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Music at Nobel School

Course description

Awarding Body: OCR

AS Music is a varied and stimulating course that will appeal to a wide-range of musicians. Unlike most other AS courses there are three units which focus on the development of performing composing and listening skills. Pupils are supported through weekly one-to-one lessons on their instrument/voice and encouraged to perform in class and at other events. All instruments are appropriate for study in this course. A standard of approximately grade 4/5 is preferable.

This course will enable you to:

  • develop your interest in, and enjoyment of music, by performing, composing, listening and analysing;
  • develop as a confident and independent performer or composers;
  • express opinions and responses to a variety of music.

How will I be supported on this course?

Students normally receive an individual one-to-one lesson on their first instrument / voice.

Course content

Performing is assessed by visiting examination through recital and a short viva voce.

Composing is assessed through a centre marked portfolio (part of which is compiled under controlled conditions).

Listening / Analysing is assessed by an externally set and marked examination.

All units will be available for assessment in June sessions. In addition, the two externally set and marked examinations for the Listening / Analysing units will be available for assessment in the January sessions.

Who would be a successful student of Music?

This course will appeal to students who:

  • have an appreciation of and interest in a wide variety of music;
  • enjoy playing and wish to develop their technique on their chosen instrument(s);
  • enjoy learning in a variety of active ways, including discussion, presentations, performance and research, as well as individual study and essay writing.

Entry requirements

Students will be expected to have 5 or more GCSEs grades A*-B. GCSE Music is not compulsory but students will need to have reached Grade III or IV or equivalent standard on their specialist instrument. An ability to read music is important.


AS Level

Unit G351: Performing Music1 OCR-assessed Practical Exam (visiting examiner)

  • Section A Recital: solo (maximum 8 minutes)
  • Section B Viva voce : discussion (approximately 5 minutes)
  • Section C Extended Performing

Unit G352: Composing 1 - Teacher-assessed Portfolio

  • Section A The Language of Western Tonal Harmony: exercises (maximum 7)
  • Section B Instrumental Composition (maximum length three minutes)

Unit G353: Introduction to Historical Study in Music

Timed Examination Paper (1 hour 45 minutes + 15 minutes preparation time)

  • Section A Aural Extract: one of a) popular instrumental music from 1900 to the present day or b) solo instrumental chamber or orchestral repertoire from the period 1700 to 1830
  • Section B Prescribed Works: two extracts - 18th/19th century Orchestral Music and Jazz 1920 to 1960
  • Section C Contextual Study: one question from three

A2 Level

Unit G354: Performing Music - OCR assessed Practical exam (visiting Examiner)

  • Section A Recital: solo, ensemble or accompanying
  • Section B Viva Voce: interpretative understanding

Unit G355: Composing2 Teacher-assessed Portfolio

Unit G356: Historical and Analytical Studies in Music (Timed exam paper)

  • Section A Aural Extract: accompanied vocal music 1900-1945
  • Section B Prescribed topics: two questions from three on one of six topics

Future opportunities

You will find this course useful if you wish to follow a career in the following areas:

  • arts management;
  • music producing - radio/TV;
  • professional music - performing/composing;
  • teaching - school/peripatetic.

Further information

Extra Curricular Activities

These include:

  • taking an active role in musical ensembles;
  • concert trips to listen to relevant pieces.

Some lessons are currently taught at Stevenage Music Centre, though most are at Nobel; transport is provided from and to Nobel. From the completion of the rebuild (November 2012) we will have a new permanent home and superb facilities.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 26 May 2015
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