Music Technology A Level

About the Course

The A level Music Technology course provides students with the opportunity to acquire experience of working with professional standard software and equipment and to engage in critical thinking about Music Technology. The course allows students to study a subject which can be extended through Higher Education and promotes a sense of creativity, independence and musicality.

Exam Board

We follow the EDEXCEL course, the only providers of this unique A level.

Requirements

Relevant musical experience and Level 5 in mathematics

Course Content

Component 1 – Recording. (20% of the A level, externally assessed). The purpose of this component is to assess students' skills in capturing, editing and mixing sounds to produce an audio recording with increased sensitivity and control. Students will develop the skills to capture and manipulate sounds in corrective and creative ways in order to communicate effectively with listeners. Students will use technology to explore a range of techniques for capturing, editing and manipulating sound which will help them understand the impact of music technology on creative processes in the studio: they will then produce a completed mix. Component 2 - Technology Based Composition. (20% of the A level, externally assessed.) The purpose of this component is to assess students' skills in creating, editing and structuring sounds with increased sensitivity and control to develop a technology-based composition. Students will develop the skills to create and manipulate sounds in imaginative and creative ways in order to communicate effectively with listeners. Students will use technology to explore a range of techniques for developing ideas: they will then turn their ideas into completed technology-based compositions. Component 3 - Listening and Analysing. (25% of the A level, written examination.) This component gives the students the opportunity to identify, analyse and evaluate a range of creative music production techniques, as applied to the unfamiliar commercial recordings supplied in the examination. As well as identifying effects and their associated parameter settings, students will explain the principles behind the choice of the effects heard on each recording, and their sonic character, in a series of written responses. Component 4 - Producing and Analysing. (35% of the A level, written and practical examination.) Students will work with unedited audio and MIDI materials provided by Pearson that have been captured using microphone, DI and sequencing techniques. The examination will assess the ability to process and correct these materials using a range of production skills, culminating in a series of audio bounces/exports for individual instrumental/vocal parts, plus a final stereo mix. Students will refine and combine pre- existing 'ingredients' of a mix to form a convincing final product. Students will also comment on sonic characteristics of materials provided, interpreting the underlying theory associated with these as well as justifying decisions they have made in respect of selecting processes and parameters when undertaking the practical tasks.

Beyond the Classroom

Various Dance, Drama and Music groups meet regularly at lunchtimes and after school. There are regular performances both within school and at professional venues around the region. There is a whole school musical and all Performing Arts students are invited to showcase their work in the many concerts and other performance opportunities held each year. We attend various exhibitions about future careers in Performing Arts along with attending workshops and performances throughout the year. We have attended BPM and The Music Show - both national music exhibitions - and work with many professional companies, practitioners, FE/HE providers and professional in 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 of our students 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 a career 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.