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Poetry and Rhetoric

In Higher Line, Music A level is available, and Music is an option in Group 6 of the IB Diploma.  These qualifications build on the skills developed at GCSE and allow pupils to achieve new levels of understanding and creativity in their work.

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On leaving Stonyhurst, a wide range of options are available, including both university and music college degrees in Music and Music Technology as well as Music Education and Arts Management.

AS / A2 Course
In order to study at this level, a student will need to be a competent musician (at least Grade 5) as one of the units is dedicated to performance.  GCSE music and or Grade 5 Theory are also a good grounding and preparation for the other units.

The A level music course follows the Edexcel syllabus and covers Performance, Technical Studies and Composition and the History of Music. Link to Edexcel website. 

At AS there are 3 components.

Component 1: Performing – This is worth 30% of the qualification.

Component 2: Composing – This is worth 30% of the qualification. A total of two compositions, one to a set brief and one either free composition or also to a brief.

Component 3: Appraising – 1 hour 30 minute examination worth 40% of the qualification. Areas of study are: Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, Music for Film, Popular Music and Jazz, Fusions and New Directions.

At A2 there are also 3 components.

Component 1: Performing – This is worth 30% of the qualification.

Component 2: Composing – This is worth 30% of the qualification. A total of two compositions, one to a set brief and one either free composition or also to a brief.

Component 3: Appraising – 1 hour 30 minute examination worth 40% of the qualification. Areas of study are: Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, Music for Film, Popular Music and Jazz, Fusions and New Directions.

International Baccalaureate
The IB music course uses and develops many skills, giving keen musicians an opportunity to get official recognition for their ability and hard work and teaching students how to understand a wide range of music.

The performance element of the course is recorded and assessed throughout, and can be on voice or on any instrument of the student’s choosing. Higher Level students also undertake composition tasks, including free compositions in any style and short exercises where students learn to write in a particular style.  This is assessed as course work.

In the Musical Links Investigation section, all students complete a piece of written coursework comparing two pieces which dome from different musical cultures.  There is one listening exam at the end of the course, for all students, covering two set pieces which have been studied during the course.  Students are also asked to describe unknown extracts which are played to them.  They are taught how to structure their answers and which musical features they should focus on.  Higher Level students also have some extension questions to complete.

Please visit the International Baccalaureate website for more details.