Instrumental/vocal performance standard equivalent to post-Grade 5 and at least a basic knowledge of notation and theory at beginning of the course.
Students do not need to have taken the subject at GCSE (although it does help) but do need to have an active interest in instrumental/vocal performance and listening to contrasting musical styles. The course includes studying a selection of music from 1600 to present day in variety of genres, 3 set works from each of - Vocal Music, Film, Music, Fusion, Instrumental Music, Pop & Jazz and New Directions. Students will also develop higher level composing skills in a variety of mediums and as well as their broadening their overall knowledge/understanding of the development of musical styles.
Students are also expected to take an active role in the busy life of the school, further enhancing their appreciation of music and gaining responsibility. The internationally renowned Wind and Swing Bands give regular performances throughout the region and on radio/TV as well as touring abroad. There are a lot of smaller ensembles which allow senior students to hone their skills and responsibilities in a wider variety of performing contexts, including the student-run Jazz Combo and primary instrumental teaching scheme which provides paid, freelance experiences to those involved.
|Units for A Level
|% of A Level
|Unit 1: Solo Performance (coursework)
|Total minimum solo performance time of 8 minutes. Marked out of 48 with an additional 12 marks for difficulty of Grade VII+. Contrasting programmes gain additional reward.
|Unit 2: Composing (coursework)
|Unit 3: Set Works & Listening (2 hour exam)
|Listening and written exam based on the 18 Set Works studied, where students are required to demonstrate and apply their musical knowledge as well as using their analytical and appraisal skills to make evaluative and critical judgements about music.
Music is a highly regarded academic subject and whether you take it with a view to a career in music or as an additional A level subject, it is held in high esteem by universities and other institutions of higher education. Students develop analytical and presentation skills that are in great demand within management. Most people, however, study Music because they love it, and you will have plenty of practical opportunities to develop your talents.
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