Awarding Body:EdexcelCourse Duration:1/2 Years

Minimum Entry Requirements

5 GCSEs at Grades A* - C including English and Maths plus Grade 5 or above in one instrument or voice. If you have not taken this exam you may be asked to audition in July.

You will need the ability to read music scores confidently and therefore we prefer students to have passed Grade 5 Theory. If you do not have this qualification we will ask you to pass a simple notation test at enrolment and take an extra theory class in September. (You will have to pass Grade 5 Theory to progress to A2.) It is also preferable to have taken GCSE music, but you may still apply without it if you are an experienced musician.

The new specification for Edexcel AS and A level music has been published for first teaching from September 2016

Course Content

The music department is situated in beautiful grounds on the college site in a three-storey Victorian house. Facilities include practice rooms, computer rooms for composition with Sibelius and three recording studios, as well as the Recital Room and more practice rooms in College Centre.

This course is designed for students who enjoy music and want to develop their skills in performing, composing, listening and writing about music. Students can pursue their preferred style in performing and free composition, while the written paper is based on a range of set works selected form classical, pop, film scores and world music.

Year 1 (AS)

  • Performing (solo recital of a least 6 minutes at Grade 5 level or above)
  • Composing (two compositions, each at least 2 minutes in duration, one to a brief and one free composition)
  • Written examination (two eassay questions on set works, listening tests and melodic/rhythmic dictation exercise)

Year 2 (A Level)

The three units are developed further in the second year to a higher level.

Methods and Patterns of Assessment

What sort of work will I be doing?

There are lots of opportunities to play and sing in orchestras, jazz bands and choirs. Many smaller groups (like classical ensembles and rock bands) get a chance to showcase their work in our weekly lunch time concerts. The college provides 30 minutes' weekly free instrumental/vocal tuition to A level music students with our team of visiting music teachers. There are master classes and workshops given by professional performers, plus trips to a range of live music events.

How will I be assessed?

Performing: performances are non-examined assessments, monitored by teachers and externally assessed by the board.

Composing: all composing is non-examined assessment, monitored by teachers and externally assessed byt he board.

Written paper: one exam in May/June (1.5 hours for AS, 2 hours for A Level)

Financial Implications

Students will be required to pay a £10 contribution towards photocopying.

There is one obligatory concert trip for AS music students in Autumn term - approximate cost £15. Other music trips are optional.

All students will need to purchase an Anthology of Music for the two-year course, (approximate cost of £34:65 from the College Bookshop).

The College has a Student Support Fund for those students who have difficulty meeting these costs.

Career Progression

Going on to study music at university or at a conservatoire can lead to a career in performing, composing, conducting or teaching. Music can also lead to careers in the recording industry, publishing, arts management and the media.

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