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    Hey! I'm 16, doing GCSEs, deciding on colleges, courses, etc, etc, etc.
    I feel like I have two main choices where college courses are concerned. I could go to my schools sixth form college and do a good set of A Levels where I know I'll do well, where I'll be on track to go to university and get an English degree. I'm confident in English and do really well in it. I guess this is my "safe" route. My other option is to study a BTEC Music course. I know your immediate thought would be to of course, go down the A Level route, secure a good degree, get a good job, the whole shebang. But I want to do nothing more than music, it's all I think about, it's all I do, it's all I want to do. I just want to be a musician, regardless of the money, recognition, fame, whatever it brings me. It's a choice between what will make me happy and what will make me successful, although there's a chance I could be successful regardless of which route I chose. What I really want to do is study BTEC Music, improve my performance skills and general ability and then focus on being an actual musician. I understand that this is a risk, I might fall flat on my face and end up having to look for a mediocre job without any "decent" qualifications, but it's a risk I'm willing to take. There's also the fact that I could go on to do a Music degree with a BTEC qualification.

    I know it sounds like I'm pretty set on what I want to do, but I just want other people's opinions. Is it worth it? I know the music industry is competitive but it's what would make me happy.

    I know I could do music alongside my other A Levels but A Level Music is theory based where as BTEC is practical, I already study theory in my own time and the performance aspects are where I really want to put the effort.
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    Can you do music on your own ? I meant , would this be good?, take the a level and do music along with it, since I pretty sure Brecht doesn't as much as a grade 8 abrsm, which some said worth more than al

    *btec , iPhone auto correct =_=
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    (Original post by whyeverynameisus)
    Can you do music on your own ? I meant , would this be good?, take the a level and do music along with it, since I pretty sure Brecht doesn't as much as a grade 8 abrsm, which some said worth more than al

    *btec , iPhone auto correct =_=
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    Yeah, I see where your coming from but I feel like I need the BTEC as I still face a lot of nerves and stage fright when performing, and the course I want to do sounds like it'll definitely help with this as well as helping me develop in other areas of music.
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    (Original post by clementine_)
    Yeah, I see where your coming from but I feel like I need the BTEC as I still face a lot of nerves and stage fright when performing, and the course I want to do sounds like it'll definitely help with this as well as helping me develop in other areas of music.
    Now, I've never studied either, but I thought this might be worth mentioning.
    Have you thought about choosing a uni with an active/interesting music scene? You might be able to fit that around your studies and English might come in handy if you'll ever have to write lyrics.
    Best of luck!
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    With risk of starting a flame war;

    This is a very general, very sweeping statement but from what i've seen BTEC music does not get you very far in the world of music. I have a whole group of friends who did music BTEC; 2 are now working at the COOP, 3 are unemployed and 1 is trying to find an apprenticeship at a music software company while working at a garden center.

    I went to all their gigs that they were doing as part of the BTEC and i'll be honest; they were OKAY. Not brilliant, aspiring musicians, but ok at what they did with increasingly little drive.

    Comparison; I have a friend who's a piano genius, taken A levels (yes, including music) and had offers to some of the top music schools in the country. I have another friend who's taking A levels (not music), formed a band about a year ago and is now having talks with Parlophone records and is being played on international radio stations.


    Obviously this isn't true of everyone who takes BTEC music (and doesn't) - there are obviously brilliant musicians that go down that route and go to university if they want and have brilliant careers from it but from what i've seen, my friends who took BTEC music took it because they needed to do something and they saw it as a doss.

    Just bare in mind that English students, Maths students, History students also make brilliant musicians
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    (Original post by clementine_)
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    I was in a similar situation when I was doing GCSEs and I ended up going for the A-level route with the intention of getting into a "respected" university to do a "respected" degree which is what I thought was right thing to do at the time (I guess I was just too easily influenced by other people!). I ended up hating the A levels and dropped out. Luckily, it was not too late for me to start a college course in the subject area where my true passion lies and the whole experience made me realise that I should always do whatever makes me happy (even though it might not be the most sensible option), because happiness is everything! I know it sounds so simple and obvious, but I hadn't fully realised that up until that point.
    Because of this, I would suggest you go for the music course to follow your dreams and to go with whatever makes you happy. If you do go for the music course and then you one day decide you no longer want to be in the music industry, then remember you can always change your career path by going back into education.
    Whatever ever you do though- good luck!
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    I'm a person who wants to pursue music too - I'd love to go into songwriting and music composition. I'd definitely advise you to go down the A-Level route, though. I've glossed over the BTEC music curriculum and as you say, it's highly performance and composition based with some studio/technological aspects with little music theory but this is all stuff that you can do without studying it in the classroom. A private tutor for your instrument can better your skills in performing more than any curriculum in music for secondary school can. If you go for A-Levels and pursue music in an extra-curricular fashion, you can kill two birds with one stone: you'd have qualifications that you can fall back on but would also be a more developed musician than before.

    Why not study music at college? College-level music courses are highly specialised; you can choose a performance major at a music college with a contemporary focus, for example, or a university with a school of music that's more contemporary. If you study at a well-known music college you'd even be able to establish networks within the music industry and begin your career during college, if you get what I mean. If you want to pursue music with an academic base, it is far better to do it with a recognised college degree than a BTEC secondary school qualification.
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    (Original post by The Wild Youth)
    With risk of starting a flame war;

    This is a very general, very sweeping statement but from what i've seen BTEC music does not get you very far in the world of music. I have a whole group of friends who did music BTEC; 2 are now working at the COOP, 3 are unemployed and 1 is trying to find an apprenticeship at a music software company while working at a garden center.

    I went to all their gigs that they were doing as part of the BTEC and i'll be honest; they were OKAY. Not brilliant, aspiring musicians, but ok at what they did with increasingly little drive.

    Comparison; I have a friend who's a piano genius, taken A levels (yes, including music) and had offers to some of the top music schools in the country. I have another friend who's taking A levels (not music), formed a band about a year ago and is now having talks with Parlophone records and is being played on international radio stations.


    Obviously this isn't true of everyone who takes BTEC music (and doesn't) - there are obviously brilliant musicians that go down that route and go to university if they want and have brilliant careers from it but from what i've seen, my friends who took BTEC music took it because they needed to do something and they saw it as a doss.

    Just bare in mind that English students, Maths students, History students also make brilliant musicians

    Hey, thanks, this is really helpful! I do keep hearing a few horror stories about people that have taken BTEC music and gone no where, but I can't help thinking that the advancement of a music career when taking BTEC is dependent how much talent, drive, and passion you have to go alongside it. I feel like taking it is helpful when you know exactly what you want to do in terms of optimising the course and knowing where you want to go afterwards, which is why I feel like it's an ideal course for me.
 
 
 
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