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Music A Level at Harris Academy South Norwood

Course description

The first half of the Advanced GCE course may be completed as an AS Level and Credited. You may continue into Year 13 and take the full Advanced GCE qualification.

Year 12 is made up of three units.

UNIT 1: PERFORMING MUSIC

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 5-6 minute assessed performance. Notated and/or improvised performances may be submitted.

UNIT 2: COMPOSITION

In September of each year Edexcel will publish on its website (www.edexcel.com) a document entitled ‘Unit 2: Composing’. Section A will contain four composition briefs from which students will select one as the basis for a 3 minute composition. In Section B students will answer three questions to provide information that could be used for a CD sleeve note to accompany their composition. Both sections of the examination must be completed under controlled conditions. The composition and CD sleeve note will be externally assessed.

UNIT 3: DEVELOPING MUSICAL UNDERSTANDING

Assessment is through a 2 hour examination paper set and marked by Edexcel. There are three sections: Section A: Listening; Section B: Investigating Musical Styles, and Section C: Understanding Chords and Lines. Section A requires students to listen to extracts of music, and one CD per examination centre will be provided by Edexcel. In Section C, students may use a keyboard with headphones. A skeleton score is provided for Section A.

The full Advanced GCE has four units, two from Year 12, and two from Year 13.

UNIT 4: EXTENDED PERFORMANCE

Pathway A - Composition Portfolio

This Unit gives students with opportunities to extend their performance skills 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 12-15 minute assessed performance of a balanced programme of music. Notated and/or improvised performances may be submitted.

UNIT 5: COMPOSITION AND TECHNICAL STUDY

In September of each year Edexcel will publish on its website the Unit 5: Section A – Composition. Section B – Technical Study will be posted to you for release on 1st April and will include a hard copy of the composition briefs. Section A contains four composition briefs from which students will select one as the basis for a 3 minute composition. Section B will contain the opening bars of four pieces of music. Students will complete these openings in a specified style. Both sections of the examination must be completed under controlled conditions. The composition and technical study will be externally assessed.

Performing

Students will perform throughout the course and will have 4 opportunities throughout the year to record their continuous recitals. The Teacher will need to be present at each recording. 

Composition techniques

Assessment is through a 2 hour examination paper set and marked by Edexcel. There are three sections: Section A: Aural analysis, Section B: Music in context and Section C: Continuity and change in instrumental music.  Section A requires students to listen to extract of music and one CD per examination centre will be provided by Edexcel. A skeleton score is provided for Section A. Students are given 5 minutes reading time at the start of the examination.

Entry requirements

Students are require to be at least at grade 5 in their chosen instrument, and if they have taken Music GCSE, a grade B or above is required. Please see the Generic Entry Requirement Document for more details.

Successful completion of AS Music with a grade D or above is necessary to carry on to Year 13 Music.

Assessment

Performances (Unit 1 and 4) are internally marked and externally moderated.  Compositions (Unit 2 and 5) are externally marked. For Unit 3 and 6 students will sit a written exam during the June exam series of each year.

Future opportunities

Progression to Higher Level courses in Music or Music Technology is normally through application to a degree course in a specialist area. Studying Music or Music Technology develops transferable skills which can take you into employment. These include using creativity, using technology to produce and synthesise music and sounds, and developing performing skills. Success at this level requires determination and dedication.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Harris Academy South Norwood directly.

Last updated date: 07 April 2017
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