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Kilkeel High School, Knockchree Avenue, Kilkeel
 
 
 

Key Stage 5

AS Music

AS Music gives students the opportunity to develop their musical skills and to build on the knowledge, skills and understanding promoted during KS3 and GCSE studies. A good background knowledge in music is essential and any performance work must be of at least grade 4 standard. Much emphasis is put on the use of ICT and its impact on music. The course is divided into two units of work.

 

Unit 1 / AS1  Making and Appraising Music (64%)

The main focus of this unit is performance. Students chose to perform as a soloist or as part of an ensemble. The performance must last between 5 and 8 minutes and is assessed through a performance in front of an external examiner. Alongside this students also have to complete a music technology task – a multi-track recording of a song of their own choice. This can be completed in the Music department’s 24 track recording studio or on a more portable multi-track recorder, also available in school. The recording must have at least 4 independent vocal and/or instrumental parts, but most students find that they want to include more than this. The multi-track recording task also ties in with a similar coursework for As. Music Technology

 

Unit 2 / AS2 Responding to music (36%)

This is the compulsory unit of work and includes two areas of study.

  1. Music for Orchestra, 1700 – 1900

Students aim to develop a knowledge and understanding of music written for orchestra throughout the Baroque, Classical and Romantic Styles through a detailed study of 5 set works.

  1. The Musical, 1900 to Today

Students aim to develop a knowledge and understanding of the ‘musical’ focusing on the contributions of George and Ira Gershwin, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Berstein and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

 

At the end of the course this unit is assessed through two examinations:

  1. A test of aural perception / listening test lasting 1 hour and focusing on general listening skills.
  2. A written examination lasting 75 minutes. Music for orchestra is examined through a number of short-answer questions. The Musical is examined through a choice of essay questions.

 

AS Music Technology 

Music Technology is offered within the existing music timetable as a completely separate As Level examination offered through Edexcel. It is a very practical course allowing students to gain the skills required in this specialised field. The course is divided into two units of work.

 

Unit 1 / AS1  Music Technology Portfolio 1 (70%)

Students learn to use a variety of music and music technology skills in order to complete this unit. MIDI sequencing and multi-track recording as well as arranging skills are all key components assessed through the practical coursework completed during the course. There are three main projects to be completed during the course.

  1. Sequenced Realised Performance
  2. Multi-track Recording (as completed in As Music course)
  3. Creative Sequenced Arrangement

 

Unit 2 / AS2  Listening and Analysing (30%)

In some respects this is similar to Responding to music unit in the As Music course. This unit provides students with the opportunity to study the styles of music most commonly found in popular music, focusing on the development of popular styles from1910 through to the present day.

This unit is assessed through a 1 hour 45 minute listening examination.

 

A2 Level Music

 A2 Level Music gives students the opportunity to develop their musical skills further. Performance work at A2 level must be of at least grade 6 standard. As with AS music the use of ICT is an important element of the course. The course is again divided into two units of work.

 

Unit 1 / A2 1  Making and Appraising Music 2 (30%)

The main focus of this unit is performance and is structured in exactly the same way as AS music. Students chose to perform as a soloist or as part of an ensemble. This time the performance must last between 10 and 12 minutes and should be at least grade 6 standard. Alongside this students also have to complete a music technology task. Students have to produce two contrasting mixes derived for a multi-track recording that they have made of a performance of a piece of their own choice. This should be completed in the Music department’s 24 track recording studio or on a more portable multi-track recorder, also available in school. The recording must have at least 5 independent vocal and/or instrumental parts, but most students will find the need to include more tracks than this.

 

Unit 2 / A2 2 Responding to music 2 (20%)

This unit of work includes two areas of study.

  1. Music for Orchestra in the 20th Century

Students have already studied the development of music through the Baroque, Classical and Romantic Styles. This unit goes one step further and looks at the development through the 20th century. Set works include music by Debussy, Stravinsky, Bartok and Bernstein.

  1. Jazz in the USA, 1930 to 1960

Students aim to develop a knowledge and understanding of jazz in the USA, focusing on the works of Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Duke Ellington and many more.

 

At the end of the course this unit is assessed through two examinations:

  1. A test of aural perception / listening test lasting 1 hour.
  2. A written examination lasting 90 minutes. Essay style questions will be asked on both areas of study.