Music

Course ID
A level (Music) and GCSE (Music)

Introduction to the Music department

Wolverhampton Grammar School’s Music Department is located at the heart of our campus, and with over 200 students receiving individual instrumental tuition, a plethora of choral and orchestral groups, music is at the heart of many of our student’s lives.

The Music Department comprises the following staff:

  • Francis Murton: Director of Music
  • Nikki Guidotti: Part Time Music Teacher
  • Noreen Perks: Part Time Music Teacher
  • Plus visiting Instrumental teachers

Our purpose built Music building has two main teaching rooms for classroom music. There is also a purpose built recording studio, a recital room and eight music practice rooms. The recital room houses a Steinway grand piano, an array of orchestral percussion and AppleMac computers running Logic Pro.

Students throughout the Junior, Senior and Sixth Form have access to music provision and for those students in Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9 class singing is seen as an integral part of practical music making along with the use of keyboards, classroom percussion and orchestral and band instruments.

Live performances including Soloists’ concerts, Chamber concerts, Choral Society Concert, the Jazz Spectacular, Choral Evensong, Christmas Carol concerts, orchestral performances as well as school productions are intergral parts of the music calendar. Many of these performances take place in Big School, which with its rich heritage, stained glass windows and stunning architecture, provides a wonderfully atmospheric setting. Big School is also home to our Bluthner concert grand piano and a chamber organ.

Extra-curricular music making is also available to all years across the school and ensembles include Lower School Choir, Senior School Choir, School Orchestra, Ukulele Club, Faure Orchestra, Rock Band Club, Chamber Choir, Young Voices, Choral Society, Senior Concert Band and Bella and Fella a Capella.

Introduction to the Course

This course will give students the opportunity to compose and perform music, learn an instrument or learn how to sing and create music on computers or in a recording studio. Students will also learn about all types of music, including classical, popular and world.

Any student wishing to take this course should receive regular instrumental/singing lessons in or out of school and should aim to be working towards at least Grade 4 standard on their chosen instrument/voice during the second year of the course. Performing through the course is an important element of GCSE Music and it is therefore essential that students take an active part in the wide variety of musical groups on offer within school, including Senior Choir.

What the student will learn

  • For Performance and Composition students will learn:
  • How to create convincing and stylish performances, both as a soloist and as part of an ensemble.
  • How to compose using the composing software Sibelius or Logic.
  • How to write their own music in a variety of different styles and for different instruments of choice.

For Listening, students will learn:

  • How set music has been written, from the initial idea to the final product.
  • To analyse set music and discover the social and historical context in which the music has been composed.
  • Around 12 set pieces of music from 4 different areas of study which include, western classical music, music in the twentieth century, popular music in context and world music.

How the student will be assessed

Assessment

Coursework – Performing

 

Time

45 minutes

About

  • 1 Solo performance (approx. 2 – 3 mins).
  • 1 Ensemble performance.
  • 30 marks each – total 60.
  • 30% in total.

Coursework – Composing

 

1 hour

 

  • 2 compositions; each from a different area of study.
  • 30 marks each – total 60.
  • 30% in total.

Exam – Listening and Appraising

 

1 hour and 30 minutes

 

  • Based ONLY on the students 12 set works.

Sections A

  • 8 compulsory short answer questions based on a short extract of music (68 Marks).

Sections B

  • 1 Essay chosen from a choice of 2 (12 Marks).
  • 80 Marks in total.
  • 40% in total.

Music complements a range of popular A level subjects including Maths, Physics, English and Biology. Research shows the benefits of studying music and playing an instrument can be substantial. Musicians do better in school in all sorts of ways, including academically and socially.

Wolverhampton Grammar School’s Music Department is located at the heart of our campus, and with over 200 students receiving individual instrumental tuition, a plethora of choral and orchestral groups, music is at the heart of many of our student’s lives.

As well as your academic studies, there is an extensive range of live opportunities to perform including Soloists’ concerts, Chamber concerts, Choral Society Concert, the Jazz Spectacular, Choral Evensong, Christmas Carol concerts, orchestral performances as well as school productions are integral parts of the music calendar. Many of these performances take place in Big School, which with its rich heritage, stained glass windows and stunning architecture, provides a wonderfully atmospheric setting. Big School is also home to our Bluthner concert grand piano and a chamber organ.

Assessment

For this specification learners must choose either Option A in both Components 1 and 2 or Option B in both Components 1 and 2. All learners must study Component 3.

Component 1: Performing

  • Option A: Total duration of performances: 10-12 minutes and 35% of qualification
  • Option B: Total duration of performances: 6-8 minutes and 25% of qualification

Non-exam assessment: externally assessed by a visiting examiner.

Component 2: Composing

  • Option A: Total duration of compositions: 4-6 minutes and 25% of qualification
  • Option B: Total duration of compositions: 8-10 minutes and 35% of qualification

Non-exam assessment: externally assessed by WJEC Option A: Total duration of performances:
10-12 minutes

Component 3: Appraising

  • Written examination: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • 40% of qualification assessment

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