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A-Level

Music

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Exam Board

Eduqas (WJEC)

Entry Requirements

Two of the following three: Grade 5 level on instrument or voice, Knowledge of basic music theory (equivalent to ABRSM Grade 3), GCSE music grade 5.

Assessment

  • 60% Practical
  • 40% Written Exams
About this course An introduction to Music Pathways Information

WHAT IS MUSIC?

Music develops practical skills in performing and composing as well as a deeper study of music history, theory and analysis. The core repertoire studied is classical music from 1750–1930, plus some musical theatre, but students perform and compose in a wide range of other styles. One of the exciting things about studying music is putting the theory into practice in your composition work.

 

WHAT WILL I STUDY?

In performance you will continue with vocal or instrumental lessons (we offer heavily subsidised tuition at college) as you prepare for a solo assessed performance in year 13. You must perform in at least two different styles, but the repertoire choice is up to you.

In composition, you will learn to compose music in the style of Classical and Romantic composers supported by detailed analysis of how this musical language works. In the second year you will develop your skills in free composition, writing music in any style of your choice.

For exam we will explore three areas of study:

  • The Western Classical Tradition (e.g. Mozart, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Brahms & Mahler)
    This music is the cornerstone of Classical music – sophisticated yet accessible it is great fun to hear, study and play
  • Musical Theatre (e.g. Rogers, Sondheim, Schonberg & Lloyd-Webber)
    Twentieth century musicals are enduringly popular and form a standard repertoire of songs that continues to be influential to the present day
  • Into the Twentieth Century (e.g. Debussy, Poulenc, Stravinsky)
    The music written in the first half of the twentieth century is varied and bold, with lots of styles from which students might take inspiration for their own compositions

ASSESSMENTS

  • Performance (35%) You will be expected to play 10-12 minutes worth of music for your final performance in the spring of year 13. The level of difficulty expected is the equivalent of grade 6.
  • Composition (25%) You will submit a portfolio of two works at the end of year 13. The first is a style composition (written in a specific Classical or Romantic style) and the second is a free composition, in which you can follow your own interests.
  • Exam (40%) You will complete listening exercises, analysis and write short essays to demonstrate your knowledge of three main areas of study outlined above.

 

Note: if you feel that you are a stronger composer, you choose to change the weighting so that composition is 35% and performance 25%, which slightly changes the assessment.

 

TRIPS, VISITS AND ENRICHMENTS

  • We offer heavily discounted instrumental and vocal lessons to A level music students
  • We have a very busy programme of performance with lots of opportunity to get involved. Join our choirs, orchestra, string orchestra, wind band, jazz band and a range of student led bands and ensembles. View some recent performances here: https://alevelmusic.com/kingedsvirtuallylive/
  • We arrange visits to see the City of Birmingham Symphony orchestra as well as going to London to see a show each year

 

WHAT CAN IT LEAD TO?

Music students can choose to specialize in performance at a conservatoire or to take a more academic qualification at a university music department. In previous years we have sent students to The Royal Northern College of Music, The Royal Academy of Music, Oxford, Manchester, Southampton, Birmingham and Cardiff Universities among others to study music. The academic content of music A level means that it is recognised as a useful preparation for a wide range of degree subjects. Music students have recently gone on to study humanities, languages, earth sciences and social sciences at Oxbridge as well as a range of prestigious Russell Group institutions.

Music is a huge part of the UK economy and there are many opportunities to be involved in the performance, composition and production of music both live and for film and media. Some roles that music students from King Eds are now involved:

  • Film and TV composer
  • Theatre music composer
  • Musical Director on a touring show
  • Radio presenter
  • Teacher / lecturer
  • Education co-ordinator for an orchestra in London Symphony Orchestra
  • Planning Manager at a symphony orchestra
  • Outreach worker in music projects for prisoners

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