Music Performing NPA

What is special about this course?

How would you like to develop your love of Gaelic and traditional song or musical performance?

You can combine online learning in advance of an intensive practical course to develop your skills and knowledge of live performance using instrument or voice. You’ll have the chance to study with award winning professional lecturers with strong links to the current Gaelic and traditional music scene in Scotland.

Entry requirements

This is suited to traditional musicians and vocalists.  You will be 16 or over and with an interest in improving performance of individual vocal or instrumental skills.  You may already be a student at the National Centre of Excellence in Traditional Music, regularly attend Fèisean or be capable of demonstrating a talent and appreciation of traditional music.

You should already have competence in an area such as Gaelic song, traditional song and song accompaniment. Group work performance could include instrument tuition on bagpipes, whistle, accordion, piano, guitar, fiddle or clarsach – or indeed any other traditional instrument. 

Entry will be by video clip of performance and short interview.

You will complete the following units all at SCQF level 6:

  • Performing Music on One Instrument or Voice
  • Music: Live Performance
  • Creative Project

On-line materials will be available to participants four weeks in advance of the practical course, concentration on planning and preparation, e.g, selecting relevant material that may be performed, keeping a diary of musical practice routines, and planning for the creative project unit.  Work sheets and on line support will provided for this stage of the course.

The practical week will be an intensive programme, which will prepare performances, both of solo material and group items, which will be performed at the end of the course in a public venue.  You will work on the planning for the event as well as keep a diary for the week and document your progress via a blog or vlog, or a platform that you choose to use.  The performance will be recorded on video for internal verification purposes, and some material will be recorded in the college studio for future marketing and assessment purposes.  The Live Performance and Solo Performance units will be delivered holistically, both culminating in the public performance, which will form the main part of the assessment. 

On-line materials will then be available for the remaining six weeks of the course, which will cover the evaluation of the creative project plus the post-performance evaluation for solo and live performance units.

How will I study my course?

  • Part Time

This part time course will be based in our Music Department in Fort William.   It will consist of 10 weeks of online study and a 4 day practical intensive course based at the college.

Online materials will be available 4 weeks before the start of the course and for a further 6 weeks afterwards.

How long will my course last?

10 weeks online study and a 4 day intensive practical course – total study time : 80 hours

Where can I study my course?

  • Fort William

Start date

March 2018

How much will my course cost?

£240 - Funding may be available towards the cost of this course, please contact us for further information.

What funding can I apply for?

Students may qualify for bursary funding. 

You may be eligible for an Individual Training Account (ITA) from Skills Development Scotland to help pay for this course.

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) Individual Training Accounts are for people who are 16 or over, living in Scotland and either in low paid work or actively seeking work. You must have an income of £22,000 a year or less or be on certain benefits to be eligible to get up to £200 towards the cost of learning or training.

You can apply for an ITA if you are not undertaking any secondary, further or higher education, SDS funded training or participating on the Community Jobs Scotland programme.

ITAs are available if you are interested in learning something new or developing an existing skill to support you in work. There is a wide range of courses to choose from and you can study with any ITA approved learning provider, including learning centres, local colleges, universities and private training providers.

To find out more or to apply, visit

What can I do on completion of my course?

This course would be ideal for anyone who wanted to gain skills and confidence in music performance either for pleasure, to enhance their current studies in music, or as a route to further study in the future.

It would be a great start to anyone interested in studying music subjects in either further or higher education, including our NC Music, HNC Music or the BA (Hons) Applied Music

Is there more information available online?

You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

Apply for Music Performing NPA

I want to start in 2017/18
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We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at West Highland College UHI. West Highland College operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.

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