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. The course is suited to all those that have an interest in music and a desire to deepen their understanding of live and recorded music. The course has a heavy practical element and students will be expected to be at least Grade 4 standard on their voice or instrument.
Year 1 and 2 Topics studied
In the first year (AS) students cover three topics:
- Component 1:Appraising Music (listening and analysing)
- Component 2:Performance (solo and/or ensemble)
- Component 3: Composition (harmonic exercises and free composition) In component 1 students will study Western Classical 1650 – 1910 and also a selection from Pop music, music and media, musical theatre, jazz and contemporary traditional music. Students will also look at the baroque solo concerto, operas of Mozart and piano music of Chopin, Brahms and Grieg.
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.
- Appraising Music – 40% at A/S and A Level
- Performance – A/S 30%, A level 35%
- Composition – A/s 30%, A level 25%
Usually students will be required to have a Grade B at GCSE Music and to be at least Grade 4 vocal/instrumental standard. On occasions some advanced musicians may take up the subject at A Level without a GCSE in music. Please see a member of the music department if this might apply to you.
Students will be expected to receive instrumental or vocal lessons where appropriate and to participate in the many performance opportunities that are available to them. Students sing in the staff and Advanced Academy Choir to improve their musical skills and are encouraged to lead groups wherever appropriate. There is a Advanced Academy music study room in the music department where students can work on their compositions, essays, research etc. They also have priority for the use of practice rooms when preparing for their performance.
Outside of the Classroom
In addition to the Advanced Academy music trips to go to concerts both locally and further afield there are plans to run an Arts trip to London next year. There are also numerous opportunities for students from Y7 to Y13 to be involved in the extensive musical extra-curricular programme here at Tretherras: Jazz Band, Samba Band, Vocal 7, Acapella, 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. Advanced Academy Music students are encouraged to attend these where appropriate and help to lead where possible. There is a great enthusiasm for performance work both in the school and in the wider community.
The Jazz Band regularly tour and recent trips have included Italy and Barcelona. In recent years they have been lucky enough to perform in the Royal Albert Hall; the band are now looking forward to touring Barcelona again in 2017. It is common for many of our instrumentalists to progress to area and county ensembles. Some of our talented singer/ songwriters have been extremely successful in National competitions such as X Factor and Teen Star.
Reasons to Study
A Level Music gives students a strong foundation for higher education and a career in composing, performing, to work in 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 high 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. Destinations include Birmingham Conservatoire, London College of Music, Bath Spa, Cardiff University and a round the world Cruise Ship as a professional musician!
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