Music is central to the life of King’s, from singing in weekly services to the Military Band’s contribution every Remembrance Sunday to Bruton’s community as a whole. Academic results are excellent both at GCSE and A level.
Pupils are taught music in a lively and engaging style by passionate and knowledgeable teachers. Pupils are taught to compose in a variety of styles and genres often tailored to their own personal strengths.
The 3rd Form pupils follow an exciting and diverse curriculum that encompasses the History of Western Music from the Renaissance to the present day, World Music and the History of Jazz and Popular Music provides pupils with the opportunity to discover and investigate styles that are often familiar.
The course is delivered by performing opportunities, composing, listening or a mixture of all three. Studying music can lead to jobs in the music industry but also in broadcasting, event organising, musical engineering, education and arts administration. Past pupils have gone on to careers in the recording industry, education and performance.
The Edexcel GCSE music syllabus is followed; the course is varied and challenging allowing pupils to shine in their areas of strengths.
Performance is worth 30% of the total GCSE mark. To obtain the highest marks pupils should be grade V standard ABRSM by the end of the course. Pupils must submit one solo and one ensemble performance with a combined duration of 4 minutes. This is marked internally and then moderated.
Composition is worth 30% of the total GCSE course. Pupils must compose two pieces which must have a combined duration of 3 minutes; they can be in any genre and for any instrument or instruments including vocal music. This is marked internally and then moderated.
The written listening and appraising paper is worth 40% of the GCSE course. Pupils sit a 95 minute listening examination in which they are asked questions on both set works or from unfamiliar music drawn from the following genres: Instrumental music 1700-1820, Vocal music, Music for Stage and Screen, Fusions.
The AS and A2 examinations in music build on the skills of listening, composing and performing which were introduced during the GCSE course. The Edexcel syllabus is followed; the course isvaried and challenging allowing pupils to shine in their areas of strengths.
Unit 1 (Performing Music 1) is worth 30% of the total AS mark. Pupils must perform either as a soloist or a member of an ensemble for 6 minutes. The expected standard is ABRSM grade VI.
Unit 2 (Composing 1) is worth 30% of the total AS mark. Students have to compose two pieces with a combined duration of at least 4 minutes and 30 seconds.
Developing musical understanding is worth 40% of the total AS mark. Pupils sit a 90 minute examination paper.
Unit 4 Extended Performance is worth 30% of the total A2 mark, (15% of the whole GCE).Pupils must perform either as a soloist or a member of an ensemble for 12-15 minutes. The expected standard is ABRSM grade IV.
Unit 5 Composition and technical study is worth 30 percent of the total A2 mark (15 percent of the whole GCE).
Pupils have the option of choosing either two compositions, a composition and a technical study or two technical studies.
Unit 6 Further musical understanding worth 40% of the total A2 mark (20% of the whole GCE). Pupils sit a 2 hour examination paper. Pupils will be asked questions relating to an unfamiliar piece of music which will test their aural analysis skills. In addition, students will study a number of set works in preparation for essay type questions on both applied and instrumental music.
The AS examination in Music Technology demands skills in listening, arranging, sequencing and recording.
Unit 1 is worth 70 per cent of the total AS marks (35 per cent of the full GCE). It consists of three practical tasks and the completion of a logbook, all of which are externally assessed.
Unit 2 is worth 30 per cent of the total AS marks (15 per cent of the full GCE). It is assessed through a 1 hour 45 minute examination paper set and marked by Edexcel. It is divided into two sections.
Pupils will be provided with individual CDs so that they are able to listen to the musical extracts as many times as they wish within the time allowed.
Section A will consist of four questions drawing on the Principles and Practice of Music Technology and Popular Music Styles since 1910.
Section B will consist of two questions drawn from the two Special Focus styles for the year, testing similar elements to those for section A, but in more depth and detail.
The A2 examination in music technology builds on the skills acquired during the AS level course, a higher level of sophistication is expected in regards to sequencing and recording.
Unit 3 is worth 60 per cent of the total A2 marks (30 per cent of the full GCE). It consists of three practical tasks all of which are externally assessed. Candidates must also complete a logbook.
Unit 4 is worth 40 per cent of the total A2 marks (20 per cent of the full GCE). It is assessed through a 2-hour examination paper set and marked by Edexcel. It is divided into two sections, section A worth 62 marks and section B worth 18 marks.
Each pupil will be given an audio CD containing MIDI/audio files to be imported into music production software.
Section A of the paper will consist of 4 questions and will instruct pupils to review the materials, commenting on musical elements and technological processes, identifying mistakes and discrepancies and correcting them.
Section B will require candidates to produce a final stereo mix of the audio tracks to specific guidelines, incorporating elements of the questions they have already completed.