Mr S Farrell (Head of Academic Music) or Mr SRJ Williamson (Director of Music and Arts):

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1 MUSIC Why study music? Clearly the subject makes a major contribution to any balanced programme of subjects up to 6th form and beyond: but music as an academic subject provides a unique set of skills which are acknowledged to be excellent preparation for a range of disciplines, careers and vocations. Music combines arts, humanities, maths, science and sociology. It teaches research skills, and then guides students in the application of evidence to a range of contemporary situations. The University of Cambridge considers it as useful preparation for any arts or social sciences degree. There are more trainee medics who have studied music than have studied maths! Music begins with a personal experience - often a pupil s individual tuition in an instrument - and aims to diversify their interest and experience. In addition to study of music or music technology in Higher Education, students go on to study a range of arts, humanities or social science subjects as well as economics, and medicine. Mr S Farrell (Head of Academic Music) or Mr SRJ Williamson (Director of Music and Arts): GCSE Music GCSE Music (Edexcel) aims to nurture pupils enthusiasm for music whatever their disciplines and background and whatever their skill and ability. Pupils interested in music technology or in composition would find the course rewarding as well as those who specialise in performance. The course consists of four Areas of Study that cover a wide range of music from 1700 to the present day including classical and popular music from around the world. Pupils create two composition based upon topics from the Areas of Study and these assignments can be computer based or notated. The performance element of the course requires the pupil to know how to play an instrument (Grade 3 at least at the beginning of the course) and the pupil should have some knowledge of reading music. The specification can be viewed here. Music award holders are expected to study academic music in the first three years of the school.

2 A Level Music We follow the Edexcel A level music course and are teaching the new specification from There is flexibility in the programme that allows AS and A level syllabuses to be taught concurrently, allowing students the option of taking the AS after one year, or decide to go on and study for A level, or even to study AS on a long thin basis. Both courses comprise performing, composing and appraising modules, offering the study of a wide range of styles covering vocal and instrumental music, fusion, film music, and popular music/jazz. Encouragement is made to compare across genres and to really understand the context as well as the content of each style. One of the benefits of academic music is the way in which it links co-curricular activity with serious and transferable study skills. In this way the music department s team of specialist teachers including composers are available to develop skills in our music students. Pupils will have a keen interest in creating and listening to different styles of music; they will wish to broaden their experience and deepen their understanding of both live and recorded music. Pupils who are interested in all styles of music will appreciate this course as it focuses on classical and popular styles, and the fusion of the two. Pupils should be able to play an instrument to Grade 5/6 level and would look to attain Grade 7/8 standard by the Upper Sixth form. Pupils should be able to read music and must have attained an A grade or above in GCSE Music. Assessment structure AS A level Performing (30%) 6 minute performance 8 minute performance Composing (30%) 2 pieces totally minimum 4.5 minutes 2 pieces totally minimum 6 minutes Appraising (40%) 90 minute exam 2 hour exam 12 set works covering Vocal Music, 18 set works covering Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, Music for Film, Popular Instrumental Music, Music for Film, Popular Music and Jazz, New Directions Music and Jazz, New Directions The course develops the following skills: communication, planning, knowledge, information technology, problem solving, performance, confidence, working with others and time management. Pupils learn a great deal about music and the music industry. Musicians go on to study at many courses in humanities, social sciences music or performing arts at degree level including at Oxbridge and Conservatoire. Mr S Farrell (Head of Academic Music) or Mr SRJ Williamson (Director of Music and Arts)

3 A Level Music Technology Studying Music Technology will equip pupils with a range of skills that are likely to be encountered in the modern music production and media workplace. Following the Edexcel Specification, in the first year s study pupils learn the principles of sequencing, recording, listening and analysing, using modern computer software and traditional recording studio techniques. Pupils also develop their listening and analysing skills through the study of pop music genres from 1910 onwards and the history of recorded music. The A2 course builds on the skills learned at AS with the addition of a composition portfolio aimed at the creative media industry (film and television music) and larger scale studio recording tasks. Pupils should have attained an A grade or higher in GCSE Music, although individuals who can demonstrate facility on one or two instruments (electric guitar, drum kit, keyboard) and who have experience of reading music at an elementary level will be considered. A passion for performing and creating music, particularly in popular styles is as important as an understanding of the basics of music theory. No previous computer music experience is necessary, although a good level of IT proficiency is desirable. Pupils must attain at least a B grade at AS Level to proceed to A2 Level. Assessment structure AS Unit 1: Music Technology Portfolio 1 (coursework) 35% AS Unit 2: Listening and Analysing (listening and writing examination) 15% A2 Unit 3: Music Technology Portfolio 2 (coursework) 30% A2 Unit 4: Analysing and Producing (listening and writing examination) 20% Popular careers could include work as a sound engineer, record producer, or teacher. Many individuals with experience in music technology also go on to work as composers and songwriters using the skills they have acquired to record and produce their own material. Many fields of the media industry (broadcast and web design) require Music Technology skills. Individuals with qualifications in Mathematics and Physics in addition to Music Technology can pursue careers in an even wider range of industries including software development (especially music software), acoustic engineering and design. Mr XC Iles: or Mr SRJ Williamson (Director of Music and Arts)

4 IB Music (HL and SL) The IB course follows on from GCSE concentrating on musical perception, composition, and performance. In the IB Diploma, links are routinely made between subjects and students of music come to understand the application of principles of maths, science, historical and social movements as well as understanding music in its own right. Pupils study a wide variety of music, it's cultural and historical significance, and learn to identify and describe links between different genres. They employ a variety of research techniques to produce a Musical Links Investigation, comparing two different musical cultures, in the form of a media script. Candidates can select modules and assessment options to suit their particular strengths, including their own performance repertoire, composition briefs and research titles. Through detailed study of two major western works pupils develop analytical techniques which can be applied to a wide range of musical styles and cultures. Higher Level candidates follow both the Composition and Performing pathways, whereas pupils taking Standard Level may choose between the latter two options. The specification allows for an enormous amount of flexibility, enabling students to have a part in directing their own areas of study. Assessment Structure SL HL Performing 15 minute solo or group performance OR 20 minute solo performance Creating module Creating 2 contrasting compositions OR Performing 3 contrasting compositions module Musical Links Investigation 2000 word media script comparing two contrasting musical cultures Appraising 2 hour exam 2.5 hour exam Two set works and unseen aural analysis Two set works and unseen aural analysis questions in classical, popular and world music questions in classical, popular and world music styles styles An emphasis is made on independent research, critical thinking and acquisition of knowledge. Pupils taking this course will be avid listeners and for whom music is a passion as well as an academic course. Pupils should be prepared to analyse any piece of music and discuss its musical features. For the practical areas of the course pupils should be able to play an instrument to Grade 5/6 level and would look to attain Grade 7/8 standard by the Upper 6th form. Pupils should be able to read music and must have attained an A grade or higher in GCSE Music. The course develops the following skills: communication, planning, independent research skills, knowledge acquisition, information technology, problem solving, performance and compositional techniques, confidence, working with others. Pupils learn a great deal about music and the music industry. Musicians go on to study at many courses in a wide variety of disciplines including, but not

5 limited to, humanities, social sciences, music or performing arts at degree level including at Oxbridge and Conservatoire. Mr S Farrell (Head of Academic Music) or Mr SRJ Williamson (Director of Music and Arts)

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