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Music AS/A Level at Sheldon School

Course description

The course is based on the interdisciplinary skills of performing, composing, listening and analytical skills in equal measure. The syllabus provides a foundati on for students intending to pursue further courses in music or the performing arts. It can also be used as part of a broad, balanced course at A level. Candidates will develop an understanding of the organisation of sounds, the context of music and musical styles and genres.

Course content

Unit 1: Appraising Music Students are assessed on the skills of listening, analysis and contextual understanding. Assessment is carried out in an exam paper with listening and written questions using excerpts of music. The written questions include a 30-mark essay.

Unit 2: Performance Students are assessed through solo and/or ensemble performing as an instrumentalist or vocalist and/or music production. A minimum of 6 minutes of performance in total is required, and this work is marked externally.

Unit 3: Composition Students learn how to develop musical ideas and compose music that is musically convincing through two compositions. One is in response to an externally set brief and the other a free composition. The combined duration of the 2 compositions must be at least 4 1/2 minutes, with a maximum length of 6 minutes.

Unit 4: Appraising Music Students are assessed on the skills of listening, analysis and contextual understanding. Assessment is carried out in an exam paper with listening and written questions using excerpts of music. The written questions include a 30-mark essay.

Unit 5: Performance Students must be able to perform music using one or both of the following: instrumental/ vocal as a soloist and/or as part of an ensemble; production, via music technology. They must perform for a minimum of 10 minutes and a maximum of 12 minutes in total.

Unit 6: Composition Students learn how to develop musical ideas and compose music that is musically convincing through two compositions. One is a response to an externally set brief and the other a free composition. The combined duration of the 2 compositions must be at least 4 1/2 minutes, with a maximum length of 6 minutes.

Entry requirements

It is essential that all candidates have studied GCSE Music, and ideally would have achieved a Grade B or higher. A minimum level of Grade 5 on at least one instrument is required. Where this is not the case, an audition of the prospective candidate will be held. In exceptional cases candidates having not studied GCSE but with a very good standard of practical and theoretical musicianship would be considered after an audition and theory test (Grade 5+). It is desirable for students to be having individual lessons on their chosen instruments.

Assessment

Assessment in this subject will be through coursework and examination. The syllabus has been designed to provide progression from GCSE.

Future opportunities

The course provides a good foundation to Higher Education courses in music and performing arts. It is also acceptable as an entry qualification for non music courses.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 28 September 2016

Key information

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

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