Photomontage of people using music technology equipment

“Without music, life would be a mistake” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

At a Glance

  • Live online course
  • 2 hours a week
  • Wednesdays 18:00 - 20:00
  • 10 weeks: October to December
  • Tutor: Karina Townsend
  • Fees from £115 to £210
  • Imperial College attendance certificate (T&Cs apply)
Booking link

This 10-week music technology course for beginners aims to introduce you to new technologies for music-making including music programming and sound recording.

Topics of study will include:

  • music programming using a range of freely available software;
  • basic audio recording and editing;
  • sampling and sound synthesis;
  • songwriting tips;
  • mixing down

In your studies you will be supported in producing music of you own, but you do not need to be able to read music in order to take this course. The ability to play a musical instrument is also not required, although a basic understanding of music and some keyboard skills would be an advantage.

Sessions will generally be comprised of a whole class taught component followed by an assisted practical activity with additional time for students’ own composition work.

The course is aimed at beginners, so you do not need a musical background to take part, although we also welcome students who do have a background in music.

Online access to course

This is a taught live online course which means you will be taught alongside other students on the course by a tutor at a specific time on a specific day of the week. To take part in the course you will need a suitably equipped and internet-enabled device. Please find full details and instructions below under 'Course Delivery'.

Attendance certificate

Those who attend at least 80% of the course sessions will receive an attendance certificate from Imperial College London upon completion of the course.

Course Information

Course Programme

Study topics will include:

  • Music programming using a range of freely available software;
  • Basic audio recording and editing;
  • Sampling and sound synthesis;
  • Songwriting tips;
  • Mixing down

Students will be supported in producing music of their own throughout the course.

Additional Reading

There is no compulsory reading required for this course, and there is no set course text.

However, in order to do this course you will need to purchase headphones for the start of the course. We don’t recommend in-ear headphones. The following are options from www.studiospares.com (but feel free to use any vendor you wish).

Product code/Description/Estimated price (with VAT) (from www.studiospares.com):

  • 424-010 Sony MDR7509 £109
  • 452-620 Sennheiser HD270 £75.49
  • 450-130 Audio Technica ATH-M30 £53.10
  • 410-860 Beyer Dynamic 231 £33.66
  • 453-600 Sennheiser HD202 £29.99
  • 419-450 AKG K55 £20.79

We do emphasise that these headphones are just suggestions and might not match the preferences or requirements of each individual student. you are advised to seek further advice before making a purchase.

Your Tutor

Photograph of Karina TownsendKarina Townsend is a highly experienced musician, composer and tutor. Karina studied first at the University of Edinburgh, went on to become head of music at Hammersmith and West London College, and later Music Technology Coordinator at the City Lit.

As well as working in the music industry and teaching at Imperial College, Karina also teaches at the University of East London, specialising in sound design and music technology and teaching diverse groups and individuals.

Course Delivery: Live Online Taught Courses

All our online courses are taught live which means you will be taught alongside other students on the course by a tutor at a specific time. To take part in the course you must be able to attend the online session at the time stated for the course description.

All times stated are British Standard Time.

To take part you will need a computer, or laptop, or tablet computer, connected to the Internet. The device you use will also need to have a camera, microphone and speakers. Most devices now have these built in, but if not you might have to buy them from a computer shop and to connect them to your device.

Zoom

This course will use Zoom as its online delivery method. Zoom is very easy to use and you do not need to set up a Zoom account to use it. Near the date of your first online session you will be sent an email with a web address (or URL) that will allow you to access the course. This is called the Course Link. All you need do is click on the Course Link in the email and you will be asked to enter your name. This is the name that will be seen by your tutor and other students in the class.

Once you have entered your name you might be asked to enter a password to enter the class. The password will be included in the email sent to you. Once you enter the password you will either be taken directly into the class, or asked to wait in a virtual waiting room until the tutor is ready to let you into the class.

We have also produced a Handy Guide to Zoom [pdf] which gives you basic information on how to use it.

Course Fees and Rate Categories

HoursWeeksStandard RateInternal RateAssociate Rate
 20  10  £210    (Early Bird Rate: £190*)
£125    (Early Bird Rate: £115*) £165    (Early Bird Rate: £150*) 
* The Early Bird rate is available for enrolments made before the end of 30 September for courses starting in October


Rate Categories and Discounts

Standard Rate

  • Applicable to all except those who fall under the Internal Rate or Associate Rate category, respectively.

Internal Rate

  • Current Imperial College students and staff (incl. Imperial NHS Trust, Imperial Innovations, ancillary & service staff employed on long-term contracts at Imperial College by third-party contractors)
  • Individuals enrolling under our Friends & Family scheme
  • Staff of the English Chamber Orchestra
  • Current Centre for Languages, Culture and Communication (CLCC) staff, current CLCC PhD students, Science Communication (Sci Comm) postgraduate students, and students enrolled on an Imperial College 'Language for Science' degree programme should contact eveningclass@imperial.ac.uk before completing the online enrolment form

Associate Rate

  • Alumni of Imperial College and predecessor colleges and institutes
  • Austrian Cultural Forum staff
  • City & Guilds College Association members
  • Francis Crick Institute staff, researchers and students
  • Friends and Patrons of the English Chamber Orchestra
  • Harrods staff
  • Historic Royal Palaces staff
  • Lycee Charles de Gaulle staff
  • Members of the Friends of Imperial College
  • Members of the Kennel Club
  • Members of the London Zoological Society
  • Members of the South London Botanical Institute (SLBI)
  • Members of the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP)
  • Natural History Museum staff
  • National Health Service (NHS) employees
  • Residents of postcodes SW3, SW5, SW7, SW10 and W8
  • Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council staff
  • Royal College of Art and Royal College of Music tutors and other staff
  • Royal Geographical Society staff
  • Science Museum staff
  • Staff of Exhibition Road Cultural Group (Discover South Kensington) organisations
  • Students (non-Imperial College)
  • Teachers and other staff of UK schools
  • Tutors and other staff of institution members of the Association of Colleges
  • Tutors and other staff of other universities and higher education institutions
  • Victoria and Albert Museum staff

Late enrolment

It is possible to enrol on many CLCC Evening Class and Lunchtime Learning programmes after the course has started. For non-language courses this is subject entirely to agreement by the tutor. For language courses it is subject to agreement by the language Coordinator conducting level assessment. If you want to join a course late do bear in mind there might be work you will need to catch up on, particularly in language courses.

Applicable terms & conditions

Please read the Terms and Conditions [pdf] before enrolling on any course.

Term Dates

HoursWeeksAutumn termSpring termSummer termSummer School
 20  10 11 Oct - 13 Dec 2021 (10 weeks)  n/a n/a n/a
This is a one-term course

Enrolment Process

Web enrolment starts 2nd August 2021

Enrolment and payment run through the Imperial College eStore. Please click on the blue booking link on the relevant course page noting below instructions:

  • Our rate categories are explained on the course page and your applicable rate category must be selected on the eStore
  • First-time eStore users please create an account by entering an email address and password. These credentials should also be used for future bookings. Imperial College users please note the eStore is not a single-signon College system
  • The booking process involves entering payment details after your course choice and applicant details are collected via an in-built questionnnaire
  • The following email notifications are sent:
What is sentWhen is it sentWhat does it contain
1. Payment confirmation Is sent instantaneously following submission of your online application
  • This is a receipt for your payment and includes payment date, order number and course title
  • Confirmation of your place on your chosen course will follow later
2. Enrolment confirmation Is sent within 10 working daysPlease treat your payment confirmation as confirmation that your applicant details and payment have been received
  • Re-confirms your course choice
  • Shows your course's term dates
  • Confirms the day and time of your course
3. Programme information Is usually sent on Friday late afternoon the week before term starts
  • Contains joining instructions for your course, incl. tutor contact details
If you need further help with the above information please ring 020 7594 8756

Any Questions?

Questions regarding the content and teaching of this course should be sent to the course tutor, Karina Townsend, k.townsend@imperial.ac.uk

If you have enjoyed this course, why not look at other arts and humanities evening class courses at Imperial College. This includes courses on the history of western art from ancient Greece to the nineteenth century, Understanding Modern and Design, the history of film and cinema and Greek and Roman mythology in art. We also run practical courses in art and photography and creative writing classes, and a growing programme of science based evening classes.