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Music Technology at Nicholas Chamberlaine School

Course description

This is an enjoyable and practical based course for the modern musician. As an academic A Level qualification, rather than a vocational qualification, students will find the UCAS points this course provides to be generally accepted by Universities for entry onto the course of their choice. The course is suited to musicians with interest and skills in rock and pop based music. However “traditional” musicians will also flourish on this course. Although there is no formal minimum standard of musicianship required for entry to the course (in terms of graded performance exams on your instrument), please be aware that a high level of musical awareness is required for success, as you are expected to perform, compose and arrange music to a  good standard as part of the examination process

Course content

AS Unit 1 Music Technology Portfolio This consists of three tasks, completed under controlled conditions during lessons (approximately 20 hours each) • Task 1A: Sequenced Realised Performance – students are required to produce their own version of a recent piece of chart music, using the computer and its software as the performing platform. The piece is set by the exam board, and therefore all students complete the same piece of work. The piece must sound as close to the original as possible. • Task 1B: Multi track recording – student’s record a piece of their own choice using multi track recording techniques. At least 8 tracks must be used. • Task 1C: Creative sequenced arrangement – students create their own version of a well known chart hit in a given style (set by the exam board – e.g. Reggae; Soul; Blues). A choice of two songs are offered by the exam board for students to choose from. AS Unit 2: Listening and Analysing Students are required to learn about the development of popular music from 1910 to the present day. Two special focus styles are set by the exam board to learn in depth. This is assessed by an exam that consists of answering questions about specific pieces of recorded music based on the styles of popular music studied. A2 Unit 3: Music Technology Portfolio 2 As with Unit 1, this consists of three tasks: • Task 3A: Sequenced Integrated performance – students are required to recreate a performance of one piece of music from a choice of two – this must include a live audio recording of the vocal line. • Task 3B – Multi track recording task, focussing on either acoustic instrument techniques, or percussion instrument techniques. A minimum of 12 tracks are to be recorded. • Task 3C – Composing using Music Technology. An original composition based upon a brief supplied by Edexcel, from a choice of three. A2 Unit 4: Analysing and Producing In the two hour exam, students are required to produce a final mix of a recording that has been presented to them as several audio tracks, some of which may contain errors that need correcting prior to completing the final mix.


Unit 1: Music Technology Portfolio – Controlled assessment in lesson time (70%)

Unit 2: Listening and Analysis – End of course exam (30%)

Future opportunities

Possible future careers include: sound engineering; record producing; film and media work; broadcasting;

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 09 December 2014
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years