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Qualification: A-Level Music (OCR)

Course Length: 2 Years

Available for: Year 12-13

Entry Requirements: Grade 5 in GCSE Music and/or a Distinction in Level 2 Rock School or BTEC Music. Entry to Morpeth Sixth Form requires students to have at least 5 GCSEs at Grade 5 and a minimum of Grade 4 in Maths and English. 

Why study this subject? 

From the soundtracks to Netflix TV series and the latest computer games, to the intricacies of Haydn and Mozart and the excitement and passion of popular music acts and heavy metal bands, music has never been more relevant. In A-level Music, you will develop skills and gain confidence in performing in a wide range of musical styles and develop musical parts and materials using a variety of different resources, including recordings and notations. You will develop specific skills of individual and band rehearsing, arranging and preparing for performances as well as how to perform effectively to an audience. You will develop listening skills and the ability to recognise, interpret and comment on musical elements such as pitch, rhythm, chord types and progressions, harmony and tonality. You will also discover the role of the composer, writing music in many different styles and for different purposes 


How is the course structured?

A-Level Music covers History/Analysis, Composition and Performance. For the history/analysis section of the course, you will study the instrumental music of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven, Blues, Jazz, Swing and Big Band music and Innovations in Music from 1900 to the present day. For composition, you will create two pieces of music with a combined duration of 8 minutes, one of which is set to a brief of your own choice. For performance, you will perform at least 3 pieces with a minimum combined duration of 10 minutes, which allow you to make decisions about genre/style.

How is the course assessed? 

The listening paper (history/analysis) counts for 40% of the course. Performance is 35% and composition is 25%. Some performance and composition briefs are set by the exam board and some allow you to choose your own path. 


What are the opportunities if I choose this course?

In addition to your musical studies at Morpeth, you will be offered a wide range of extracurricular and performance opportunities such as playing with the Morpeth Jazz Band, Pulse and the Morpeth Orchestra. You will also be entitled to receive free instrumental tuition on up to two instruments as well as one-to-one theory lessons. You can also be entered for graded exams if you choose. Morpeth Music Department ensembles have performed to audiences of thousands in the UK, New York, Madrid, South Africa and the Hague. The department has strong links with the Barbican, Guildhall, Serious, Taylor Guitars, Höfner and Digital Village. Through these wonderful links, you will have the opportunity to find out more about music careers from industry professionals and take part in fantastic workshops and performance events. 


Where do I go next?

The high-quality teaching and learning plus our fantastic facilities will equip you with the right skills to study music at degree level. The AS/A-Level music course will also enable you to visit University Music departments to support you in making the right decision for your future.

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