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Music AS/A Level (AQA) at Allerton Grange School

Course description

AS/A Level Music

These are two brand new courses for first teaching in 2016. They retain the basic foci of music education which are - performing music, composing music and listening to and appraising music. However, they now involve a much broader range of topics and the written exam is longer and tests a wider range of skills. This makes the course even more interesting but also more challenging.

There has been a big shift in all A level specifications over the last two years and these are now designed so that the student can choose between doing AS Music with an exam and coursework submissions at the end of your first year OR pure A level Music where all exams and coursework submission are at the end of two years. The advantage of choosing A level is that you will sit all your exams at the end of two years after you have had a chance to mature and develop as an A level student. This arguably increases your chances of getting a good mark. There is also a greater weighting on performance over composition in this qualification so if you are a strong performer it encourages you to take A level over AS.

The advantage of choosing AS is that you could then drop the subject at the end of the first year to concentrate on your other qualifications but still come out with an interesting and valid qualification to support applications to further education. Students would not have to choose straight away which qualification they wished to do but would need to decide before the registration deadline in September. Students who choose AS are not barred from taking A2 but would have to re-sit all exams and re-do all coursework in Year 13. Your AS grades do not contribute to your A2 grade.

At Allerton Grange we will study the AQA Music specification.

Course content

AS Level Music

Core content

  1. Appraising music - 40%
  2. Performance - 30%
  3. Composition - 30%

A2 Level Music

Core content

  1. Appraising music - 40%
  2. Performance - 35%
  3. Composition - 25%

 

Entry requirements

Applications are considered on an individual basis but subject areas have their own entry requirements. As a guide you will normally be expected to have achieved a minimum of the following:

Level 3 courses - a good range of GCSEs from grade 4 - 9 including a grade 4 in English and Maths or the equivalent at BTEC level.

Level 2 courses - 2 grade 3s at GCSE

Specific entry requirements for this course are as follows: 

You will need a grade 4 or above in GCSE Music or a Distinction or Merit in BTEC Level 2 Music.  You need to be a competent performer and have an interest in and understanding of musical composition. 

Assessment

AS Level Music

This qualification is linear. Linear means that students will sit all their exams and submit all their non-exam assessments at the end of the course.

Assessments

Students must complete all three components

 

Component 1: Appraising music

What's assessed

  • Listening
  • Analysis
  • Contextual understanding

How it's assessed

Exam paper with listening and written questions using excerpts of music

Questions

  • Section A: Listening (49 marks)
  • Section B: Analysis (17 marks)
  • Section C: Essay (30marks)

 

Component 2:Performance

What's assessed

  • Music performance

How it's assessed

Solo and/or ensemble performing as an instumentalist and/or vocalist and/or music production (50 marks)

Questions

A minimum of six minutes of performance is required (no more than eight minutes) . The component is worth 30% of AS marks (50 marks in total)

This component will be externally marked by AQA examiners. Work must be completed between 1 March and 31 May and sent by post/uploaded to AQA.

 

Component 3: Composition

What's assessed

  • Composition

How it's assessed

  • Composition 1: Composition to a brief (25 marks)
  • Composition 2: Free composition (25 marks)

Questions

A minimum of four and a half minutes of music is required (no more than six minutes)

This component is worth 30% of AS marks (Composition 1 = 25; Composition 2 = 25; Total 50 marks)

This component will be externally marked by AQA examiners. Work must be completed by 31 May and sent by post/uploaded to AQA.

 

A2 Music

This qualification is linear.

Assessments

Students must complete all three components

 

Component 1: Appraising Music

What's assessed

  • Listening
  • Analysis
  • Contextual understanding

How it's assessed

Exam paper with listening and written questions using excerpts of music

Questions

  • Section A: Listening (56 marks)
  • Section B: Analysis (34 marks)
  • Section C: Essay (30 marks)

This component is worth 40% of A level marks (120 marks in total)

 

Component 2: Performance

What's assessed

  • Music Performance

How it's assessed

Solo and/or ensemble performing as an instrumentalist, or vocalist and/or music production (via technology)

Questions

A minimum of ten minutes of performance is required (no more than twelve minutes)

The component is worth 35% of A level marks (50 marks in total)

This component will be externally marked by AQA examiners. Work must be completed between 1 March and 31 May and sent by post/uploaded to AQA

 

Component 3: Composition

What's assessed

  • Composition

How it's assessed

  • Composition 1: Composition to a brief (25 marks)
  • Composition 2: Free composition (25 marks)

Questions

A minimum of four and a half minutes of music is required (no more than six minutes)

This component is worth 25% of A level marks (50 marks in total)

This component will be externally marked by AQA examiners. Work must be completed by 31 May and sent by post/uploaded to AQA

 

 

Financial information

There are no costs associated with this course.

Future opportunities

The course is great preparation for any Music or Creative Arts degree.  A-level Music would enhance a UCAS application for any other degree because of the dedication and further personal interest that the study of Music requires.  It is also an excellent platform for finding work within the music or creative arts industry. 

 

Related Job Profiles

  1. Musician
  2. Composer
  3. Sound Engineer – for live sound or recording
  4. Producer
  5. Music Teacher/Lecturer
  6. Music Journalism
  7. Music Therapist

 

 

 

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 07 June 2018
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: Two Years

Contact details

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