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Music A level at Heathcote School & Science College

Course description

Music is an exciting, rewarding, demanding and academically challenging A level. It is a subject that is well respected by universities because of the skills that are required to be successful in this specialism. 
Students will develop performance skills (solo and/or ensemble), compose music and learn more about harmony. They will build up their aural and analytical skills by studying selections from the New Anthology of Music and wider listening.
Students will follow the Edexcel GCE Music Specification.

Course content

Students of Edexcel A Level music will engage with the diverse and dynamic heritage of music, extend the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to communicate through music, and recognise the interdependence of musical skills and the links between the activities of performing, composing and appraising. 
You will have 5 hours of timetabled learning per week, during which you will:
  • Listen to and analyse musical scores using standard notation 
  • Explore music history and contemporary musical styles 
  • Practise your instrument/s and develop performance skills 
  • Compose your own music, demonstrating an understanding of the musical styles and structures explored 
  • Develop your aural and viva voce skills 
  • Analyse and develop an understanding of harmony 
  • Develop music theory skills (grade 5 +) 
In addition to timetabled lessons, students are expected to practise their instrument daily for a minimum of 1 hour, and undertake 5 hours of independent learning per week as directed by the teacher.

Entry requirements

To study music A Level, you will need to be grade 5 standard (minimum) on at least one instrument and you will be required to perform one piece to demonstrate this standard as part of the interview process. In addition, we expect you to have weekly instrumental tuition and undertake daily practise as specified above.
You will need 5 or more A*-C grades at GCSE including Mathematics and English Language and at least a grade B in Music. 


Performance 30%

You will perform in a public performance of one or more pieces, performed as a recital. Performance can be playing or singing solo, in an ensemble, improvising, or realising music using music technology. The total performance time across all pieces must be a minimum of 6 minutes

Composition 30%
A total of two compositions, one to a brief set by Pearson and one either a free composition (working to the provided guidelines set by your teacher) or also to a brief. Each composition must be at least 2 minutes in duration and the total time across both submissions must be a minimum of four minutes and 30 seconds. Each composition carries 50% of the marks available for this component. 
Written Examination 40%
You will develop your knowledge and understanding of musical elements, contexts and language. Application of knowledge through the context of six areas of study, each with two set works. 

Future opportunities

You can study music at University as a main subject or a subsidiary and it could lead to careers in the music/entertainment industry and education. Universities are often interested in candidates who can show a variety of skills and talents. Music is one of the most highly regarded A levels as it demonstrates those abilities. 

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Heathcote School & Science College directly.

Last updated date: 15 December 2016
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