Was Studying Music Technology A Wasted Year?

Hey guys!


The title of this post comes from the fact that everyone tells me that my year between my GCSEs and commencement of my employment was a wasted year because I’ve ended up in medicine.


But for me, I can’t call last year (technically Year 12 for me) a wasted year. Sure, I will probably never use the qualification again because of the field of work I’m in but I had a great year where I discovered what I wanted to do and got the chance to relax after the stress of my GCSEs.


I studied a 90 Credit Level 3 Diploma in Music Technology at Gloucestershire College last year and achieved a double distinction-merit. This is a grade I am fairly proud of because my year was disjointed and bitty with my health problems.


I chose to study Music Technology because I studied it at GCSE and wanted to see if it truly was the direction that I wanted to take my career in. My choice of Gloucestershire College was down to a number of factors that I don’t feel relevant to this post but it was an amazing college. I had the support I needed and felt like I was treated as an individual.


My tutors were great and made sure that every lesson was fun and engaging and I do miss them since leaving.


This post is mainly going to be what the course entails and letting people know what Music Tech is like at Level 3. I feel a lot of people are unprepared when it comes to what the course entails and at both Level 2 & 3, a lot of people dropped out or decided to not do the second year.


Music Technology is a lot of hard work and not just messing around with a computer all day.


If you’re looking to just sit and mess about with a computer and instruments and think it’s that easy, you are wrong.


What surprises a lot of people, even at GCSE, is that there is a LOT of written work.

Even for your practical work.


I once wrote an 11 page document on music copyright for an assignment, a 15 page write up of how I created a track and 20 page PowerPoint on why certain decisions were made in relation to a mock magazine I had to create.


If you’re not cool with writing long essays, this may not be the best move.


I would say the written:practical ratio is 60:40 although when you’re on the course it does feel that there’s more written work.


The course covers many areas from copyright to the structure/history of the music industry to music production and to sound for the moving image. My favourite was the music production side of the course because I am not a musician and struggle to produce my own, organic music.


You don’t need to play an instrument to succeed in this course. I can’t play any instrument at all but I do think this helped me because when analyzing music, my ears aren’t tuned to one specific instrument so I can listen to all parts of the song separately.


One trip we went on was to see the Pink Floyd- Their Mortal Remains exhibition at the V&A Museum in London. I’m not a huge Pink Floyd fan but this was a great experience to see some of the items used to produce music that is essentially part of British history.


We did a section of work that involved us doing Foley Sound for a video of our choice. We got given a whole library of sound effects and the opportunity to create our own to put in time with events in the video sequence. I loved doing the sound effects but found composing my own music rather difficult.


I gained a lot of knowledge and experience from the course and know that it will come in handy should I ever decide to go back to music production. I can produce music and my 4 years total studying music production has left me fairly competent in making music.


As I said in the introduction of this post, I don’t see my last year as wasted. I enjoyed the course and came away with a grade I am proud of. I may be looking to work in the medical field (well… DO work in the medical field) but if I ever swap my career focus back to music, I will be perfectly fine!



Lots of Love,

melanie-jessica x (1)

3 thoughts on “Was Studying Music Technology A Wasted Year?

  1. I don’t ever think there is such a thing as a wasted or useless qualification. I’m doing an English degree so I get told I’m wasting my time a lot!
    Loved this post and I’ll be sure to follow 🙂

  2. I think it’s clever you did this course to see if it was something you truly wanted to pursue. No better way of knowing than actually trying it out. I don’t think doing anything in life is a waste of time because it will have shaped you as a person in some way! I also did a media degree before studying creative writing now. While studying media I felt like it was a waste of my time and I hated it. But now it has been useful for me several times. Even if you end up doing nothing with the piece of paper you got, you could end up creating music for fun 😄 Glad you shared this experience!

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