather than me as I am very torn about it!

Brown76 Sat 07-Jan-17 17:49:04

Several friends did the BTEC level 3 in performing arts (no A-levels) at a college that is well respected for it, and went on to do a degree and a career in music. Is there a path to follow on to level 3 with music at the same school?

catlover99 Sat 07-Jan-17 18:05:56

Yes, the other school offers a BTEC level 3 Music which she could move onto if she passes and enjoy the BTEC level 3. They also offer more standard A-Levels if she doesn't.

catlover99 Sat 07-Jan-17 18:08:03

Sorry, typo, I mean, if she passes the BTEC Level 2, of course!

NotThrowAwayMyShot Sun 08-Jan-17 16:37:48

Today 16:35 NotThrowAwayMyShot

I'd be interested in this from the opposite point of view.

We may have to move DS to another school for SEN reasons (current private school not able to give the right support). Music is one of the subjects he enjoys & is good at but potential new school only offers Btec.

I am concerned the Btec style of learning won't suit him. He is a talented performer but not very good at project based/group work. Enjoys music theory & factual based stuff.

NotThrowAwayMyShot Sun 08-Jan-17 16:41:46

Incidentally My husband is a music teacher but has never taught Level 2 Btec. He now works in a 16 plus college & advocates the GCSE but says the Level 3 is very good. An ex colleague whose school has made her move across to Btec in order to increase results doesn't rate the course so I'm concerned.

catlover99 Mon 09-Jan-17 08:22:37

Hi NotThrow,

That is an interesting perspective, and could apply to a lot of kids. Neither my husband nor me went to school in this country, so we are learning about the curriculum and it the whole system seems quite mysterious at times. I sort of assume that both the GCSE and BTEC would cover similar core aspects of theory and composition and performance all that?

I am also still a bit confused about the GCSE-equivalence of the BTEC, they say it is about 4 GCSEs but I have read elsewhere that it is only 2. And for us, does it even matter in the end? I cannot see my DD doing the sort of degree that would require thousands of GCSEs anyway.

Anyway, good luck finding the best solution for you DS.

NotThrowAwayMyShot Mon 09-Jan-17 10:01:05

They are very different courses cat lover

The GCSE is split into 3 sections : composing, listening & performing. Students have to study set works & be able to write about & analyse music so a knowledge of theory & genre) they have to write their own composition & also perform (to spprox grade 4/5 standard to get the best marks)

The Btec has compulsory & optional modules. The compulsory modules are an understanding of the music industry from a business point of view & managing a music project (concert/event etc). Then a module on music production/analysis so recognising different styles/genres.

Amongst the option units are sound (understanding how to set up mics/PA system), composition, recording techniques, sequencing, performing, singing, or theory. Three optional units are chosen & from what I gather many schools go with the performing/music tech options rather than traditional theory/analysis.

NotThrowAwayMyShot Mon 09-Jan-17 10:10:38

Also whether it's worth the equivalent of 2 GCSEs or more depends whether the school run the certificate (2) or the extended certificate (3) or diploma (4).

catlover99 Mon 09-Jan-17 21:52:48

Thanks so much for the extra info, that does make a lot of sense, I have been reading up a bit more on the different variants of BTECs, and it does sound as if it could depend and differ very much depending on who is running it and which optional units they go for.

I guess if they are well-taught, then either course could be fine for DD.

I can fully see your dilemma, and hope you find a solution.

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