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A Level Music

What’s it all about?  Music A level is recognised as an academic subject and accepted by universities and employers as a course that shows not only musical knowledge, but an ability analyse, create and to work both with others and independently. If you enjoy playing music and want to learn more about it, then this course is for you. At JKHS we follow the EDUQAS syllabus. It is broken down as follows.

Performance: either 25% or 35% This component is externally assessed by a visiting examiner. The performance is of 2 or more pieces with a duration of 4 – 6 minutes for 25% of the course, or an 8 -10 minute recital with a minimum of 3 pieces, one a solo, for 35%. You will be relieved to know that scales and technical exercises are not required. Ensemble performances include playing in a rock or jazz band, a string quartet, as an accompanist, or performing a realisation using music technology. Improvisation can also be used if appropriate.

Composing: either 25% or 35% Some students are stronger at composing than performing in which case you will compose 3 pieces for 35%. Alternatively, for 25%, you will compose just 2 pieces. One of the compositions will be to a brief set by the board.

Listening and Appraising: 40% This is the only exam component of the course and is one paper of 2 hours and 15 minutes length. The exam is mainly listening, based on works focused on the three areas of study. Area of Study A: 'The Western Classical Tradition', is a compulsory unit. There are two specific works that are studied: Symphony No 104 in D major, ‘London’ by Haydn and Symphony No 4 in A major, ‘Italian’ by Mendelssohn. Area of Study B/C/D: either ‘Jazz’, 'Musical Theatre' or 'Rock and Pop'. Area of Study E: 'Into the 20th Century’.


Teaching staff


BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in ‘Sound Engineering’ 

What’s it all about?  The Music Technology (Sound Engineering) course looks at the cutting-edge techniques used to produce modern music, and how technology is used in performance. Students have access to industry-leading hardware and software and develop creative and technical skills through performance and recording studio work.

  • Live Sound -Understanding sound requirements for music venues, how to set up sound systems and create a successful live mix.
  • Studio Recording Techniques-Setting up equipment, capturing audio sources using multi-track recording techniques and mixing down recordings.
  • DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) Production, a mandatory externally moderated Unit -Using sequencing techniques to create music in software, combined with recorded audio to realise musical ideas.
  • Mixing and Mastering Techniques – Learning how to mix and master recorded audio professionally using industry standard production techniques.
  • Working and Developing as a Production Team – Learners will develop an understanding of the collaborative process by which a music recording project is carried out. What topics are covered? This is a very practical and vocational course, with the use of ICT and advanced studio facilities featuring very prominently. Students work both individually and within groups to develop their skills. There are a number of manageable coursework assignments to complete each year. These target the various units of study and give students the opportunity to maximise their achievement by linking different topics together.