Music (AS / A2 Level)
Examination Board: Edexcel
Introduction: There is a strong emphasis on both the creative and the practical elements of Music in the AS/A2 syllabus. In other words, you will be expected to develop your practical musicianship as a performer, explore your own creativity as a composer, and gain an understanding of the theoretical procedures that have evolved in the last four hundred years. Above all, a Music student has to be enthusiastic, interested and committed to the subject. A Level Music offers students an opportunity to explore and develop their understanding of the art form. Music combines creativity, imagination and academic study in a way that no other subject does.
Music opens doors to a whole range of professions. The breadth of intellectual study combined with the level of commitment needed to learn to play instrument well, shows future employers that you are dedicated to success – that is a very attractive message to be able to put across when entering the world of employment!
Structure: In both years, your study will be structured so that you will cover the three core aspects of the subject: Performing, Composing and Appraising. The term ‘Appraising’ will incorporate a study of the history of Music, and the acquisition of appropriate analytical skills.
(NEA = Non-examined Assessment)
Careers: Music helps you to develop a variety of skills such as analysis, dedication, group skills, self-confidence and self-reliance, as well as providing a means of artistic expression and relaxation. Plus it stretches your imagination and playing an instrument also makes you think and react quickly. Skills such as these are not just prized within music careers, they are valuable to all types of employers.
You will need to have either a GCSE/BTEC in Music or be of a Grade V standard on your chosen instrument/theory. You will have to devote time to improving your performing skills and we do require that all students who take AS/A2 Music continue to have instrumental lessons and take part in at least one extra-curricular musical group. The performance work is assessed at Grade 6 and above. You do not need to have passed these grades but need to be performing at that level. A good understanding of music theory, being able to read music notation, is vital. You will be encouraged to attend concerts, listen to radio and television broadcasts, and become generally more aware of the breadth of music in the contemporary world.
Edexcel Btec Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Music Technology (Production)
What is the Btec Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Music Technology (Production)?
The BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Music Technology (Production) provides learners with a programme of learning in Music Technology focussed specifically on recording skills. It will give you the vital abilities to begin a professional career or move on to further study, and an insight into Audio Industry-related vocations. The BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Music Technology (Production) has the equivalence of one GCE A Level.
Who is the course for?
Music Technology combines creativity and current advances in computer music and digital recording to provide a comprehensive education and training for students with an interest in both. The course will be of interest to students interested in live audio engineering and studio production and who would like to prepare for a higher education qualification in this exciting field.
What will I learn on this course?
In this exciting and fast moving industry you will develop detailed background knowledge with practical experience in different aspects of music production. Students have to undertake a number of units for which they present evidence, based on real-life work and studies. This allows them to demonstrate their skill and knowledge in practical situations.
The Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Music Technology (Production) is a 60-credit and 360 - guided-learning-hour qualification that consists of one mandatory unit plus at least one specialist unit plus optional units that provide for a combined total of 60 credits.
The focus of this qualification is to provide students with the opportunity to specialise in the recording of music, and specific areas within this, such as audio engineering, audio editing, MIDI sequencing, sampling techniques, using industry standard audio software and working with live sound. Students will complete a number of projects and assignments that are based on realistic workplace situations, activities and demands. You will learn the techniques associated with the recording, composition and manipulation of sound and music.
How is the course taught and assessed?
The course is taught with tutor- led lectures, demonstrations and informal group work which is supplemented by workshop sessions with strong practical content. Practical work concentrates on simple tasks completed to high standards and covers a broad aspect of engineering skills including use of microphones, digital audio editing techniques, computer sequencing and includes continual and extensive ear training and assessment.
Progress is measured throughout their course, allowing the student to gauge their own performance on a continuing basis, just like in a real workplace. Assessment of work is made from completion of assignments; these could be through submission of audio recordings, video recordings, data files, screenshots, presentations and essays which are marked as pass, merit or distinction. Students will have to meet deadlines set by the tutor but can do this at their own pace.
Areas of study will include:
Live sound techniques:
You will be introduced to the rigging and operation of audio technology equipment as used in live performance. From this you will build your own live rigs for various performances that take place throughout your time on the course.
Music production techniques:
This unit is concerned with the preparation, setting up and management of recording sessions. You will learn about the range of microphone types, microphone placement and the use of mixing technology. You will play a central role in studio recording sessions gaining skills in all aspects of recording in the studio and on outside locations. You will produce a multitrack recording, edit and mix-down the final product and learn how to master your recording into a final product E.g. CD – MP3 – Internet.
Sequencing systems and techniques:
Students are provided with the necessary skills and understanding that musicians, recording engineers and music producers require in operating the kind of music sequencing software which has become so important in the contemporary music industry. Music Sequencing will develop your
arrangement and recording skills using Sequencing software such as Cubase.
Other units may include:
- Delivering a music product
- Backline technical management
- Sound creation and manipulation
- Listening skills for music technologists
- The music freelance world
- Music technology in performance
Where will this qualification take me? (Employment opportunities).
BTEC Diplomas are valued by employers and universities and colleges. This creative course will provide you with the skills to gain employment in the Music, Media and the Entertainment industry reflecting the needs for skilled practitioners in areas such as: music production, sound engineering (recording industry), sound technician, music publisher, multimedia, sound for film and video, radio, voice and theatre production.
Further vocational and academic qualifications
The BTEC Level 3 Subsidiary Diploma in Music Technology (Production) has the equivalence of one GCE A Level, and it is possible for you to progress further into higher education, as successful BTEC qualifications give UCAS points for university applications to undertake a course in subjects such as Music, Popular Music, Music Technology, Music Production and Music Management.
In addition to the general entry requirements for this subject students should have a good understanding and appreciation of music. Previous experience of making or producing music and having a passion for the music creation process is essential. Knowledge of current music and audio software along with knowledge of microphones and mixing consoles would be beneficial as this will be an integral part of the studio production process. Being able to perform on an instrument would be preferable although not essential for many of the units.