The Flexible Pathways program for diploma students at SIS (soon to be re-branded simply as the “International A-Level” program), has recently been augmented by the addition of the school’s newest academy, SIMA – The Sotogrande International Music Academy.
SIMA offers its own music education and development services in partnership with one of the world’s leading contemporary music schools, Berklee College of Music of Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Berklee course diplomas and certificates are valid all around the world and are happily accepted by all UK universities as well.
Students with a particular interest in music and/or music business can enroll in SIMA’s Flexible Pathways program in music, and can choose from over 100 different online certificate and degree courses as well as a dozen hands-on music art and business development sessions on location at SIS or at the recording studio at SRC.
The SIMA Flexible Pathways music program for SIS diploma students consists of three complementary educational inputs:
- A-Level or HSD courses provided by SIS
- Music courses provided by Berklee College of Music
- Hands-on music artist and music business development provided by MMI Studios
The three sets of courses will, over a two year period, prepare the student for a productive future not just academically but also artistically and professionally.
The SIMA Flexible Pathways program allows the student to mix and match a wide variety of courses to best suit his or her vision of the future. Have a look at the course overview below.
SIS A-Level and/or HSD
Students embarking on the Diploma route in their final two years at SIS must decide whether to do IB, HSD or A-Levels in order to best prepare for further university-level education or for a professional career.
The SIMA Flexible Pathways Music Program, also referred to as the “International A-Levels Program” allows the student to choose standard curriculum courses best suited to the student’s interests and temperament.
- A-Level options – choose two or three
- English Literature
- Business Studies
- High School Diploma (HSD) options – choose four
- English (English Language, Literature)
- Mathematics (Mathematical Studies, Mathematics)
- Spanish (Spanish Language – Basic, Intermediate or Higher level)
- Humanities (Business Management)
- Humanities (Economics)
- Other electives (e.g. Arts, Physical Education, Sports, Technology, etc)
Students have four to five hours per day (in the afternoons) to take the above selected courses at SIS.
- €4,500 per course, per year
- For example: a three course A-level = €13,500
- Or: a four course HSD = €18,000
Students who wish to enhance their music training and artistic development with music education are recommended to consider the following Berklee courses. It’s possible to take up to three Berklee Online courses simultaneously during each trimester.
- In-Depth Music Business Courses
- Music Business 101
- Music Marketing
- Artist Management
- Music Business Trends and Strategy
- Legal Aspects of Music Industry
- Music and Artistic Courses
- Music Production Analysis
- Music Theory and Ear Training
- Music Foundations
- Production and Arranging
- Voice, Piano, Guitar or a wide selection of instrument courses
- Music History and Liberal Arts
- Music for Film, TV, and Games
- Music software such as ProTools, Cubase, Ableton Live and many more
- For a complete list of available Berklee Online courses see here.
Each 12-week course is taught entirely online and involves one-on-one instruction with Berklee professors as well as online group interaction and flexible self-study time. Additionally, SIMA staff are available at all times to help the student whenever required.
Each completed course is worth three US undergraduate college credits (which can translate to between 30 and 120 UCAS points in the UK, depending on the course and target university). The course credits can also be used if the student wishes to pursue a degree program with Berklee Online or at the Berklee College of Music campus in Boston, Massachusetts, US (a fantastic option for any serious music student).
- In the case of selecting individual or a la carte topics, each course will cost €1,190
- In this case, three courses per year would amount to €3,570
- Note that some of the courses on the extended list are a bit more expensive, in which case please apply the official Berklee price minus a 10% SIMA discount, should you opt for one of those.
- If two simultaneous courses are picked per trimester,each course will cost €1,140
- In this case, six courses per year would amount to €6,840
- In case of courses on the extended list which are a bit more expensive, please apply the official Berklee price minus a 14% SIMA discount.
- If the full recommended set of three courses is picked per trimester, each course will cost €1,090
- In this case, nine courses per year would amount to €9,810
- In the case of courses on the extended list which are a bit more expensive, please apply the official Berklee price minus an 18% SIMA discount.
SIMA/MMI Studios Courses
SIMA not only helps to coordinate the Berklee courses and SIS A-level programs for our students, but we also offer specialist courses of our own, of the highest quality. These courses and sessions include:
- SIMA Music Business Introduction (a perfect complement to the Berklee courses)
- Introduction to Music Business
- Indie Music Marketing
- Music History
- Music Research
- Music Promotion & Online Entrepreneurship
- SIMA Artist Training (another excellent complement to the relevant Berklee courses)
- Songwriting & Creative Writing
- Production and Arrangement
- Studio Recording
- Professional Artist Development (this is a unique, invitation-only service only available from SIMA)
- Daily assistance with all the Berklee courses
Additionally, we offer voice and instrument courses such as:
- Advanced vocal training
- Piano / Keyboards
- Saxophone, clarinet, trumpet or trombone
- Please inquire about other instruments
The student can pick one or more of the above courses in proportions most suitable to his/her goals, although we offer a package deal for all of them over a two year period (see below). All of our courses are carried out at SRC, but voice and instrument courses are held at SIS. Transport to and fro will be provided by SIMA.
- All standard individual SIMA courses (including artist development sessions) cost €40 per hour (€25/hr in groups). In case of the Flexible Pathways program, however, the cost is greatly reduced, as follows:
- The Basic SIMA Package
- Artist Development – €500 per month (for up to four hours per week), i.e. €1,500 per trimester or €4,500 per year
- SIMA Artist Training and SIMA Music Business Courses – €500 per month (for up to six hours per week), i.e. €1,500 per trimester or €4,500 per year
- The total SIMA Package cost is thus €9,000 per year.
- Instrument and advanced voice courses are charged at the rate of €50/hour and can be included in the weekly schedule in proportions most suitable to the student. The effective annual rate can then be calculated.
- A standard package we suggest consists of two hours of advanced vocals, one hour of piano, one hour of drums and one hour of guitar per week (for a total of five vocal/instrument hours per week), i.e. €3,000 per trimester or €9,000 per year, but the student is welcome to tailor it to his/her requirements.
- NOTE: Transport between SIS and SRC is included.
- The Basic SIMA Package
A hypothetical example of a SIMA schedule
Lunch break will take place around mid-day.
And Then What?
Having completed the SIMA/SIS/Berklee Flexible Pathways two year curriculum, the student will have a multitude of excellent options available to him/her. Here are just a few ideas:
- Continuing with Berklee
- Continuing higher education anywhere in the USA
- All accredited US universities and colleges accept credits earned from Berklee (including, of course, Berklee Online)
- Music schools may be the obvious choice, but they are not the only choice. Many of the courses we recommend here will prepare the student well for almost any other type of education, particularly Business or Economics.
- Continuing higher education anywhere in the UK or in other parts of the world (see typical requirements here)
- All accredited universities in the UK and most places in Western Europe are happy to accept Berklee credits (and naturally also SIS A-Levels and points), although the number of points assigned to each credit may vary from school to school. In the UK, the typical spread is between 30 and 120 points per credit.
- The complete music preparation we offer will prepare the student for more than just a music or a music business career. Much of the material covered in our courses applies to many other disciplines as well.
- Starting a professional career
- Some students may elect to embark on a professional career straight out of SIS/SIMA. Our program will give them the best preparation for such an eventuality.
- Our graduates will not only be well-rounded artists (in some cases with nascent music business careers), but also all-around music business specialists. They may be able to start a production or studio-related career either as an employee of an established music company or strike out on their own.
- Others may wish to pursue an independent music career, for which they will be very well prepared by the Berklee/SIMA courses. Today, it’s possible for an independent or “unsigned” artist to have a lucrative performing career based almost solely on online promotions.
- The well-rounded education that we give our students will qualify them for employment in most parts of the entertainment business.
- Our entrepreneurship courses will also provide the student with the tools needed to succeed in just about any other field, not just music.
- Other useful links and resources
- MMI Studios
- What can you do with a music degree?
- How to make a living in the modern music business?
- Berklee report card on music pay prospects
- Music salary guide
- Top UK universities for job prospects
- Top US universities for job prospects
- Employment statistics for US college graduates
- Critical look at UK college-to-job prospects
- College degrees that get the most job offers
- Common jobs for majors
- Music Business Careers
- UCAS points and requirements
- As a part of our program involves online education, you may find this article helpful
- The current state of online learning
- Contact us to request additional information