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Music A Level at George Stephenson High School

Course description

AS Level: One Year Course
The subject content for AS Music is divided into three areas:

1. Performance. Students are required to perform a programme of at least 6 minutes in length. It can be a solo and/or ensemble programme. The programme does not have to be performed on just one instrument if the candidate has multiple instruments. Grade 6 ABRSM/Rock School/ Trinity/London College performance exam pieces are the standard required for AS students. The recital is recorded in school but is assessed externally. This unit is worth 30% of AS music.

2. Composition. Students are required to write two compositions totalling 4 ½ minutes in length. One composition is to be written in response to a set brief, the second is a free composition. The compositions are assessed externally. This unit is worth 30% of AS music.

3. Appraising. This unit is assessed by an externally set written exam worth 40% of AS music. Students will study a range of piece within areas of study such as Vocal Music, Music for Film, Fusions and Popular Music and Jazz. Students will study the pieces in detail using the notated musical scores. Students will be required to answer listening questions on these pieces in response to short listening extracts. Students will also respond to pieces of music that relate to the set pieces but that have not been formally studied in class.

A Level: Two Year Course
The subject content for A Level Music is divided into three components. Each unit is a natural progression from those of AS music. If a student chooses to take A Level music, assessments take place over two years; students are not assessed at the end of the first year.

1. Performance. Students are required to perform a programme of at least 8 minutes in length. It can be a solo and/or ensemble programme. Grade 7 ABRSM/Rock School/Trinity/London College performance exam pieces are the standard required for A Level music students. This unit is worth 30% of A Level music.

2. Composition. Students are required to write two compositions totalling 6 minutes in length. The first composition is either a free composition or a composition in response to a brief. The second composition is a short pastiche technical study in the style of a Bach Chorale. This unit is worth 30% of A Level music.

3. Appraising. This unit is assessed by an externally set written exam which is worth 40% of A Level music. Students will study the same set pieces as the AS course with an additional set piece in each of the areas of study. As with the AS exam, students will be required to answer questions on set pieces as well as respond to pieces that are related to the set pieces but have not been formally studied in class.

The AS qualification is a stand-alone qualification. Marks awarded at AS cannot be carried forward to the A level. However, some of the content covered as part of the AS course will be part of the A Level and can be repeated and/or re-used for the three units in the second year should a student decide to continue after AS.

Entry requirements

At least 5 GCSE grades A* to C including C or above in GCSE Music. Participation in instrumental lessons and study towards Grade V Music Theory essential.

Vocational qualifications in Music and Performing Arts (Musical Theatre) will also be available and the specifications are due to be published in 2016. See any of the schools’ websites for more details.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact George Stephenson High School directly.

Last updated date: 06 February 2017

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