ICMP Creates New MA in Songwriting

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance (ICMP) has developed a new Songwriting MA in direct response to recent BASCA research findings that female composers are under-represented in the music industry. The Institute’s BA in Songwriting is made up of a rare 50:50 split of women and men, and the course team’s ambition is to see this equality also reflected at Masters level.

The research project, ‘Equality and Diversity in New Music Commissioning,’ was implemented by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors to compare the demographic of composers receiving commissions with the demographics of those with the talent and ambition to become composers. They did this by analysing data on commissioned works submitted to the British Composer Awards and comparing it with data on composition students provided by a small selection of universities and conservatoires. The team discovered that 36% of composition students were female, compared to only 21% of commissioned composers.

Natalie Bleicher, Classical Coordinator of BASCA and author of the study wrote, “What we found explodes the myth that we will reach equality in composition without positive action.”

Sophie Daniels, Head of Songwriting at ICMP, said, “By offering our new Masters degree in Songwriting, we are increasing opportunities for composers to attain higher levels of skill, qualification and, importantly, confidence. We also ensure excellent networking, collaboration and performance prospects. Within the context of respecting difference, the Institute is committed to ensuring there is equal opportunity for all, and we hope our actions positively contribute to achieving equality in composition.

The MA is a highly creative programme designed to enable students to examine, explore and focus on both practical and analytical songwriting education. Students identify the conditions in which they create their best work, and carry out academic research before generating a new major repertoire work or a dissertation.

The BASCA study found that commissioned composers are much more likely to live in London rather than the rest of the UK, so as the capital’s only MA in Songwriting, ICMP believe their new course will offer a valuable route for composers to further their skills. The Institute has applied for this course to be designated eligible for SLC funding for the 2017-18 academic year. They hope this will encourage increased numbers of students from both within and outside of London to further their composition education.

For further details on the MA in Songwriting Click Here:


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