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SIS - SIMA Flexible Pathways
Berklee College of Music
MMI SIMA Studio

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

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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.

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  • A-Level options – choose two or three
    • English Literature
    • Mathematics
    • Spanish
    • Business Studies
    • Economics
  • 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)

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Students have four to five hours per day (in the afternoons) to take the above selected courses at SIS.

Program costs:

  • €4,500 per course, per year
    • For example: a three course A-level = €13,500
    • Or: a four course HSD = €18,000

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Berklee Courses

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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.

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  • 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
    • Orchestration
    • Music History and Liberal Arts
    • Music for Film, TV, and Games
    • Improvisation
    • Music software such as ProTools, Cubase, Ableton Live and many more
  • For a complete list of available Berklee Online courses see here.

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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).

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Course costs:

  • 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

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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

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Additionally, we offer voice and instrument courses such as:

  • Advanced vocal training
  • Piano / Keyboards
  • Guitar
  • Drums
  • Saxophone, clarinet, trumpet or trombone
  • Please inquire about other instruments

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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.

Course costs:

  • 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.

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A hypothetical example of a SIMA schedule

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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: