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Music *FEES PAYABLE* at Hurstpierpoint College

Course description

The course requires varied skills and with three teachers, candidates will experience different methods and approaches. Visiting music teachers are also involved in the practical preparations. A performance level of approximately grade 5 on an instrument is helpful as is a A grade at GCSE although neither of these levels should be considered as absolutes and discussion with the music staff is advised.

There are three units which are covered in the Lower Sixth. The first is Performing Music (30% of AS 15% of A level). This unit gives students the opportunities to perform as soloists and/or as part of an ensemble. Teachers and students can choose music in any style. Any instrument(s) and/or voice(s) are acceptable as part of a five/six minute assessed performance. Notated and/or improvised performances may be submitted.

The second unit is Composing (30% of AS and 15% of A level). 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 part is completed under examination conditions.

Unit 3 is Developing Musical Understanding (40% of AS and 20% of A level). 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. It is recommended that students familiarise themselves with each work as a whole, before learning how to identify important musical features and social and historical context. 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 Soprano, Alto, Tenor and Bass.

There are three more units which are studied in the Upper Sixth. The first is Extended Performance (15% of A level). This unit gives students with opportunities to extend their performance skills as soloists and/or part of an ensemble. Teachers and students can choose music in any style. Any instrument(s) and/or voice(s) are acceptable as part of a 12-15 minute assessed performance of a balanced programme of music. Notated and/or improvised performances may be submitted.

The next unit is Composition and Technical Study (15% of A level). This unit has two sections; composition and technical study. The composition section further develops students’ composition skills, leading to the creation of a final three-minute piece in response to a chosen brief. The technical study section builds on the knowledge and awareness of harmony gained in Unit 3 section C through the medium of pastiche studies. Students must complete two tasks in this unit choosing from either one composition and one technical study or two compositions or two technical studies.

The final unit is Further Musical Understanding (20% of A level) and this unit focuses on listening to music, familiar and unfamiliar, and understanding how it works. Set works from the anthology provide the focus for much of the unit. It is recommended that students familiarise themselves with each work as a whole, before concentrating on important musical features, context and/or elements of continuity and change. In addition to studying the set works (approximately 12), students should also listen to a wide range of unfamiliar music which relate to the two compulsory areas of study. They should learn how to compare and contrast pairs of excerpts, contextualise music and identify harmonic and

Financial information

Fees may be charged for this course

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Hurstpierpoint College directly.

Last updated date: 15 May 2015

Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 Years

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