MUSIC A LEVEL
Course Tutor: Mrs Deborah Bideau
Examination Board: Edexcel
Course outline: This course consists of 3 modules based on the skills of performing, composing and developing musical understanding. Students will develop analytical and harmonic skills, knowledge and understanding of performance through a short recital and knowledge and understanding of compositional processes through a commissioned composition.
Teaching and Learning Styles: Lessons will consist of a range of activities, including practical tasks using performing skills both as an individual and group member (including performing set works) and composing tasks using the music software Sibelius. Students will also analyse set works using listening activities and research skills. Independent learning is strongly encouraged to enhance students own learning.
Unit: 1. Performing Music: A recital of 5 – 6 minutes on one instrument, in any style. The music chosen is performed and assessed internally and externally moderated. 30%
2. Composing - This unit encourages students to develop their composition skills leading to the creation of a three-minute piece in response to a chosen brief. Students also write a CD sleeve note to describe aspects of their final composition and explain how other pieces of music have influenced it. This unit is externally assessed. 30%
3. Developing Musical Understanding - This unit focuses on listening to familiar music and understanding how it works. Set works from the anthology provide the focus for the first two sections, through listening and studying scores. In the third section, students use a score to identify harmonic and tonal features and then apply this knowledge in the completion of a short and simple passage for SATB, culminating in a 2 hour examination paper at the end of the year. This unit is externally assessed. 40%
Assessment: As described above
Course outline: This builds directly on the three equivalent modules studied at ‘AS’ but with further emphasis on the development of harmonic, analytical and performance skills. This includes a second, longer recital (which may be on the same instrument as used in ‘AS’), a commissioned composition, listening skills and analytical studies of set works.
Teaching and Learning Styles: As described above.
Units: 1 Performing: a recital of 12 –15 minutes on one or more instruments, in any style. The music chosen is performed and assessed internally and externally moderated.30%
Students choose between the following two elements:
A: 2 compositions based on briefs set by exam board, B: 1 composition and 1 technical exercise or C: 2 technical exercises. This coursework is to be submitted at the beginning of the summer term. It is externally marked. 30%
3 Developing Musical Understanding: Building on work from the AS course, this unit focuses on a listening paper based on unfamiliar pieces of music from any period of musical history. Set works are also studied and analysed from two lists entitled ‘Applied Music’ and ‘Instrumental Music’, culminating in an essay based examination. This unit is externally assessed. 40%
Assessment: As described above.
Both of these courses are very flexible, and are designed to focus on the individual strengths and interests of musicians.