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Music Direction course

The aim of the course is to prepare Students for the appointment of Bandmaster, developing command, musical and administrative skills, whilst providing a knowledge of the role of Military Music in support of Defence and National Interests.


On successful completion of the Music Direction Course, students will be equipped to conduct, train and manage a Regular Army Band.

The course is 1 year in length and is split into 6 modules.

Upon completion of the course successful students will be assigned back to Regular Army Bands.

Music Direction

Music direction skills provide the framework for the course which develops the student in both ceremonial and concert conducting. 

  • Development of technical and stylistic conducting.
  • Rehearsal technique
  • Baton drill
  • Concert presentation skills
  • Concert performances
  • Ceremonial parades


Orchestration skills provide students the underpinning knowledge of the interrelationship between instruments within the parade and concert band in order to be an effective conductor – both in rehearsal and performance.

  • Knowledge of instrumental families (ranges and transpositions)
  • Fundamental orchestration techniques
  • Score layout and layering
  • Use of music notation software
  • Basic publishing and copyright regulations
  • Stylistic Orchestration - including writing for traditional and contemporary ensembles


Training in music harmony provides students the understanding of the concepts of music harmony integral to both written and aural music analysis.

  • Principles of elementary music harmony
  • Principles of advanced and modal harmony
  • Development of melodic and harmonic language
  • Application of harmonic principles to hear, recognise and correct performance errors

History and Analysis

Training in history and analysis provides students the knowledge of the development of western music to support musical analysis and score preparation.

  • Identification of form, genre and style
  • Analysing structure and melody
  • Historical developments in music
  • Development of military music

Teacher training

Training in teaching, coaching and mentoring skills provides students the capability to deliver individual and group training.

  • One-to-one and group teaching skills
  • Comprehension of learning styles
  • Planning and coordinating unit training activities
  • Musical assessment strategies

Military band studies

Training which develops the Student as a Bandmaster; providing the functional and administrative skills necessary to lead a Regular Army Band.

  • Roles and responsibilities of a Bandmaster
  • Command, leadership and management skills
  • Defence studies
  • Project management - skills and techniques

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