**All songs written during the course of this diploma will have a chance to be pitched to international artistes via our sister company, Funkie Monkies Publishing Pte. Ltd.

Summary

Other than the fundamental skills of music and songwriting, the Diploma in Music provides students with the flexibility to explore and discover their interests, and eventually work towards one of these specialisations:

  • Songwriting and Production
  • Songwriting and Performance
  • Songwriting and Sound Engineering

A specialisation is granted if 20 or more credits in their area of chosen specialisation have been completed.

Course Modules

1. Core Modules

This module equips students with the knowledge and skills essential for songwriters in the 21st century. A range of topics covered include key roles in songwriting, songwriting workflow, music copyrights, basic music theory, synthesis and digital audio workstation (DAW). These foundational knowledge and skills form the basic ingredients that would prepare songwriters to both create up-to-date works at a professional level, as well as negotiate effectively, efficiently and professionally in a contextually updated manner when dealing, working and collaborating with others in the music industry today.

This lesson aims to equip students with working knowledge on music theory. Students will be equipped to understand the fundamentals of western music theory like major and minor scales, interval theory and more. Students will also learn basic keyboard skills in this module to equip them with a foundation to play an instrument.

This module is designed to provide students with fundamental skills relevant to songwriting across various musical genres. The course will guide students in crafting engaging melodies, emphasising elements such as melodic contour, rhythm, and dynamics applicable to a broad range of musical expressions. Students also develop proficiency in lyric writing, exploring themes and storytelling techniques for emotionally resonant lyrics. Collaboration is essential in fostering a creative environment to enhance interpersonal skills and teamwork in the songwriting process. By the end of the module, students will possess versatile songwriting skills applicable to various musical contexts and will have honed effective collaboration abilities in a musical setting.

This module is designed to provide students with fundamental skills relevant to songwriting across various musical genres. The course will guide students in crafting engaging melodies, emphasising elements such as melodic contour, rhythm, and dynamics applicable to a broad range of musical expressions. Students also develop proficiency in lyric writing, exploring themes and storytelling techniques for emotionally resonant lyrics. Collaboration is essential in fostering a creative environment to enhance interpersonal skills and teamwork in the songwriting process. By the end of the module, students will possess versatile songwriting skills applicable to various musical contexts and will have honed effective collaboration abilities in a musical setting.

This module is designed to provide students with fundamental skills relevant to songwriting across various musical genres. The course will guide students in crafting engaging melodies, emphasising elements such as melodic contour, rhythm, and dynamics applicable to a broad range of musical expressions. Students also develop proficiency in lyric writing, exploring themes and storytelling techniques for emotionally resonant lyrics. Collaboration is essential in fostering a creative environment to enhance interpersonal skills and teamwork in the songwriting process. By the end of the module, students will possess versatile songwriting skills applicable to various musical contexts and will have honed effective collaboration abilities in a musical setting.

This module aims to introduce concepts in creative thinking that are not just limited to the songwriting context. 

The lessons for this module include class activities that inform, inspire and allow students to explore and question what creativity is, how it may be evoked, and how it can be guided to fruition. Understanding creative thinking in a general sense allows students to translate this skill to different aspects of the songwriting process, which will be necessary as they eventually become songwriting practitioners.

This module aims to develop the quintessential skills of listening to music and analyzing it from a technical perspective. This course comprises 2 segments: 

  1. From a musician’s perspective, students will learn how to listen to rhythm, time-signature, pitch and the relationship between note intervals
  2. From an engineer’s perspective, students will learn how to listen to frequencies and how it affects different instruments (vocals, guitar, bass drums). 

At the end of the module, students will be able analyse audio materials, identify unique musical ideas and integrate it into their repertoire.

This module equips students with the essential skills to effectively operate professional audio equipment. Students will learn how microphones, microphone preamplifiers and outboard gear operate; safe operating procedures; microphone characteristics, placement and essential studio signal flow to achieve the highest quality of audio production in a professional studio environment. Students will apply the knowledge learnt in this module to create professional-sounding audio recordings for song productions.

This module aims to prepare students to build a sustainable career within the music industry by providing them with a strong fundamental understanding and overview of the music business. 

This module will introduce and teach: 

  1. Various key players in the music industry which includes publishing houses, labels, management companies, publicists, etc. 
  2. Singapore copyright laws and employment rights for a freelancer. 
  3. Practical skills like creating a feasible online portfolio, building a network, understanding target audiences, social media management and more.

As part of the curriculum, all students of the school are required to undertake a project supervised by the facilitators. The Final Year Project Committee of our school will be entrusted to oversee the coordination of all final year projects. The Committee has prepared this set of guidelines so that all students are aware of the various project requirements in terms of project schedule, project report, and presentation.

2. Music Performance Electives

*Elective modules are offered subject to course runs and minimum student number.

This module equips students with diverse skill sets required to be an artist, public figure and singer-songwriter. Apart from introducing advanced techniques in singing, the module sets students thinking about issues of communication and presentation when artists interact with the various segments of the public, be it fans, media or industry partners. 

It is pertinent that an artist is self-aware of the image they portray to the public, and that the artist learns to develop and maintain his or her own public persona as distinct and separate from his or her private persona, and this module aims to achieve that goal. Students will also learn about personal grooming and wardrobe management.

This module equips students with the necessary skills to conceptualise and execute a music video. Students will learn how to create a storyboard and make a case for their stories. Students will also learn about the technical aspects of video production ranging from on-site shooting to post production video editing.

As part of the curriculum, all students of the Diploma in Songwriting & Performance are required to declare their principal instrument (piano/guitar) and develop their proficiency in their instrument under the supervision of instructors hired by the school. 

A facilitator of our school will be entrusted to oversee the coordination of the instrument lab module. The Committee has prepared this set of guidelines so that all students are aware of the various requirements in terms of mastering their instrument.

This module equips students with the necessary skills to handle a live performance environment. Students will be taught how to react and handle stage dynamics with other performers and also if they are performing on their own. Students will also be exposed to various supporting tools which will aid them in creating a better showcase.

This module equips students with fundamental concepts related to music marketing, branding, media management, music distribution and agreements. Students will get an overview and gain insights to the general ecosystem within the music industry and how they might fit into the picture. Students will also be equipped with the skills and mindset necessary to navigate the ever-changing music industry.

This module equips students with the physiological knowledge of how vocalisation works so that they understand how to better control their vocals for more effective singing, as well as how to maintain their vocal health, which is very crucial for a professional career in singing. 

Students will also learn advanced singing techniques for different genres of music as well as strategies for effective live performance.

3. Music Production Electives

*Elective modules are offered subject to course runs and minimum student number.

This module covers the knowledge, techniques and skills needed for composing music (songs, jingles, film scoring, mood music, library music etc.) for moving images in audio post production, whether it is for full feature films, movie trailers, TV commercials, online commercials, corporate videos, drama series, documentaries, animations, games or production music libraries. The module will also introduce the basics in creative management and industry practices in audio post production.

This module deals with knowledge and skills needed for music arrangement in the context of songwriting for popular music markets. Students will learn music arrangement ranging from organic to electronic music genres, as well as how music arrangement styles differ among different markets. Students will experiment with both audio and MIDI recordings, as well as the use of loops and samples in their music arrangement.

The module equips students with the essential skills to analyse music and dissect its elements. Students will be exposed to various genres of music spanning across eras and participate in in-class discussion as well as individual research and presentation on these genres.

This module aims to equip students with the necessary knowledge to produce lead and backing vocals for a song production. Through practical lessons, you will be exposed to creative directions of a song and be presented with case studies of various published songs and analyse the vocal production techniques used in those songs and design your own vocal parts.

4. Sound Engineering Electives

*Elective modules are offered subject to course runs and minimum student number.

This module will explore the production and implementation of music and audio in different interactive settings. These include immersive applications, games and installations. Students will be exposed to interactive audio concepts and workflows, using tools like game audio middleware and game engines, where they will learn to use computational knowledge and logic to produce and implement audio for interactive applications.

This module aims to equip students with an understanding of audio post production. Students will learn the processes behind audio post production and the need for audio in the post production stage.

Students will learn the various techniques used in audio post to achieve professional results for commercial projects including TV commercials, TV programs, films, corporate videos, trailers etc. Students will also learn how to handle sound design in a given project and techniques for dialogue replacement.

This module aims to equip students with an understanding of studio acoustic design for their project studio. With more and more music professionals building their own project studio and working out of them, it is paramount that the space is treated acoustically to provide the best possible acoustic space for critical audio work. 

Students will first be equipped with fundamental audio principles like sound propagation, sound levels and decibels, sound reflection, refraction, diffraction and diffusion and an understanding of reverberation in small spaces. Students will also learn the principles of absorption and sound energy dissipation and how to calculate the modal response of a room. Students will then design their own acoustic treatment and learn how to effectively place them in the room to even out the room’s response. Students will also be exposed to listening positions and monitor setups for the most accurate listening experience in a room.

This module equips students to prepare a song for the post-production stage and deliver it for online publishing and distribution. Topics include mixing concepts; tools used for tone shaping, audio levelling and time-space localisation. Students will explore traditional mixing workflows and modern mixing workflows; being able to describe the differences in both processes and determine the best pathway for a song.

This module aims to build upon the concepts taught in SE004. Students will explore various hands-on approaches to mixing songs in various genres; the approaches in dealing with a song genre they are not familiar with and how best to work out a plan to tackle issues in a song mix. Students will move on to work on much more complicated song mixes involving multiple layers of audio elements. Students will learn how to manage large sessions; version changes and how to deliver the final mixdown for a commercial song release. Students will also explore the use of hardware equipment as part of a hybrid studio environment. Finally, students will explore advanced mastering concepts to handle songs for commercial releases in the capacity of a mastering engineer.

This module aims to equip students with essential knowledge in managing professional live sound equipment used in live performances. Students will be taught principles of the live sound environment and various methods to set up, tune and run a live show.

Students will be exposed to traditional recording and mixing workflows on an analog console. Through a hands-on approach, students will learn how to manage the signal flow through the analog console from the recording stage all the way to the mixing stage.

5. General Electives

*Elective modules are offered subject to course runs and minimum student number.

This module equips students with the intermediate skills to conceptualise and execute different types of video editing. Students will learn some tips in shooting to facilitate editing and also how to use text, effects, graphics, music and sound effects to polish and enhance their editing. Other than that, they will learn to edit teasers and trailers as well.

6. Music Business Electives

*Elective modules are offered subject to course runs and minimum student number.

This module equips students with the intermediate skills to conceptualise and execute different types of video editing. Students will learn some tips in shooting to facilitate editing and also how to use text, effects, graphics, music and sound effects to polish and enhance their editing. Other than that, they will learn to edit teasers and trailers as well.

This module equips students with diverse entrepreneurial skill sets and the mindset required to be an active and relevant professional in the music industry. Students will learn to identify the opportunities as well as challenges of starting or running a business in the music industry. Students will also learn how to navigate the freelancer economy.

This course offers non-financial managers a comprehensive introduction to the world of business finance. It equips participants with a structured approach to comprehend and dissect common financial tools and workflows. Key topics include the interpretation and evaluation of fundamental financial documents such as the balance sheet, income statement, cash flow statement, and invoices.

This module provides students with a foundational understanding of talent development and A&R (Artist and Repertoire) principles and practical skills. Students will grasp the concepts related to talent identification, discovery, and cultivation, while acquiring the skills to devise strategies for enhancing competencies, knowledge, and marketability in the context of talent development. This module will empower students to be productive by deepening their comprehension of A&R activities and harnessing creativity to showcase talents.

This module is designed to provide students with a solid foundation in public relations (PR) and communication principles. Public relations is a critical aspect of any business, as it shapes an organisation’s reputation, manages crisis situations, and fosters positive stakeholder relationships. 

Through theoretical knowledge, case studies, and practical exercises, students will develop the skills and understanding needed to effectively communicate and manage public relations in the business context.

This module is designed to equip students with essential communication skills, presentation skills and the knowledge to develop a strong personal brand. Effective communication is crucial in the music and media industry, and personal branding can significantly impact career success. 

Through a blend of theory & practical exercises, as well as self-assessments, students will learn effective communication and public-speaking skills to build a compelling personal brand, and leverage these skills to excel in their future business endeavours.

This module is designed to provide students a comprehensive understanding of marketing principles tailored specifically to the music and media industry. Through a combination of theoretical concepts and practical applications, students will explore the unique challenges and opportunities in marketing music products and services. 

They will learn how to create effective marketing strategies, build brand identity, and engage with target audiences to promote brands, businesses and productions such as musical artists, albums, concerts, and other related products.

This module equips students with the necessary skills to conceptualise, shoot and edit creative videos meant for social media, digital media and other forms of digital media. 

Students will learn how to conceptualise creative concepts, create a “hook”, as well as shoot and edit industry-level videos on a smartphone. Students will also learn about the basic and technical aspects of video production, ranging from shooting and lighting to video post-production.

Download our Student Application Form and Apply with us now!

After completing the application form, send it in with your works to admissions@tsmcollege.edu.sg

Duration

  • 12-Month Full Time course (in-person)
  • 24-Month Part Time course (in-person)

Course Commencement and Completion Dates

Course Commencement is on a termly basis starting on February, May, August and November of every year. Exact dates will defer from year to year. Course Completion depends on the duration of the course taken by each individual student.

Graduation and Assessment

  • Graduation Requirement: 56 credits not inclusive of the Final Year Project (FYP)
  • A specialisation is granted if 20 or more credits in their area of chosen specialisation have been completed.
  • Assessment Modes: Continuous assessment and end-of-term exam. Continuous assessments include case studies, class tests, discussions, presentations, group, and individual assignments.

Entry Requirements:

  • Minimum Age Requirement:
    • 16 years old
  • Minimum Academic Requirement:
    • At least one pass at Singapore-Cambridge GCE ‘O’ Level (Grade 1-6) or equivalent, which must include English Language; or
    • NITEC / Higher NITEC / Local Polytechnic Diploma / Degree in any discipline; or
    • Professional qualifications such as ACCA; or
    • Diploma / Advanced Diploma / Specialist Diploma / Graduate Diploma (in any discipline and conducted in an English Language medium) awarded by any local private education institute (PEI); or
    • Portfolio submissions that must pass the entry assessment by the Academic Board (for Diploma in Music only)

Applicants with qualifications that are not conducted in English language medium must achieve a minimum:

  • (a) International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Score of 5.0 or the equivalent; or
  • (b) Pass in English II awarded by The Songwriter Music College.

Fees:

  • Application fee: S$300 one-time payment
  • Course fee:
    • Singapore Citizens/Permanent Residents: S$20,800
    • International: S$22,800

All prices are inclusive of GST.

See full list of fees here

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