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Music A Level at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic College

Course description

A level Music is a six-unit course; three units must be completed for AS level and all six units for the full A level. As and A level Music includes a written examination testing listening skills, knowledge and understanding and requiring students to write in depth about a set work and music from a selected area of study. As and A level also involves the study of compositional techniques, or composition using and developing the student's own musical ideas, or an arrangement of a given piece of music. A level Music is for performers to demonstrate their performing skills as soloists, in ensembles and/or using music technology.

Course content

Year 12:
Unit 1 - Influences in Music: learning about Western Classical traditions, Choral Music, Music theatre and British popular Music and studying specific set pieces.
Unit 2 - Composing: developing compositional techniques for harmony and melodic writing responding to a given exam brief. (Using grade5 level theory and above)
Unit 3 - Performing: rehearsing to performing solo and ensemble pieces (Grade 5 standard and above) with regular lunchtime performances

Year 13:
Unit 4 - Music in Context: extending work on music from Western Classical traditions, Choral Music, Music theatre and British popular Music and studying specific set pieces. Listening exam with set work analytical essays.
Unit 5 - Developing Composition; extending work to harmonising melody, writing string quartets or developing an open composition (Using grade 5 level theory and above).
Unit 6 – Performing: 15minute Recital including contrasting pieces with regular lunchtime performances.

Entry requirements

Students need to be able to:
- work independently for written work, composition work and performance
-work with instrumental tutors to achieve high performance standards
- develop their written theory work
- be able to meet deadlines
- be involved in the Music department.


Examining board: AQA

Unit 1 & 4 – Listening & written analytical examination – 35%

Unit 2 & 5 - Composition coursework- 30%

Unit 3 & 6 - performance coursework – 35%

Future opportunities

This course prepares students for a wide range of careers: Performing, advertising, theatre work, sound engineering, radio and television composition, arts administration, media work, radio and broadcasting, journalism, publishing, sales, music retail, music therapy, Orchestral work and management, teaching, recording industry and many other areas.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Saints Peter and Paul Catholic College directly.

Last updated date: 09 March 2017
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