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Music A level at The Becket School

Course description

Studying at this level will enable you to develop further the skills learnt at GCSE or BTEC. The music industry is thriving, and the skills you learn in AS and A level Music could help you join this industry, as well as many other industries not directly linked to music. In recent years Becket students have gained Oxbridge places and gone on to study medicine as well as Conservatoires and Universities. A level  Music shows employers that you have persevered at developing a skill over a long term, a good trait to possess in the world of work.

Course content

AS Level Music:

Unit 1: Appraising Music (40% of AS).

This unit concerns listening to music and understanding how it works. Listening, analysis and contextual understanding. It has three sections, covering assessment objectives AO3 (knowledge and understanding) and AO4 (evaluative and critical judgements) Written exam: 2 hours -  externally assessed by AQA. Exam paper includes listening and written questions using excerpts of music and studying a range of set pieces.

• Section A – listening (49 marks)

• Section B – analysis (17 marks)

• Section C – contextual understanding (30 marks)

Unit 2: Performance (30% of the AS)

Consists of a 6–8 minute performance in which students can perform as a soloist and/or as part of an ensemble and/or music production (via technology). The performance is recorded by Becket staff towards the end of the course and externally assessed by AQA.

Unit 3: Composition (30% of the AS)

Composition, covering assessment objective AO2. Each student must compose two compositions. Combined composition time must last four and a half minutes minimum and six minutes maximum. Students may prepare and print their score using computer software or they may provide a handwritten copy.  Externally assessed by AQA

• Composition 1: composing to a brief (25 marks).

• Composition 2: free composition (25 marks).

A Level Music:

Unit 1: Appraising Music (40% of A-level)

This unit concerns listening to music and understanding how it works.

Listening, analysis and contextual understanding. It has three sections, covering assessment objectives AO3 (knowledge and understanding) and AO4 (evaluative and critical judgements). Written exam: 2 hours 30 minutes – Externally assessed by AQA . Exam paper includes listening and written questions using excerpts of music and studying a range of set pieces.

• Section A – listening (60 marks)

• Section B – analysis (30 marks)

• Section C – contextual understanding (30 marks)

Unit 2: Performance (35% of the A level)

Consists of one 10–12 minute extended performance. Students offer a programme of music, performing as a soloist and/or as part of an ensemble and/or music production (via technology) The performance is recorded by Becket staff and externally assed by AQA.

Unit 3: Composition (25% of the A level)

Composition, covering assessment objective AO2.Each student must compose two compositions:

• Composition 1: composing to a brief (25 marks).

• Composition 2: free composition (25 marks).

Students may prepare and print their score using computer software or they may provide a handwritten copy.

There is a wide choice of music for students to study, discover and be inspired by:

Music for media – music from film and TV covering the evolution of the genre, including computer game music.

Music for theatre – musical theatre

Western classical tradition – solo baroque concerto, Mozart opera and piano music of Chopin, Brahms and Grieg

Pop music pop music includes artists for all musical tastes, from Joni Mitchell to Labrinth.

Jazz, contemporary traditional music and art music since 1910.

Entry requirements

It is preferable for students to have taken GCSE or BTEC Music before studying Music at AS and A level and have achieved a grade C or above. However, if you play an instrument well (at least to  grade 5 standard), are a fluent reader of notation and have a good grounding in Music theory, then you may be able to take Music at this level.  You should ask the Director of Music for advice.

Future opportunities

Music helps you to develop a variety of skills such as analysis,  dedication, group skills, self confidence and self-reliance, as well  as providing a means of artistic expression and relaxation. Plus it stretches your imagination and playing an instrument also makes you think and react quickly. Skills such as these are  not just prized within music careers, they are valuable  to all types of employers.

Music is a highly regarded academic subject and whether you  take it with a view to a career in music or as an additional A  level subject, it is held in high esteem by universities and other  institutions of higher education. Most people, however, study  Music because they love it and you will have plenty of practical  opportunities to develop your talents.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 07 October 2016

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