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Canon Slade School

Canon Slade School As a Church of England School, we seek to provide
an excellent education within a Christian environment
to fulfil individual potential and to prepare pupils
for life and service in a rapidly changing world. Ora et Labora
Pray and Work

Music - A Level

What does the course aim to do?

The syllabus is designed to provide a balanced course in music which at the same time gives scope for the development of individual interests and aptitudes. The means of study can include music technology wherever its use is appropriate. During the course candidates will be encouraged to:

  • study and practise critical listening and performance;
  • develop understanding of compositional skills and written techniques;
  • acquire the skills of study and research, through an investigation of selected topics and works;
  • develop lifelong interest and enjoyment in listening to and making music.

What will I be studying?

Component 1 – Appraising Music
Component 2 – Performance
Component 3 – Composition

How will I be assessed?

By the examination board at the end of Year 13.

Component 1

Appraising Music – 40% of A level – 2 hours 30 minutes

Music that will be appraised in detail will include music such as Mozart Operas and Chopin piano works. Music for Media through film composers such as John Williams and Hans Zimmer and Popular Music through composers such as Stevie Wonder, Muse and Daft Punk will also be studied.

Component 2

Performance – 35% of A level – 15 minute recital.

Component 3

Composition – 25% of A level – Free Composition + Composition to a brief.

Am I suited to this subject?

You should be able to demonstrate a keen interest in developing your powers of analysis in all components of this course, with particular attention to wide listening and reading. Participation in school or other musical groups will be evidence of your enthusiasm. You will be required to use Sibelius software to complete composition course.

Where will it lead in the future?

Music can be studied as an academic and/or a practical discipline at degree and diploma level in higher education, leading to administration, teaching, recording, librarianship. For the very gifted the specialist musical colleges have highly competitive entry.

How will I study?

With a firm foundation of basic knowledge you will be expected to practice new techniques in harmony, analysis, essay structure, composition technique and performance.

What will I need to do myself?

Homework is set weekly. Altogether at least five hours per week of listening, reading and composing are required. You will also be required to attend weekly ensemble rehearsals and concerts where appropriate.

Why should I come to Canon Slade to study Music?

Canon Slade Music Department offers specialised staff in historical analysis, composition, instrumental and vocal studies and music technology. There is a purpose-built recording studio and two computer/keyboard laboratories. The Music Department currently employ 12 peripatetic teachers who give free instrumental tuition to those studying GCSE and A level music. We also offer over ten extra-curricular ensembles including orchestra, stage band, concert band, chapel choir, lads’ vocal group, senior brass ensemble and percussion ensemble. Musicians are used to forming the pit orchestra for school productions. Our most notable recent productions being Our House and Bugsy Malone.