GCSE/A Level Music
Compulsory at Phase 1, optional at Phase 2 and Advanced Academy
Music at Newquay Tretherras
The Music department at Tretherras is made up of four specialist music teachers, a music technician, a music admin officer and a team of experienced peripatetic music teachers. Over 150 of our students take instrumental tuition in school. We have three large teaching rooms, a suite of Apple Mac computers running specialist music software, eight practice rooms, a recording studio, a 6th Form Music Study room and storage for instruments and specialist equipment.
There are numerous opportunities for students from Year 7 to Year 13 to be involved in the extensive musical extra-curricular programme here at Tretherras: Jazz Band, Samba Band, Vocal7, A Capella, Rock Shop, Ukulele Orchestra, Newquay Strings, a Staff and 6th Form Choir, several thriving rock bands plus the regular Musical Productions staged in conjunction with the Drama department.
There is a great enthusiasm for performance work both in the school and in the wider community. Jazz Band regularly tour and recent trips have included Paris and Italy. Last year they were lucky enough to perform in the Royal Albert Hall and the band are now looking forward to touring Barcelona in 2015. It is common for many of our instrumentalists to progress to area and county ensembles and some of our talented singer/songwriters have been extremely successful in National competitions such as X Factor and Teen Star.
Phase 1 Curriculum
At Phase 1 we deliver a ‘Music for All’ curriculum that develops our young musicians’ skills in performance, composition and listening. A wide range of topics and skills are covered in Years 7 ,8 and 9 to ensure the students have the necessary skills to embark on GCSE music. Students have access to a number of specialist resources to support their learning (extensive use of instruments, IT, practice rooms etc). In Year 9 students study topics in more depth and practise the skills that are required for GCSE music. In Year 7, 8 and 9 students receive an hour of specialist curriculum time per week.
At GCSE level, students have five hours of study per fortnight over the course. Students will produce two substantial pieces of composition coursework forming 40% of their grade. They will also prepare a solo and an ensemble performance which will make up another 40% of the grade. The final 20% is a listening exam.
Students will initially work through a range of composing and performing techniques in order to choose the styles and skills most appropriate to the individual.
Students are encouraged to take regular instrumental tuition and participate in as many ensembles as possible in order to develop their performing skills throughout the course.
Homework is set individually for the student as an extension of their independent class work and students have opportunities to do this after school on the premises so that they can access the appropriate music software, equipment and support from specialist music staff.
A Level Curriculum
The A level music course gives plenty of opportunity for self-expression. By studying a range of different genres, students are able to increase their own musical repertoire and gain all the skills to develop their own style.
In the first year (AS) students cover three topics: Influences on Music (the written element), Creating Musical Ideas (the composition), and Interpreting Musical Ideas (the performance).
The second year (A2) follows a similar format but in more depth and the composition element is more substantial. The performance element once again allows students to present solo vocal, instrumental or electronic pieces of work.
A Level Music gives students a strong foundation for higher education and a career in composing, performing, the music industry for TV, radio or film composers. It may also lead on to teaching or using the cross-curricular skills to other careers. A good percentage of our A Level music students go on to study music at higher education level and/or to pursue successful careers as professional musicians.
For more information, go to http://tretherras.net/a-level-music/
Links to exam board / specification
We use the AQA exam board for GCSE music and A Level as we find it the most accessible for our students to develop an understanding of the Assessment Objectives. Please see the links below for further information.