The Higher National Certificate (HNC) has been running at The National Piping Centre since January 2016 and it is planned to introduce the Higher National Diploma (HND) in September 2021, subject to SQA approval. The team behind the course are just putting the finishing touches to the information about this, and it will be released fully early in 2021.
Until then, we have news of a bridging course, for those who already have a HNC Music - Piping that would like to continue their studies to HND level.
Who is the Course for?
It’s for anyone already with an SQA HNC Music. It may be that you didn’t study bagpipes in your HNC but you must be able to demonstrate that your piping is at the standard required for SCQF Level 7 or close to it, and that you have the potential to develop to Level 8.
It’s most likely, however, that most who apply for the bridging course will already have the HNC Music – Piping.
What is the Bridging Course?
The bridging course covers the gaps in the assessment outcomes between the HNC course you have already studied and the current HNC, and you need to pass these before moving on to the HND year 2 programme.
The bridging course is necessary for anyone with an HNC Music where the qualification code is other than GP1215. SQA periodically reviews and revises all its awards and the most recent review resulted in a radical overhaul. This is sometimes necessary to ensure that the qualifications remain up to date and therefore of maximum benefit to the student.
There are 21 assessments that need to be covered. None of these are performance-based. In other words, they are not focussed on your bagpiping, but they are entirely relevant to your development as a freelance musician.
When does the Course Start?
We will begin the course towards the end of January 2021 and it will run until the end of May 2021 so that it will lead nicely to the HND year which will start in September 2021. Depending on demand, we may make the course available every year so that people can upgrade their qualifications.
What is the Cost?
Costs are still to be confirmed but we estimate it will cost in the region of £800.
Im very interested. What should I do next?
Contact us as soon as possible with a covering letter to describe your music and other qualifications. Enclose with it (or attach in the email) a scan of your current qualifications. We can then check which HNC award you have achieved. Then we’ll be in touch.
Where is the course based?
Based at The National Piping Centre in Glasgow and drawing on the renowned teaching staff, library, museum and performing space, you’ll have the opportunity to build a solid foundation for a career in the music industry as well as a base for further academic study. The National Piping Centre is ideally situated close to the City Centre with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Theatre Royal right across the road, and just five minutes away from the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall plus there are so many other fantastic music and cultural venues within easy walking distance.
Why is it Unique?
The environment of The National Piping Centre provides students with an opportunity to meet with pipers and other traditional musicians from all over the world and to participate in the vibrant festivals which occur throughout the year in the City including Piping Live!, The World Pipe Band Championships and Celtic Connections. Glasgow has an incredibly vibrant folk & trad music scene with sessions happening most days of the week as well as high quality workshops throughout the year – a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in the music and get to know other musicians. Glasgow also is the base for many music industry organisations and is a UNESCO City of Music.
What is an HND?
It’s a Higher National Diploma which is a two-year full-time course. It’s possible in certain circumstances to leave at the end of the first year with a Higher National Certificate and both of these awards are certificated by the Scottish Qualifications Authority. It is possible, in certain circumstances, to study towards the HND (or HNC) on a part-time basis over a longer period. Success on the bridging course should enable a smooth transition to the HND 2nd year. Feel free to contact us to discuss your particular circumstances.
What will I learn?
Firstly, you will have tuition from highly qualified and experienced professional bagpipers. In both years, in addition to developing your skills on the pipes, you will study music theory, music history and sound engineering. In the first year you will study live performance, music composition, stagecraft, the music industry, and community music. Then, in the second year you will have tuition in a second instrument, you’ll learn about online promotion and about how to teach bagpipes to others.
How will I be assessed?
You will be assessed continuously throughout the course. Each subject has a number of assessment outcomes which you must pass. Some assessments are done in class under examination conditions; others are project-type assignments.
If I pass, Im Interested in studying beyond HND.
This is entirely possible. The HNC Music and HND Music are standard SQA qualifications. Some universities have music degree programmes where you may be able to apply for ‘advanced entry’ which means you could gain entry directly to year 2 (with an HNC) or even year 3 with an HND. In most cases, the university would expect you to have achieved an A pass in the Graded Units.
I don't live in or near Glasgow. Are there Halls of Residence?
There is a brand new (August 2020) custom-built student accommodation, Base, right next door to our McPhater St building. It is designed with music students in mind and has a number of bookable practice rooms available.
Based in Glasgow in west central Scotland, students will have ready access to many piping events throughout the year including, piping competitions, concerts, and Highland Games. Students will also be in close proximity to many of the world’s leading pipe bands.
What Qualifications do I need to Apply
You must already have an SQA HNC Music.
How should I apply?
To apply for the Bridging Course, please contact us as soon as possible with a covering letter to describe your music and other qualifications. Enclose with it (or attach in the email) a scan of your current qualifications. We can then check which HNC award you have achieved. Then we’ll be in touch.
What will happen next?
If you have not already studied at the National Piping Centre you will be invited for an interview and audition. Some applicants may be very keen to visit the National Piping Centre, especially if they’ve never been before and the interview/audition is a great time to do so. Others, particularly if they live some distance away, can be interviewed and auditioned online such as via Zoom or Skype.
The National Piping Centre requires all students to use hearing protection at all times when playing pipes. Hearing protection is available for purchase in our shop or free of charge from the earplug dispenser in both our piping school venues.
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