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A Level Music at Matthew Arnold School

Course description

UNITS OF STUDY: units 1-3 for AS Level and add on units 4-6 for the full A level

Unit 1 Performance (30% / 15%) You have opportunities to perform as soloists and/or as part of an ensemble. Teachers and students can choose music in any style. Any instrument(s) and/or voice(s) are acceptable as part of a five/six minute assessed performance. Notated and/or improvised performances may be submitted.

Unit 2 Composing (30% / 15%) In September of each year Edexcel will publish four composition briefs from which you will select one as the basis for a three minute composition. In Section B you will answer three questions to provide information that could be used for a CD sleeve note to accompany their composition. Both sections of the examination must be completed under controlled conditions. The composition and CD sleeve note will be externally assessed.

Unit 3 Developing Musical Understanding (40 / 20%) This unit focuses on listening to familiar music and understanding how it works. Set works from an anthology provide the focus for the first two sections, through listening and studying scores. In the third section, students use a score to identify harmonic and tonal features and then apply this knowledge in the completion of a short and simple passage for four voices.

Unit 4 Extended Performance(30% / 15%) A 12-15 minute recital as a soloist or as part of an ensemble is performed.

Unit 5 Composition and Technical Study (30% / 15%) Students must complete two tasks in this unit choosing from either one composition and one technical study or two compositions or two technical studies.

Unit 6 Further Musical Understanding (40 / 20%) Set works from the anthology provide the focus for much of the unit. There are three sections. Section A: Aural analysis, Section B: Music in context and Section C: Continuity and change in instrumental music.

Entry requirements

If anyone wishes to study at A level without having studied GCSE music, good practical skills to at least grade 5 and a pass at grade 5 theory are desirable.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Matthew Arnold School directly.

Last updated date: 16 April 2015
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    • Students have their own centre with its dedicated study room, common room and computer facilities. Sixth Form students are encouraged to play an active part in the wider life of the school taking advantage of a broad range of enrichment activities including enrichment days, sport, music and drama. Students are also expected to contribute to the wider community through a Community Service programme and assuming roles of responsibility within the school. OFSTED found that “Sixth form students are positive role models within the school and make a good contribution to the school’s ethos, supporting teachers in modelling excellent behaviour and conduct.

      We offer a comprehensive selection of A level subjects, from traditional courses through to newer subjects such as film studies, photography and computing. Each subject is taught by experienced staff with an excellent record in A level success.