The Edexcel A Level course, like the GCSE, is divided into three different strands. Students have five hours a week of tuition time, and are, of course, expected to take part in the extra-curricular programme that the school runs every week. Both Year 12 and Year 13 are studying the new 2016 specification in a linear system (examination at the end of 2 years).
Students in Year 13 must prepare a recital programme on their instrument/voice, which is delivered in the Summer Term. Dates for this year:
- Recital Recording – 25th April 2018
- Recital Performance (parents welcome) – 26th April 2018
A2 students this year must prepare a minimum of 8 minutes of music which is at least of the expected standard of Grade 7. Pupils do not have to have taken grades to be able to perform to this level.
Composition and Harmony Work
Students complete compositions through the courses. Students also learn about harmonic writing and must complete various exercises in which they must add chords to a given melody in a Bachian fashion. A free choice composition of 4-5 minutes minimum is submitted in Year 13.
Set Work Study and Aural Skills
Students study set works taken from a variety of idioms and time periods, from Bach, Mozart and Clara Schumann to Debussy, Courtney Pine and Kate Bush. Works are analysed in terms of the elements of music; students take an in-depth look at structure, texture, harmony, tonality, melody, instrumentation and rhythm/metre. Pupils are also expected to engage with related works to those being studied.
Pupils work on their aural skills throughout the course; they will learn to identify chord progressions and modulations and will be able to dictate melodies and rhythms by ear.