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London’s first songwriting MA arrives to help promote equality

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The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance (ICMP) has developed a new songwriting MA in direct response to recent BASCA research findings that female composers are under-represented in the music industry.

The Institute’s BA in Songwriting is made up of a rare 50:50 split of women and men, and the course team’s ambition is to see this equality also reflected at Masters level.

The research project, ‘Equality and Diversity in New Music Commissioning,’ was implemented by BASCA to compare the demographic of composers receiving commissions with the demographics of those with the talent and ambition to become composers. The team discovered that 36 percent of composition students were female, compared to only 21 percent of commissioned composers.

Sophie Daniels, head of songwriting at ICMP, said: ‘By offering our new Masters degree in Songwriting, we are increasing opportunities for composers to attain higher levels of skill, qualification and, importantly, confidence.

‘We also ensure excellent networking, collaboration and performance prospects. Within the context of respecting difference, the Institute is committed to ensuring there is equal opportunity for all, and we hope our actions positively contribute to achieving equality in composition.’

The MA is a highly creative programme designed to enable students to examine, explore and focus on both practical and analytical songwriting education. Students identify the conditions in which they create their best work, and carry out academic research before generating a new major repertoire work or a dissertation.

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