A Level Music

Introduction – why choose this subject?

It is an academic subject which counts towards any university course.

 

A-level music is a rigorous academic subject which sets students up well for university study, and universities are aware of this. A number of studies have shown that music benefits learning by activating all areas of the brain: auditory (sound processing); motor (rhythm processing); limbic (emotions).

 

Many of our students have gone on to study music further (e.g. Leeds Conservatoire, Queen’s College Oxford, Academy of Contemporary Music London), or now work in the Music Industry (e.g. music transcriber for Hal Leonard music publisher, sound designer at PlayStation Studios, international Tabla player and percussionist).

 

It will provide transferable skills.

 

A-level music involves written, analytical, practical and social/personal skills such as:

  • Independent learning: having to be disciplined about practise
  • Team working: particularly if they’re involved in weekly groups or ensembles, concerts and performances
  • Performance and presentation skills: which are useful for any job/career
  • Listening: these are highly developed in musicians and it is an important part of the course
  • Analytical and essay-writing skills
  • Confidence and self-esteem: which has a knock-on effect in all areas of life and learning
  • Creativity and self-expression: helping young people to think differently and harness the power of their imagination.

Making music can help a young person maintain good mental health during a time of high pressure.

Research has shown that music can improve mood and prompt creative flow, It can also help young people to regulate their emotions.

 

There is only one exam – the rest is coursework. This takes the pressure off revision during those critical weeks where they will have many other exams.

 

Finally, and perhaps most importantly: students are more likely to succeed and achieve a higher grade if they study something they are good at and enjoy!

How is the course assessed?

Component 1: Performing – Non–exam assessment: externally assessed by a visiting examiner. Options A or B

  • Option A: (35%) Total performance duration: 10–12minutes
    • A performance consisting of a minimum of three pieces. At least one of the pieces should be as a soloist. The other pieces may be as a soloist, or as part of an ensemble, or a combination of both. One piece must reflect the musical characteristics of one area of study. At least one other piece must reflect the musical characteristics of one other, different area of study.
  • Option B: (25%) Total performance duration: 6–8 minutes
    • A performance consisting of a minimum of two pieces, either as a soloist, or as part of an ensemble, or a combination of both. One piece must reflect the musical characteristics of one area of study

 

Component 2: Composing – Non-exam assessment: externally assessed by WJEC Eduqas. Options A or B

  • Option A: (25%) Total duration of compositions: 8 – 10 minutes
    • Two compositions. One must reflect the musical techniques and conventions of the Western Classical Tradition, and be in response to a brief set by WJEC Eduqas. Learners will have a choice of four briefs, which will be released during the first week of September in the academic year in which the assessment is to be taken.The second composition is a free composition.
  • Option B: (35%) Total duration of compositions: 4 – 6 minutes
    • Three compositions. One must reflect the musical techniques and conventions of the Western Classical Tradition, and be in response to a brief set by WJEC Eduqas. Learners will have a choice of four briefs, which will be released during the first week of September in the academic year in which the assessment is to be taken. The second composition must reflect the musical characteristics of a different area of study (i.e. not the Western Classical Tradition), and the third composition is a free composition.

 

Component 3: Appraising - Written examination: 2 hours 15 minutes approximately. 40% of qualification.

 

The Western Classical Tradition (The Development of the Symphony 1750-1900)

  • Detailed study of one symphony and general study of another, within the social, historical and cultural context. Set Works: Choose one for detailed study, the other for general study: Haydn, Symphony 104 in D major, London or Mendelssohn, Symphony 4 in A major, Italian.

Rock and Pop 1960-2000

  • Pop
  • Rock (including progressive rock, heavy metal, folk-rock, punk rock)
  • Soul
  • Funk (including disco)
  • Folk and country

 

Into the Twentieth Century 1895 – 1935

Detailed study of 2 set works.

  • Impressionism
  • Expressionism including serialism
  • Neo-classicism
  • Poulenc, Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano, movement II and
  • Debussy, Three Nocturnes, Number 1, Nuages

Equipment

  • School equipment is available for students to use, but having your own instrument and peripherals (reeds, strings, cables, etc) is extremely beneficial.
  • One A4 lever arch file will be required
  • Having access to a laptop with sequencing and music notation software is also beneficial

Most resources will be provided, but here are some useful publications:

AS and A Level Music Eduqas Study Guide (Rhinegold Education)

Various online resources will be advised during the course

Homework and learning outside of the classroom

Music specification instrumental tuition

Currently, we are able offer tuition in the following areas: all woodwind instruments, piano/keyboard, drumkit, guitar/bass guitar, strings, brass and voice.

Specialist tutors visit school every week to give these lessons where they will prepare students for performances and exams.

 

Extra-Curricular

Extra-curricular activities are available at various times in the Music Department.

These include AHS Singers, Samba Band, Concert Band, Jam Session and Theory club, plus the opportunity to be involved in a whole school production.

The department is open most breaks, lunchtimes and after school for students to make use of the facilities.

 

Visits

Opportunities to attend concerts are arranged where appropriate and the department runs a visit to London at the end of the year to watch performances and take part in workshops.

 

Homework

Specific homework tasks will be set every week, but there is an expectation that students will be continually doing personal practice on their instrument/voice and will also be carrying out wider listening to broaden their knowledge of the various styles/genres of music studied.

KS3 Music

KS4 Music

KS5 Music

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Allerton High School
King Lane, Leeds
West Yorkshire LS17 7AG
ssat ssat Leading Edge Healthy Schools Ofsted
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