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A Level

A Level

A Level Music ……. Coming soon. 

We offer A Level as an online course and can facilitate private entry for students able to fulfil the controlled assessment requirements. We use the AQA specification; component 1 (appraising), component 2 (performance) and component 3 (composing). 

Appraising (40%)

This is a written exam lasting 2 hours 30 minutes and consists of three sections; Section A (unfamiliar listening), Section B (analysis) and Section 3 (essay).  The next sitting is 14th June 2019. 

The online course firstly guides students through Section B (Analysis) and the Area of Study 1 set works related to Strand A (The Baroque Solo Concerto) and Strand C (The piano music of Chopin, Brahms and Grieg). The focus is on the way the musical elements are used and acquiring the necessary subject specific terminology and music theory skills. The acronym DR SMITH (Dynamics - Rhythm, Tempo and Metre - Structure - Melody - Instrumentation - Texture - Harmony and Tonality) is explored in detail for every set work via audio guides. Section A is all about responding to unfamiliar music related to all the set works in Area of Study 1 which includes Strand B (The operas of Mozart) plus two further Areas of Study. This course currently covers Area of Study 4 (Musical theatre) and Area of Study 7 (Art music since 1910). Again the focus is on the musical elements  and developing the ability to listen to music and describe the elements of music using music terminology. Some dictation using conventional staff notation is included. For Section C (essay) the course focuses on the study of three named composers within Area of Study 7 (Art music since 1910). 

Exam-type questions are incorporated throughout, alongside exam technique. The online course does not require any further resources although students would benefit from working through the past and sample paper resources available supporting the AQA specification. The tutor will provide guidance and support throughout the course and provide feedback on the exam-type questions incorporated within the course. An additional marking service is available through the shop by submitting either a word or pages document. 

Performing (35%)

Performances can be either solo or ensemble or a mixture of the two need to last a minimum of ten minutes. There is no maximum duration. Planning an expressively varied programme is important. The final performances are captured in an audio recording under controlled conditions. Students are assessed on ambition of project/the level of difficulty of the music (5 marks), technical control (15 marks), expressive control (15 marks)  and performance quality (15 marks). The ambition of project criteria gives an indication of the standard of performance expected from a varied programme of music. If final performances are expressive, presenting grade 7+ repertoire would result in 5/5 marks for ambition of project. Grade 7 would be 4/5, grade 6 would be 3/5 and grade 5 would be 1/5. Performing the programme without expression receives a deduction of 1 mark. So Grade 7+ repertoire performed without expression would result in 4/5 marks, grade 7 would be 3/5, grade 6 2/5 and you will not get away with performing grade 5 repertoire without expression and the work will be deemed not worthy of credit. 

Please note the online course does not include instrumental or vocal tuition. There is further guidance provided on repertoire choices and the tutor will give guidance and answer any performance-related queries. An assessment of your performing (marked against A level criteria) is available separately through the shop by sending an mp3 recording and a PDF score if applicable.

Composing (25%)

Two compositions lasting 4 1/2 minutes altogether are required. The compositions carry equal weighting and one is in response to a set brief and the other is a free composition where students can follow their own interests. The online course provides composition projects giving a stage by stage guide to assist students in understanding the grading criteria, plus exemplar material. Additionally it supports the Bach Chorale set brief option. An assessment of trial compositions (marked against A level criteria) is also available through the shop to help students understand the level standard expected. The tutor will provide guidance and support throughout the course.