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Music A Level at Birchwood High School

Course description

The OCR A Level in Music is a contemporary, accessible and creative music course with an integrated approach to the three main elements – Performing, Composing and Appraising. Learners are encouraged to be creative and to broaden their musical horizons and understanding with new areas of study that inspire and challenge e.g. Popular Song, Jazz, Classical Instrumental Music, Religious Music of the Baroque. Through the areas of study they will explore musical context, musical language and performance and composition skills. With an emphasis on musicality and practical music making, OCR’s specification is designed to encourage teachers to teach musically through integrating the skills of listening, performing and composing. The A Level specification will enable learners to explore performance and composition in detail and allow them to choose a specialism in performance or composition.

Entry requirements

Grade 6 in GCSE Music or Grade 5 in an instrument/voice if GCSE Music has not been taken.

Assessment

Performing A
Recital - at least 2 contrasting pieces
- achieved through playing or singing solo or in an ensemble, or realising music through music technology.
25%
Written / verbal explanation

Composing A
Composition - in response to a broad brief set by the exam board
OCR set briefs will provide a choice of six stimuli to enable learners to specialise in an area of composition that is relevant to their personal skills and interests.
35%
Composition - in response to a learner defined brief
The composition may be for any medium and in any style.
Technical exercises

Performing B
Recital - at least 3 contrasting pieces
Achieved through playing or singing solo or in an ensemble, improvising, or realising music through music technology.
35%
Written / verbal explanation

Composing B
Composition - in response to a broad brief set by the exam board
OCR set briefs will provide a choice of six stimuli to enable learners to specialise in an area of composition that is relevant to their personal skills and interests.
25%

Listening and Appraising
Listening exam
40%

Further information

Learners will choose Performing A and Composing A OR Performing B and Composing B

Special Requirements
Students will be expected to have weekly instrumental/vocal lessons (50% reduced fees at Birchwood) either in or outside of school and to take part in extra ensembles and concerts. A Grade 5 or equivalent in performing and theory is necessary to access this course. Please speak to the Music staff to discuss this further if you have any queries.

Career and progression opportunities
This A Level in Music can lead to further study in Music or Performing Arts in Higher Education at degree or HND level. Music may lead to a career in the music industry.
 

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 03 May 2018
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