Music & Music Technology
Alongside the many extra-curricular activities offered by the Music Department, there are two music-related options available to A-level students, Music and Music Technology. Both offer opportunities for musicians to deepen their understanding of music in many areas.
The A-level Music course holds upon the skills at GCSE and demands a proficient level of performance on one or more instruments. It is expected that candidates should be able to achieve a minimum of grade 7 standard by the end of the A2 course. Developing a good ear and the critical skills to listen to, understand and appreciate, music of all types will be expected. The course also includes composition and analytical elements; and pupils are encouraged to use software such as Sibelius to produce their pieces. Visits to see live concerts and attending workshops are also carried out, which deepen and enrichen the musical lives of our students.
Part of the course assessment requires students to offer a recital on one or more of their chosen instruments, which may include voice.
At A-level the Music department’s objectives are to:
- Encourage students to be inspired, moved and challenged by following a broad, coherent and engaging course of study
- Encourage students to read widely and research areas within and beyond the course
- Encourage students to develop skills to succeed at A-level, and also look ahead to University level study
- Assist students considering career aspirations in music, especially those looking to access Conservatoires and Oxbridge Choral Scholarships
- Encourage students to become widely involved in practical music making, both on their own instruments and as part of ensembles, inside and outside the school.
The Music Technology A-level course is ideally suited to musicians with an interest in music production techniques and technologies. Pupils learn to use the industry-standard software ‘Logic’ in order to produce their coursework projects. Students with both classical and popular music/jazz backgrounds will equally find this course challenging and rewarding. Over the course of the two years pupils learn Recording techniques in order to produce a multi-track recording. Sequencing, Arranging, Listening, Analysis and Composing are also taught.
The course includes study of the development of music technologies and of popular music styles. Ability to read a conventional musical score, a strong desire to create, be organised and independent, and the ability to work with others as a team are crucial in order to achieve success.
Facilities include a professional recording studio running industry standard software. There are recording links to a live room and a large recital hall. We have ten further iMacs available for pupil use alongside 10 high end PCs running Reason and Cubase software. Our facilities not only meet the requirements of the specification, but go beyond in order to prepare pupils for University study.
Music Technology is a subject that encourages working in a collaborative and professional atmosphere.
At A-level the Music Technology department’s objectives include:
- Developing listening skills in order to appreciate the importance of recording, production and mixing at every stage of the process
- Develop an understanding of popular music including the impact of technological advances
- Working beyond the specification in order to give students the opportunity to utilise skills within whole school events
- Encouraging independent working while offering support in order to prepare for higher education