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Music A Level at Wirral Grammar School for Girls

Course description

The full A-level course (called A2) consists of all six units. The AS course consists of the first three units only. We plan for candidates to take the AS at the end of their first year and A2 at the end of their second year.

Why take this course?
For the keen musician, this course offers insight into how music works. It is intellectually challenging, with space to be creative and expressive. Apart from being essential for students wishing to pursue music at University or Music College, music is a valuable subject for all arts students and those considering a career in theatre performance. We also find that it works well with history, English, languages, maths, physics, computer sciences and design technology. The new technology resources in the music department mean that composition and performance now take on a new and exciting dimension.

Course content

AS Level

Unit 1 (20%) Performance
A solo recital on your main instrument supplemented with either performance on a second instrument, or in an ensemble or a performance or your own composition. There is also a viva at which there is a chance to discuss your performance with the examiner. You should be performing music of at least grade 5 standard.

Unit 2 (15%) Composition – 2 separate tasks.
The first is a set of 6 harmony exercises based on the harmonic language of the 18C; there is a further exercise to be completed in one hour of controlled time in school towards the end of the course.

The second task is an opportunity to compose an instrumental piece of your choice.

Unit 3 (15%) History and set works
A study of 3 Classical pieces and 3 Jazz pieces.

A2 Level

Unit 1 (20%) Performance
A recital on your main instrument (a minimum of grade 6 standard). There is a viva at which there is a chance to discuss your performance with the examiner.

Unit 2 (15%) Composition – 2 separate tasks.
The first is a set of 7 exercises based on one of a range of styles plus a further exercise in 90 minutes of controlled time. Then a free composition based on one of the following types: song, programme music, film or TV music.

Unit 3 (15%)
A study of vocal music composed between 1900-1945 and another topic from one of the following: song, programme music, film music, church music, musicals or popular music.

Entry requirements

The course is very much a continuation of GCSE, although it is not a requirement to have taken GCSE music first.

While this course is linked to GCSE, this is not an essential qualification for the course. Students who have a keen interest in the subject and who have achieved a reasonable level of practical performance could do this course.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Wirral Grammar School for Girls directly.

Last updated date: 23 September 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 Years

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