both Advanced Subsidiary Levels (AS) and A2, students experience all three main musical disciplines of performing, composing and listening and understanding.
To take A Level Music you should have a minimum 6 in GCSE Music or above and a minimum performing standard of Grade 5 or equivalent on at least one instrument or voice. It should be noted that it will be difficult to achieve higher grades at A level if your performing level is below Grade 6 at the time of taking the examination.
Candidates will be required to attend an audition with the Director of Music.
You will develop performance skills (solo and/or ensemble), compose music and learn about harmony. You will build up aural and analytical skills by studying selections from the New Anthology of Music and wider listening.
The full GCE course (AS plus A2) is excellent preparation for higher education courses in music, but is equally valuable for non-specialists as a second or third area of study. The AS units alone can offer a broad and satisfying experience for those who want to conclude their musical studies at this point.
- Performing (30%)
You will be given the opportunity to perform as soloists and/or as part of an ensemble. Teachers and students can choose music in any style. Any instrument or voice is acceptable as part of a five-six minute assessed performance. Notated and improvised performances may be submitted.
- Composition (30%)
You must create a three-minute piece in response to a chosen brief from a selection of four pieces. You must also write a CD sleeve note to describe aspects of the final composition and explain how other pieces of music have influenced it.
- Developing Musical Understanding (40%)
Set works from the 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. Assessment is through a 2-hour examination paper set and marked by the examination board.