Exam Board Specification: Edexcel
How the course is assessed
Three units in each year: performance (30%), composition (30%) and musical understanding (40%). Performance units are internally assessed; others are externally assessed.
Description of course
Students prepare and perform an 8-10 minute recital on the instrument/voice of their choice in the second year of the course; the performance needs to be at about Grade 7 standard. The composition component is in two parts: in the first students must compose a 4-minute piece of their choice; in the second students are given the opening bars of a piece of music and are required to complete the piece in a specified style. In the final component students are examined on their understanding of set works, but also on their aural analysis on unheard works.
Suitable students and course entry criteria
Students need to have achieved a grade C or above at GCSE Music - a grade B is preferred - and have some, if limited, understanding of music theory. Students should be able to play an instrument to a good standard and be receiving instrumental lessons.
Higher education, future careers and progression routes
Studying A level Music is looked upon very favourably by higher education institutions; it is rigorously academic, but also creative and challenging. Possible careers include music performance, music criticism, composition, education, publishing, and many more.
2016 Examination success rates:
Pass rate: 100%
A*-B = 20%
A*-C = 60%
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