If you have a passion for music, and wish to study it as an academic as well as a practical subject, this course is for you. There are various areas of study: historical perspectives on music; in-depth analysis of set works; performance; aural awareness; appreciation of different styles and genres of music; music theory and compositional techniques.
Music A Level is a challenging, academic subject, requiring a wide variety of skills. Key indicators for eligibility are likely to be:
- GCSE Music at grade 6 or above,
- Grade 5 or above equivalent on an instrument,
- Grade 5 theory, or a commitment to take it during the first term.
All applicants will be asked to sit a theory test and perform in an audition to the music staff.
THE MUSIC DEPARTMENT AT WYKE SIXTH FORM COLLEGE
The Music Department wishes to imbue students with a love of music and to educate and touch the soul through the study of music as a practical and academic discipline; to cultivate an ethos of hard work, high standards and high expectations from both staff and students; to enable students to fulfil their musical potential in concert performances, academic study and public examinations through the thorough preparation and delivery of all lessons and rehearsals; for students to experience an excellent rapport with music staff and to enjoy their musical studies.
We want our students to experience a pleasant, disciplined and happy learning environment; for students to consider themselves improved musicians as a result of their learning at Wyke.
COMPONENT 1: PERFORMING MUSIC (30%)
A PUBLIC PERFORMANCE IN FRONT OF AN AUDIENCE
Students performances must be a minimum of 8 minutes long, and be Grade 7 or above in order to have a chance of getting the top marks.
Performances will be submitted to the exam board by May in the second year (in the first year a mock version of these will be marked within the college using exam board guidelines).
COMPONENT 2: COMPOSITION (30%)
SUPERVISED COMPISITION TIME
For A Level there will be one free composition brief (40 marks) and one Bach chorale (20 marks). They must be a combined length of 6-8 minutes long. Students will have 15 hours for their composition and 6 hours of supervised time for their Bach Chorale.
Compositions will be submitted to the exam board by May of 2019 (for 2018 a mock version of these will be within the college using exam board guidelines).
COMPONENT 3: APPRAISING (40%)
2 HOUR EXAM PAPER
Students will cover the listening/aural test examples and all of the set works before the exam.
The exam is split into two parts:
Section A: (50 marks). Three questions relating to the set works plus one short melody/rhythm completion exercise.
Section B: Two essay questions (20 marks and 30 marks each).
Essay 1 makes links from the set works to an unfamiliar piece of music.
Essay 2 is a choice of three, analysing the musical elements, context and language of one set work.
HOW THE COURSE IS DELIVERED
Students have four 70-minute lessons per week. A performance seminar is also held once a week, in which students take turns to perform in front of their peers, to increase confidence and work on performance skills.
Students should also be having lessons with a specialist instrumental/vocal teacher and are encouraged to arrange these through the college.
In addition to the academic courses, the department thrives on practical work. Music ensembles act as enrichment for both examination and non-examination students.
Wyke choir and instrumental ensemble especially involve students in activity which supports their A level work and also provides enjoyment and a break from academic study at lunchtimes. Rehearsals culminate in concerts at various times of the year.
WHAT DOES THIS COURSE LEAD TO?
Students may continue to study Music at either Music College or university, although, of course, the subject can be studied for its own sake.
Music plays a large part in our society and culture, and what you learn at A Level will enhance your appreciation of music and will stay with you for the rest of your life.
Lessons need to be booked as early as possible to allow the appropriate arrangements to be made with external agencies. If you are confident that Wyke is your first choice for further study, please express your interest during the preceding Summer term at Wyke Start. Final arrangements for music tuition will be made during enrolment in September.
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