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Course Overview Modules Entry Requirements How to Apply
Course Overview Modules Entry Requirements How to Apply

Shape the Learning Pathways for Future Musicians

The Bachelor of Education (Honours) in Instrumental & Vocal Teaching is a two-year top-up degree programme, offered in collaboration with the Royal College of Music (RCM) in London, and designed especially for those who wish to become professional instrumental and vocal teachers and musicians in educational contexts.

With its practice-led and industry-driven learning experience, the programme ensures you both hone your performance artistry and be inspired to develop innovative pedagogical methods.

Your learning is supported by a global curriculum and access to NAFA's Lee Foundation Theatre and Recital Hall, as well as a myriad of books, journals and scores from both NAFA and RCM’s repositories.

You also gain access to a multicultural community that can strengthen your networks, broaden your perspectives, and importantly, help you cultivate your unique teaching voice as you strive to bring change to the music education scene.

Please click here to view the English and Chinese course brochures.


Gain a Global Perspective

Develop an international perspective with a global curriculum, and a seven-week international placement at the Royal College of Music in London which will allow you to experience the institution's state-of-the-art resources and world-class expertise firsthand.

Immerse in a Holistic Learning Experience

Immerse in one-on-one lessons, small-group seminars, consultations, masterclasses and visits to industry partners both in Singapore and the United Kingdom for understanding on how teaching can be conducted. You can also apply these new skills and knowledge and reflect on your teaching practice under the guidance of a mentor.

Develop Versatility as an Educator

Weekly teaching seminars on repertoire studies are a chance for you to delve deeper into the socio-historical and pedagogical value of music. This ensures you can adapt your teaching to fit a wide range of repertoires and develop instrument-specific approaches that cater to each learner’s needs.

Course Modules

Check out the range of modules to build your technical skills, enhance your exposure and boost your employability.

Code Title Semester Credits
MU4532

Composition Level 5

This module covers effective scoring techniques, practical considerations of performance arrangements, preparation of parts, and supervision of/participation in the performance of students’ own works. Students learn to write practically for instruments and for voices, and idiomatically for those with which they are most familiar. Students will be guided to work towards a coherent harmonic language and a critical attitude to rhythmic use, and to pace a short composition effectively.
1 & 2 20
MU4534

Orchestration & Transcription Level 5

This module introduces students to the basics of transcription. In addition to the working and practical knowledge of the main orchestral and other instruments, the weekly workshops will cover different methods of scoring, including strings, winds, mixed ensemble, and period orchestra style.
1 & 2 20
MU4535

Orchestration & Transcription (Chinese Orchestra)

This module covers the understanding of ranges, transpositions, capabilities, and characteristics of Chinese orchestral instruments with examples drawn from standard Chinese orchestra repertoires and contemporary works.
1 & 2 20
MU4543

Conducting Level 5

This module introduces students to the art of conducting and aims to provide them with a basic technique and the ability to read and prepare scores from a conductor’s viewpoint. The module begins with a mixture of specific technique-based sessions and continues with a rolling programme of practical classes where student will study a range of repertoire, learn to adapt and extend their technical and intellectual facilities throughout.
1 & 2 20
MU4561

Principal Study (Pedagogy Track) Level 6

The Principal Study (Pedagogy Track) module allows students to acquire technical and interpretative skills in their principal instrument or voice in order to develop their musicality and confidence to teach this specialism. Students will develop an understanding and awareness of pedagogical issues related to the repertoire for their instrument.
1 & 2 60
MU4562

Conceptualising Music Education: Ideas and Practice Level 6

Through a series of weekly group seminars, this module introduces students to the philosophical, theoretical and sociocultural perspectives in Music Education, with references to the relevant literature. In addition, students will understand and discuss issues like inclusion and social justice, assessment, and technology. Students will reflect on the implications of key educational concepts and theories on their instrumental/vocal teaching practice, and that of Singapore and the region. Through lesson observations, they will be able to analyse teaching practices from different contexts in the music industry.
1 & 2 20
MU4563

Alexander Technique Level 5

This module is offered in conjunction with the RCM international placement. It introduces the historical context of the Technique and the development of F. M. Alexander’s Principles. Students develop an awareness of the personal habits that impede the coordination of their mind and body and learn how to apply the Alexander Technique to personal practice and performance.
2 10
MU4564

Creative Enterprise Level 5

This module aims to promote strong entrepreneurial skills including setting up and running one’s own teaching studio, networking, marketing, and financial management skills. Additionally, students develop collaborative, communication, and interpersonal skills through group projects.
1 & 2 10
MU4565

Evaluating Performance Level 5

Offered in conjunction with the RCM international placement, this module examines the procedures, tools, and skills that underpin performance assessment to provide student with insight into their audiences, their judges, and their own performances. Through interactive sessions featuring experienced practitioners, this module considers topics ranging from how to collaborate on a jury panel to how to critique, design, and implement an assessment rubric, informed by research and practice in education, psychology, and performance science. 
2 10
MU4566

Musician in the Digital Age Level 5

This module encourages students to consider the role that technology plays in their practice as musicians. The module explores its creative potential and how it can be harnessed to provide new opportunities for expression, employment and differentiation in a rapidly evolving industry. Through a series of seminars and hands-on practical workshops, students will explore a range of technologies and how they influence musicians in creating, marketing and presenting their work. Students will develop practical digital skills in devising their own technology-based performance project.
1 & 2 10
MU4567

Performance Science and Psychology Level 5

This module is offered in conjunction with the RCM international placement. The lecture series will introduce students to recent advances in the science and psychology of music performance. The module will examine research on the physical and mental processes that underpin effective learning and performing, including a wide range of individual, social and cultural factors that interact with these processes.
2 10
MU4568

Artist Development: Digital Skills for Musicians Level 5

This module focuses on the development of students’ digital skills for communication and self-promotion. It seeks to foster digital fluency for performing and career development, as well as for students to be versed with wider trends to connect better with the community.
1 & 2 20
MU4569

Improvisation Level 5

This module introduces a range of techniques for creative improvisation. Through playing and music making workshops, students will acquire listening, interacting, reflecting, anticipating, describing and creating skills. These skills will in turn deepen their understanding of the music they are performing, as well as develop their critical ability to listen to the sound that they are producing, thus raising their overall musicianship and proficiency.
1 & 2 20
MU4630

Schenkerian Analysis

This course develops a critical awareness of musical structure in the light of the analytical method developed by Heinrich Schenker. It trains students to think contrapuntally rather than exclusively harmonically and enhances an understanding of individual compositions in a way which can be reflected in performance.
1 & 2 20
MU4631

Creating Music & Sound Design for Theatre

This module aims to provide students with the tools required for working as a composer/musical director/musician in theatre. It also aims to establish cooperative understanding and flexibility in the provision of sound material for theatrical purposes. Various compositional strategies will be explored along with the use of typesetting and music production software for composition and recording. Appropriateness of writing within the context of period, style and geography will form part of the studies.
1 & 2 20
MU4634

Orchestration & Arrangement

This module introduces students to the working and practical knowledge of the main orchestral and other instruments, in terms of their ranges, technical strengths and limitations, and their individual qualities.  Students will apply a fuller range of resources in terms of arranging and instrumental technique to enable the effective and idiomatic transfer of musical material between instrumental media.
1 & 2 20
MU4640C

International Placement (BEd)

The BEd International Placement aims to give students the opportunity to experience living and studying abroad in a different environment and sociocultural context. Students will be able to understand and learn about music education in the United Kingdom, and receive coursework supervision with professors at the Royal College of Music. Besides enriching themselves in a new environment, the International Placement encourages students to reflect upon their own understanding of teaching and learning, as well as their own teaching practice in a global context.
2 -
MU4653

Workshop Leadership Level 6

This module aims to develop a range of practical activities that enable musical development in a holistic way within a workshop context. Students participate in a series of workshops covering topics and skills required of a workshop facilitator, including how to generate material, lead a workshop and collaborate with teammates. In addition to workshop observations, students will present a collaborative composition with peers, and facilitate a community music project with external participants.
1 & 2 20
MU4655

Aesthetics and Criticism Level 6

The course provides an overview of the way the nature and role of the arts, especially music, has been thought and argued about in the Western world, across two millennia. The aesthetics of music is discussed within the context of aesthetics in general. This allows us to see in what respects music is like the other arts, and in what respects it is different.
1 & 2 20
MU4661

Principal Study (Pedagogy Track) Level 6 (Graduation)

The Principal Study (Pedagogy Track) module at Level 6 (Graduation) builds on from the previous module at Level 6, where students further develop the technical and interpretative skills gained in their principal instruments or voice in order to develop their musicality with an individual flair. The module will further develop students’ understanding and awareness of pedagogical issues related to more repertoire and areas of technical development for their instrument, to equip them with the knowledge needed as they move on to the teaching profession.
1 & 2 60
MU4662

Teaching Practicum Level 6

This module seeks to provide students with an authentic professional experience in instrumental/vocal teaching. Students will have the opportunity to apply a comprehensive knowledge of instrumental/vocal teaching and learning, and will be able to reflect on their teaching aims and outcomes in a situated context.
1 & 2 30
MU4663

Open Project Level 6 (Graduation)

This module enables students to explore an area of interest to them with the aim of deepening their understanding of the specialism and critically engaging with perspectives in their chosen field.The Open Project presents an opportunity for students to develop expertise in area that they would have already explored and excelled in during their study at NAFA, with the view of enabling them to articulate original findings, persuasively challenge or engage with a field and demonstrate a level of expertise with their subject area.
1 & 2 30
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entry requirements

Find out about the entry requirements that apply to you.

 

Through an audition that consists of two components – (1) Performance and (2) Interview, we look for:

  • A passion for music performance and instrumental/vocal teaching
  • A commitment and motivation to strive for excellence in the BEd programme
  • An aptitude for critical thinking and evaluation of ideas
  • A strong technical and musical foundation on the instrument/voice
  • An aptitude for self-directed learning and reflective practice
  • The ability to communicate ideas musically, verbally and in writing
  • An aptitude for creative thinking and problem-solving

We understand that auditions are a significant milestone on every applicant’s journey towards a career as a professional instrumental/vocal teacher or musician-educator. The guidance below will help you prepare to the best of your abilities and make you aware of what will happen at your audition.

Audition

  1. Performance
    • Your audition will be recorded and will be reviewed by the appropriate faculty members from the RCM.
    • You should prepare a programme between 10 to 12 minutes and show a variety of styles, periods and characters. You do not need to submit your audition programme in advance. The audition panel reserves the right to hear only part of the programme overall.
    • Singers should prepare a programme in at least two of the following languages: English, Italian, French, and German.
    • Non-pianists are advised to bring along their accompanists if their chosen pieces require accompaniment. A list of NAFA's Official Accompanists would be made available to applicants along with their audition details. There will be a fee payable directly to the Accompanist.
    • You cannot bring a page-turner, your teacher or a translator into your audition. The only people in your audition room will be you, your accompanist and the audition panel. As our courses are taught in English we expect you to be able to communicate in English at your audition.
    • Quick Study test will be required of all applicants.
  2. Interview
    1. Personal Statement
      At least one week before your audition, you are required to upload a personal statement (250-300 words) on the following questions:
      • Why are you applying for the BEd course?
      • What skills do you possess that make you suitable for the rigorous demands of the course?
    2. Interview
      You are expected to discuss why you want to study instrumental/vocal teaching during the interview and share any relevant experience.

      Typical questions you may be asked during your interview include:
      • Why do you want to study at NAFA?
      • What are your musical interests?
      • What do you think you need to do most to improve your performance?
      • What is your teaching philosophy?

Online Audition

Though live auditions are preferred, applicants who are unable to attend a live audition may submit a video recording for their audition. If you pass this round, an online interview will be arranged by the Student Admissions Office.

Guidelines for Video Recording:

  • The recording should be a clear and accurate representation of your playing. Do not edit the audio/video of your recording.
  • The camera should be stationary for the performance of each work.
  • The video should show the performer in full body if possible.

A relevant diploma in Music or Music Teaching from NAFA or for students from other musical institutions, full transcript(s) from current university or college to demonstrate successful progression through a course of study, equivalent to 2 years of undergraduate musical training.

NAFA hopes to attract applicants with the potential to become excellent arts practitioners. Applicants are selected by merit, based on the following criteria:
  • Potential in Artistic Talent and Creativity
  • Educational Qualification
  • Language Proficiency
  • Special Factor
  • Age Requirement
Selection is competitive and is subject to the availability of places.

APEL - Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning
Applicants who do not meet these course entry requirements may still be considered in exceptional cases.

The course team will consider each application that demonstrates additional strengths and alternative evidence. This might, for example, be demonstrated by:
  • Related academic or work experience
  • The quality of the personal statement
  • A strong academic or other professional references
  • A combination of these factors
Each application will be considered on its own merit, though we cannot guarantee an offer in each case. In such cases, approval by the Royal College of Music will be required prior to final acceptance into the programme.

The minimum entry requirement for English language proficiency is IELTS Academic Band 5.5 or equivalent.*

*Waived for NAFA applicants who have successfully completed NAFA’s Diploma in Music or Diploma in Music Teaching. Non-NAFA applicants who have successfully completed a recognised and approved Diploma qualification or higher, where the language of instruction was English, may be given a waiver on a case-by-case basis.

Applicants should be 19 years of age or above in the year of admission of the degree course.

At NAFA, we are committed to providing full and equal educational opportunities to all students. The Academy firmly believes that every individual deserves a supportive learning environment. Applicants are invited to inform us in advance of any specific needs, and/or type of physical facilities or support you might require. Please include this information in your application form, supplemented with the relevant medical reports. This will allow us to plan the appropriate learning support for you.


How to Apply

Take the leap! You can shape the next generation of musicians.

Apply online

Apply online here from 3 January 2023.

Print out the Application Acknowledgement for your reference and submit copies* of the following documents

Print out the Application Acknowledgement for your reference and submit copies* of the following documents to the Student Admissions Office, NAFA Campus 1, for verification within five working days from the date of your online application.
*You will need to bring the original NRIC/Passport and academic documents for authenticity check during submission.

  1. NRIC for Singapore Citizens (SC) or Singapore Permanent Residents (SPR), passport and valid Student’s Pass card (if applicable) for international students
  2. English qualifications (e.g. IELTS/TOEFL iBT), if applicable
  3. Certified true copies of academic certificates and transcripts:
    • For NAFA Diploma students
      • If you are currently in your final semester, please submit your Year 3 Semester 1 academic transcript

    • For Local Polytechnic Diploma students
      • If you are currently in your final semester, please submit your academic transcripts of your first 5 semesters. Subsequently, please submit your Diploma certificate and full academic transcript (all semesters) within 5 working days from the official release date
    • For other international qualifications
      • Please submit your most recent school examination or preliminary examination results, which must be certified by your school if you have not received your final results. Subsequently, please submit your final results and certificate within 5 working days from the official release date

Make payment of the Application Fee at the cashier counter in NAFA or online

Make payment of the Application Fee at the cashier counter in NAFA or online at https://payment.nafa.edu.sg/Students. Applicants who are paying online will be required to upload the above documents during application.

Upload your personal statement

Upload your personal statement at https://pss.nafa.edu.sg/

Receive an email

You will receive an email from the Student Admissions Office on the details of your audition upon receipt of all required documents.

Receive a letter by post

Receive a letter by post/email on the outcome of your application within 4 – 6 weeks after your Interview or Audition.