Musical Performance (BTEC) Level 3 National Extended Certificate


Examination Board: Pearson BTEC Nationals


Who should take the course? Anyone with:  


  • An interest in performing music in a variety of styles 
  • A love of performing music
  • An ability to read any form of music (notation, TAB, Chord charts) or who can learn pieces by ear
  • Ability to undertake self-directed work 
  • Ability to work collaboratively with other musicians


What is the course about? 


Equivalent to one A level, this course focuses on developing ensemble music performance skills. It also offers a broader understanding of relevant complementary areas of the music sector, such as composition, live events and technology. It is designed to support progression to more specialist music courses in higher education, those who wish to jump straight into the industry, or those who wish to become better performers.  


How is it assessed? 


Unit 1: Practical Music Theory 25% Learners develop knowledge and understanding of music theory and harmony, and apply their understanding in practical scenarios. In this unit, you will develop an understanding of the signs and symbols associated with the notation of pitch, rhythm, tempo, dynamics and expression. You will learn how to interpret both traditional and alternate forms of notation with a high degree of accuracy.  Internally assessed.

Unit 2: Professional Practice in the Music Industry  25% Learners explore what it is that makes someone a professional in the music industry and how to put forward a bid for work. For assessment learners will be asked to create a project plan, budget, rationale and presentation in response to music industry scenarios which musicians might reasonably find themselves bidding for. Externally assessed.

Unit 3: Ensemble Performance 35% Learners work as part of a musical ensemble and develop their skills and techniques in rehearsal and performance. For assessment, learners will be given list of songs from which they will choose three for a performance. In ensembles that consist of a minimum of three and a maximum of eight members, learners will respond to the choice of repertoire and develop the performance for an audience.  Externally assessed.          

Unit 4: Solo Performance 15% (Other units could include Composing Music, Music Performance Session Styles or Improvising Music based on individual interest). Learners explore the preparation and performance of music as a soloist before performing in front of an audience.  In this unit, you will explore and practise the specific skills associated with performing as a soloist. These will include: how to engage your audience, stagecraft, as well as musical practice and rehearsal required. Internally assessed.


Where will it take me? 


  • University courses in Music/ related Music courses
  • University admissions officers often look for Music when selecting for other subjects e.g. medicine and law
  • Vocational Music/ Music related Higher Education courses
  • Music industry work/ apprenticeships
  • Performance opportunities in school, and the ability to find performance work in life