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Music AS/A Level at Croesyceiliog School

Course description

Why choose Music at Croesyceiliog School?

  • The course develops students’ creativity, communication, confidence, interpersonal skills, independent learning and time-management.
  • The course promotes self-motivation, self-discipline and self-evaluation through the development of their skills in performance, composition and musical analysis.
  • The department is well resourced, supported and supportive. This has nurtured a very successful history with rarely any students achieving less than a C and the majority in recent years achieving A*-B.
  • The music course is recognised as a multi-facetted and multi-skilled assessment which is highly regarded within Higher education and Employment. An obvious choice for those keen to pursue a career in music but also a great choice for keen musicians who wish to enrich their university and employment applications.
  • Past students have continued into further education and training at national conservatoires, prestigious universities and music technology colleges and have utilised their highly-sought skills to gain employment within the music business; state, independent and peripatetic education; performance; composition and a vast array of non-music specific careers that value the key transferable skills the course actively promotes.

Course content

AS LEVEL MUSIC

Performing – 15% (recorded and assessed by visiting examiner)
Arguably the most popular part of the course this develops opportunities for students to perform as soloists and in ensembles within the school, the county and national ensembles whilst promoting their development as performers within the local community. This element is assessed through the presentation of a performance of approximately 9 minutes, demonstrating contrasting musical styles and influences. Students can perform as a member of an ensemble, as a soloist or a combination of the two. Students are not restricted to one instrument/voice and should be at least grade three standard or equivalent.

Composing 15% (coursework)
Students are assessed through the presentation of two pieces of composed coursework – lasting between 4 and 6 minutes - one demonstrating their understanding of the development of orchestral music and one free composition based on their own chosen stimulus. The department boasts a fantastic array of equipment to support the development of their coursework. We have two rooms fully equipped with computers and midi keyboards with the latest versions of  Sibelius, Cubase, Guitar pro and Reason. Students are encouraged to develop work in the department recording studio and have sole access to a Sixth form music suite to work outside of their timetabled lessons.

Listening and Appraising 20% (end of year examination)
Students investigate, analyse and develop their understanding of key trends and styles within the development of Orchestral Music, Jazz, Rock and Pop; studying Bach to The Beatles. The assessment is split into two papers:
· Part 1 (12%) 60 minutes – Appraising – questions based upon the set works students have studied throughout the course.
· Part 2 (8%) 60 minutes – Aural Perception – questions based upon unprepared pieces of music to assess their aural understanding of music.

A LEVEL MUSIC

Once the students have completed the AS course the full A level is achieved through the further development of the three skills – plus this course allows the students to specialise in 1 skill to tailor the course to their talents.

Either MU4 (A) Performing - 15% (recorded and assessed by visiting examiner)
This element is assessed through the presentation of a performance of between 10 - 12 minutes, demonstrating contrasting musical styles and influences. One piece must demonstrate their understanding of music from the 20th and 21st Century. Students can perform as a member of an ensemble, as a soloist or a combination of the two. Students are not restricted to one instrument/voice and should be at least grade six standard or equivalent.

Or MU4 (B) Performing – 20% (recorded and assessed by visiting examiner)
Presentation should last between 16 and 18 minutes and one piece must reflect the 20th / 21st century and another must reflect the development of the orchestral tradition.

Either MU5 (A) Composing - 15% (Coursework)
Two contrasting compositions

  • Compositions should last between 6 and 10 minutes
  • One composition demonstrating the musical techniques and conventions associated with the Western Classical Tradition (area of study continued from AS)
  • One composition reflecting the new area of study (Music in the 20th and 21st centuries)

Or MU5 (B) Composing 20% (Coursework)
Three contrasting compositions

  • Compositions should last between 12 and 18 minutes
  • A composition demonstrating the musical techniques and conventions associated with the Western Classical Tradition
  • One composition reflecting the new area of study (Music in the 20th and 21st centuries)
  • One free, innovative composition

Either MU6 (A) Appraising 15% External Assessment
One written examination in two parts (2 ¼ hours)
Part 1: (6%): ¾ hour listening examination based on extracts of unfamiliar 20th / 21st century music (new area of study)
Part 2: (9%): 1½ hour listening / written examination requiring candidates to analyse Ravel’s Concerto for Piano and place this work within a broader musical perspective


Or MU6 (B) Appraising 20% External Assessment
One written examination in three parts (3 hours)
Part 1: (6%): ¾ hour listening examination based on extracts of unfamiliar 20th / 21st century music (new area of study)
Part 2: (9%): 1½ hour listening / written examination requiring candidates to analyse Ravel’s Concerto for Piano and place this work within a broader musical perspective
Part 3: (5%): ¾ hour written examination requiring candidates to demonstrate knowledge and understanding f Ravel’s overall musical style and output.

Entry requirements

  • A minimum 5 A* to C grades.
  • A minimum of a grade C in Maths and English.

At least a Grade B at GCSE Music or equivalent.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Croesyceiliog School directly.

Last updated date: 19 December 2014

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1-2 years

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