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Prince William School

music

The study of Music at A Level follows the Edexcel specification - comprehensive, stimulating and enriching for the students. At both Advanced Subsidiary Levels (AS) and A2, students experience all three main musical disciplines of performing, composing and listening and understanding. The course is split into six units, 3 at AS and 3 at A2.

AS Level

Unit 1:
 Performing Music 30% of the total AS mark (15% of the total GCE A2 mark)
Students will perform as soloists and/or as part of an ensemble in any style. Any instrument(s) and/or voice(s) are acceptable as part of a five/six minute assessed performance. Notated and/or improvised performances may be submitted. Please note, Minimum performing standard for A Level is Grade 5. The music is performed and recorded in school, assessed by the teacher and moderated by Edexcel.

Unit 2:
Composing 30% of the total AS mark (15% of the total GCE A2 mark)
Students will develop compositional skills leading to the creation of a three-minute piece in response to a chosen brief. Students also write a CD sleeve note to describe aspects of their final composition and explain how other pieces have influenced them.

Unit 3:
Developing Musical understanding 40% of the total AS mark (20% of the total GCE A2 mark)
Students listen to music and understand how it works through a study of set. Students identify harmonic and tonal features of set works and apply this knowledge to complete a short SATB harmony exercise. A 2 Hour examination paper is set and externally assessed.

A2 Level

Unit 4:
Performing Music 30% of the total AS mark (15% of the total GCE A2 mark)
Students will extend performance skills as a soloists and/or as part of an ensemble as part of a 12-15 minute assessed performance of a balanced programme of music. The music is performed and recorded in school, assessed by the teacher and moderated by Edexcel.

Unit 5:
 Composing 30% of the total AS mark (15% of the total GCE A2 mark)
This unit has 2 sections: composition and technical study. Composition - further develops students’ composition skills, leading to the creation of a final three-minute piece in response to a chosen brief. Technical study - builds on the knowledge and awareness of harmony gained at AS Level. Coursework during school hours, externally assessed by Edexcel.

Unit 6:
Developing Musical understanding 40% of the total AS mark (20% of the total GCE A2 mark)
This unit focusses on listening to familiar music and understanding how it works. Set works provide the focus for this unit. Students learn how to compare and contrast pairs of excerpts, contextualise music and identify harmonic and tonal features.

Entry Requirements:

Five passes at GCSE. B grade at GCSE Music. Grade 5 or equivalent on main instrument or voice.

AS to A2 Level progression:

In order to ensure that students are appropriately prepared of A Level, AS students are expected to achieve a minimum grade D at at AS and where this is not the case will need to re-sit AS modules alongside the A2 course.

Expectations:

In order to prepare for classroom learning and the wider practical nature of music, students will be expected to listen to a wide range of music, not only music from the set works; regularly practice and take part in ensemble playing in school and in their own time and undertake independent background research on composers and specific areas of music. Students will be expected to use independent study time to practice and compose.

Extra-Curricular Activities/Independent Learning Opportunities:

The Music Department is a very busy, exciting place to study and students will be expected to take part in regular extra-curricular school activities; show Student Leadership in arranging recitals and performances with other students; show a high level of independence. Students will participate in arranged visits to Concert Halls, Theatres and local music events.

Career Pathways:

Studying Music at A Level can lead to a career as: Professional Musician, Education, Creating and Marketing Music, Music Technology.
Good combinations of other subject to study with Music are: Sciences, Geography, Drama and Theatre Studies, Art, English, Languages.

Student Testimonials:

Music A Level at Prince William School allows you to expand on every aspect of your intellect, from creative to the logical, demanding expression and understanding across the board. The course is a fantastic framework in which to learn the complexities of how incredibly varied art form works.