Music A Level

About the Course

We welcome students from a wide variety of Performing Arts backgrounds onto our Sixth Form courses. The A level Music course enables students to extend the skills, knowledge and understanding needed to communicate through music and to take part in making music. You will engage in and extend your appreciation of the diverse and dynamic heritage of music; promoting spiritual and cultural development; recognising the interdependence of musical skills, knowledge and understanding and the links between the activities of performing/realising, composing and appraising. The course will allow you to broaden your experience of Music, develop imagination, foster creativity and promote personal and social development.

Exam Board

WJEC. Component 1: Performing. Component 2: Composing. Component 3: Appraising.

Requirements

Grade B in GCSE Music and at least Grade 4 on an appropriate instrument.

Course Content

Component 1. Performing Option A 35% (10 - 12 minutes). You are required to present a performance consisting of a minimum of three pieces. At least one of these pieces must be as a soloist. The other pieces may be either as a soloist, as part of an ensemble or a combination of both. One piece must reflect the musical characteristics of one area of study. At least one other piece must reflect the musical characteristics of one other different area of study. Option B 25% (6-8 minutes). You are required to present a performance consisting of a minimum of two pieces; either as a soloist, as part of an ensemble or a combination of both. Component 2. Composing: Option A 25% (4 - 6 minutes). You are required to create two compositions, one of which must reflect the musical techniques and conventions associated with the Western Classical Tradition and be in response to a brief set by WJEC. The second composition is a free composition. Option B: 35% (8 - 10 minutes). You are required to create three compositions, one of which must reflect the musical techniques and conventions associated with the Western Classical Tradition and be in response to a brief set by WJEC. Your second composition must reflect the musical characteristics of one different area of study. Your third composition is a free composition. Component 3. Appraising 40%. This will take the form of a two hours and fifteen minutes exam divided into three parts: Part 1 (30 marks) will consist of two questions based around one area of study rock/pop, musical theatre or jazz. Part 2 (30 marks) will consist of two questions based around one area of study relating to 20th / 21st century music. Part 3 (40 marks) will consist of three questions based around a set work from the Western Classical Tradition.

Beyond the Classroom

As a Hall Cross Music student you will receive free instrumental lessons in order to help you achieve a higher level of musicianship. You are therefore expected to contribute to the wider extracurricular opportunities within the department. We have a strong partnership with Cast and through this, our Year 12 students spend an afternoon a week during the first half-term working in their professional spaces. Various dance, drama and music groups meet regularly at lunch-times and after school. There are regular performances both within school and at professional venues around the region, a whole school production and all Performing Arts students are invited to showcase their work in the many concerts and other performance opportunities held each year. We attend national Dance/Drama exhibitions about future careers in Performing Arts along with attending workshops and performances. We have attended BPM and The Music Show - both national music exhibitions and work with many professional companies, practitioners, FE/HE providers and professional venues as opportunities arise. We hold regular trips and visits to theatres and venues including regular trips to London and abroad that are designed to broaden the experiences our students have within the Performing Arts world.

Your Future

A Sixth Form music course is a necessity for all those students who wish to study music as all or part of a degree / diploma course. It is also desirable for any students wishing to study other areas of Performing Arts and for those who wish to follow careers in music retail, arts administration, music technology and technical theatre work to name a few. Students may also consider music a viable option if they have a general interest in music, have some degree of ability and wish to study the subject in greater detail than GCSE music would allow.

Contact Department

Staff Contact: Mr J Thomas
A paper copy of the information on our website is available on request to the School.