Study a Music Foundation course with OCA

Have you ever wondered how music can tell a story without words? Do you listen to the works of Stravinsky, Elgar, or Strauss and wish you could write something like it? Then this course is for you.

Our Open Foundations Music is a bespoke course designed to help you develop as a composer, musician, or music critic.

It will give you a firm grounding in many aspects of music, including music theory, basic composition and arrangement, and music history. You will also develop skills in the use of the notation software Sibelius which is integral to the course.

Whether you are starting completely from scratch or topping up your skills, our Open Foundations Music course is designed to give you a well rounded basic music education, taking you from beginner or novice to higher education ready. 

During the course you will learn music theory to around Grade 5 standard (ABRSM/TCL). You will then be able to utilise this knowledge practically in a range of composition and music arranging tasks. You will also learn how to start writing about music, how to perform basic research and how to write academically. This will be in manageable chunks, and with personalised guidance from your tutor. The course helps students to learn independently and to reflect on their listening and learning experiences.

The course has five sections and, with feedback from your tutor, you can expect to make rapid progress. On completion of the course you can go with confidence to further study with the  Open College of the Arts, or elsewhere, and be able to decide on the nature and direction of your studies or musical practice.

The course is suitable for students who are unsure whether they are ready to engage in degree level study and require a re-introduction to the subject, or to those who wish to study a single stand-alone course to develop their skills and understanding.

So don’t wait, get your creative energy flowing and enrol with OCA today!

Apply Now

Course Aims

The course aims to:

  • Familiarise students with the language, history and terminology of music.
  • Develop a solid knowledge of music theory and its practical application.
  • Help explore and utilise the Sibelius* notation software.
  • Encourage and develop independent learning and research skills.
  • Prepare students for successful transition to undergraduate degree level study.

Course Outcomes

Through the course, you will:

  • Learn music theory to Grade 5 (ABRSM/TCL).
  • Gain skills to apply this theoretical knowledge to practical tasks.
  • Develop basic compositional and arranging techniques.
  • Have gained an understanding of the main historical musical periods.
  • Have begun to critically reflect on your learning and listening.
  • Have researched a personally chosen subject, with guidance from your tutor, and written academically about it.
  • Have acquired basic skills in using the notation software, utilising it to organise and experiment.
Apply Now

Chris Lawry

Unit Leader for Foundations in Music

“I am primarily a freelance composer and arranger but also work as a session musician and accompanist, teacher and consultant, working with theatre companies, performing arts groups, media companies and schools in a wide range of styles.

I find that the varied work I undertake as a musician and composer positively influences all aspects of my musical life and teaching.

As a composer and arranger I specialise in concert, choral and educational music, taking inspiration from musical theatre, film and classical genres…”

Read more

Foundations

£900

Per course

Level 1 (HE4)

£4,050

For the level

Level 2 (HE5)

£3,340

For the level

Level 3 (HE6)

£3,340

For the level

Breakdown of costs...

Level 1 (HE4)

£1,350

Per course unit (4o credits)

All of the OCA’s Level 1 (HE4) course units are worth 40 credits each. If you’re studying towards an Open degree, you’ll need three Level 1 (HE4) course units to gain the necessarry 120 credits to move on to Level 2 (HE5).

Level 2 (HE5)

£1,670

Per course unit (6o credits)

All of the OCA’s Level 2 (HE5) course units are worth 60 credits each. If you’re studying towards an Open degree, you’ll need two Level 2 (HE5) course units to gain the necessarry 120 credits to move on to Level 3 (HE6).

Level 3 (HE6)

£3,340

For the level

OCA’s Level 3 (HE6) course units hold differing amounts of credits depending upon the given Open degree pathway, and therefore are varied in cost. For individual pricing, please see the individual course unit pages on this website.

Foundations

£1,050

Per course

Level 1 (HE4)

£4,500

For the level

Level 2 (HE5)

£3,690

For the level

Level 3 (HE6)

£3,690

For the level

Breakdown of costs...

Level 1 (HE4)

£1,500

Per course unit (40 credits)

All of the OCA’s Level 1 (HE4) course units are worth 40 credits each. If you’re studying towards a degree, you’ll need three Level 1 (HE4) course units to gain the necessary 120 credits to move on to Level 2 (HE5).

Level 2 (HE5)

£1,845

Per course unit (60 credits)

All of the OCA’s Level 2 (HE5) course units are worth 60 credits each. If you’re studying towards a degree, you’ll need two Level 2 (HE5) course units to gain the necessary 120 credits to move on to Level 3 (HE6).

Level 3 (HE6)

£3,690

For the level

OCA’s Level 3 (HE6) course units hold differing amounts of credits depending upon the given degree pathway, and therefore are varied in cost. For individual pricing, please see the individual course unit pages on this website.

Course Sample

Click below to download an in-depth guide to the course.

If you have any questions before enrolling, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Download course sampleGet in touch with the team

BA Music

Looking for degree-level study? Explore our BA Music course.

Learn more

BA Creative Arts

Inspired by multiple art practices? Have a look at our degree in Creative Arts.

Learn more