Music
KEY STAGE 3.
Year 7
During year 7, pupils develop a number of different musical skills. Vocal and instrumental talents are nurtured, especially work on keyboard, glockenspiel and various percussive instruments. Improvisatory skills are developed through the study of Jazz. Many opportunities are given to compete vocally and instrumentally, solo and in groups at the Urdd Eisteddfod and Gwyl Glantaf, and the instruments of the orchestra are also introduced, learning about all music elements, with the pupils experimenting and recognising different sounds, texture and timbre. Rhythmic and melodic compositions are developed with the introduction of ostinato, ABA form and the Pentatonic scale. Many opportunities are given to listen to a varied repertoire of music, including listening to compositions and performances of groups within the class, self evaluating and recording.

Year 8
Many instrumental and compositional skills are developed further using the Keyboard as the main instigator, concentrating on improving technique and building compositional ideas. Breathing and phrasing is now very important in all vocal work. Creative compositions are expanded upon and the pupils experiment with sounds, symbols and imagery. Opportunities are also given to nurture performing talents further, both solo and group work. Many opportunities are still given to listen to a variety of musical repertoire, including listening to compositions and performances of groups within the class, self evaluating and recording.

Year 9
In year 9, modern and experimental music is introduced – serialism, aleatoric music, minimalism and many other popular styles. We study individual pieces, with the pupils imitating this particular style in their own performances and compositions. The use of Music Technology is very popular in year 9, and pupils have an opportunity to use music software whilst e.g. composing background music to a short exerpt of film. The Welsh Dimension is very important also, and the pupils arrange a Welsh folk song using both pitched and non-pitched instruments. Many opportunities are given to develop vocal and instrumental skills, solo and in groups when competing at the Urdd Eisteddfod and Gwyl Glantaf. Opera, musicals, the blues, dance music is also introduced in year 9, with the pupils experimenting with chords and major and minor sounds. Many opportunities are still given this year to expand general knowledge and to listen to a variety of repertoire, including their own compositions and performances, self evaluating and recording.

KEY STAGE 4.
MUS 1: Performing 35%
Candidates must present a solo instrumental or vocal performance and partake in an ensemble performance [3 or more players/ singers, although a bona fide duet e.g. piano or harp duet, is acceptable]. This element is teacher assessed and externally moderated by a visiting moderator in February / March of Year 11. A Grade 3 piece is regarded as of a very good standard of playing. There is also the opportunity to sit this module in Year 10.

Extra curricular work – School Choir, Instrumental Ensembles, Brass Bands, Jazz Bands, Musicals. The Music Department encourages and asks every pupil to be a member of one or more of these activities in order to broaden and develop a variety of musical skills.

A wide range of instrumental lessons are offered by an experienced team of peripatetic teachers e.g. saxophone, harp, voice, brass etc. More details are available from the Department.

MUS 2: Composing 35%
Two compositions, one of which must be in response to a brief set by WJEC. Learners will choose one brief from a choice of four, each one linked to a different area of study. The briefs will be released during the first week of September in the academic year in which the assessment is to be taken. The second composition is a free composition for which learners set their own brief.
Assessment will be continuous and moderated by an external examiner [April/ May Year 11]. The department uses software such as ‘Sibelius’ or Cubase as a useful resource for independent compositions.

MUS 3: Appraising 30% Exam paper
The pupils study a variety of music within these areas of study. The examination requires candidates to answer questions concerning musical elements, musicianship, style, period, etc whilst listening to a CD recording of musical pieces.

Eight questions in total, two on each of the four areas of study.
Area of study 1: Musical Forms and Devices
Area of study 2: Music for Ensemble
Area of study 3: Film Music
Area of study 4: Popular Music

KEY STAGE 5.
AS Units:
MU1 Performing 1 15% External assessment
Solo and/or ensemble performance
• Performance should last between 8-10 minutes
• One piece should reflect a chosen area of study
• Assessed by visiting examiner

MU2 Composing 1 15% Internal and external assessment
Teacher assessed and externally moderated
2 contrasting compositions
• Compositions should last between 4 – 8 minutes
• One composition demonstrating the musical techniques and conventions associated with the Western Classical Tradition
• One free composition

MU3 Appraising 1 20% External assessment
One listening examination in two parts
• Part 1:12%: 1½ hour appraising test based on extracts of music [set works] taken from the two Areas of Study selected for study by the centre
• Part 2:8%: 1 hour aural perception based on unprepared musical extracts

A2 Units:
MU4 [A] Performing 2 15% External assessment
Solo and/or ensemble performance
• Performance should last between 10-12 minutes
• One piece should reflect the new area of study [music in the 20th/ 21st centuries]
• Assessed by visiting examiner

MU4 [B] Performing 2/3 20% External assessment
Solo and/or ensemble performance
• As above but performance should last between 16-18 minutes
• One piece to reflect a further area of study

MU5 [A] Composing 2 15% Internal and external assessment
2 contrasting compositions
• Compositions should last between 6 – 10 minutes
• One composition demonstrating the Western Classical Tradition
• One composition should reflect the new area of study [music in the 20th/21st centuries]
• One free, innovative composition

MU5 [B] Composing 2/3 20% Internal and external assessment
3 contrasting compositions
• Detail above but compositions should now last between 12 – 18 minutes
MU6 [A] Appraising 2 15% External assessment
One written examination in two parts [ 2¼ hours ]
• Part 1:6%: ¾ hour listening exam based on unfamiliar 20th/21st century music
• Part 2:9%: 1½ hour listening/written exam analysing a set work

MU6 [B] Appraising 2/3 20% External assessment
One written examination in three parts [3 hours ]
• Part 1:6%: ¾ hour listening exam based on unfamiliar 20th/21st century music
• Part 2:9%: 1½ hour listening/written exam, analysing a set work
• Part 3 :5%: ¾ hour written examination requiring candidates to demonstrate an understanding of overall musical styles and output of one of the set work composers

WJEC are introducing new music courses for AS and A2 starting in September 2016. Schools have not received any details yet, but the content will be structured in the same way as the old specification.


MUSIC TECHNOLOGY: KS5.(PRODUCTION)
The BTEC Level 3 in Music Technology is a 2-year course which provides the student with core practical skills for work or further study in this exciting field. The three modules studied in the first year lead to the Level 3 Certificate (equivalent to AS): the three in the second year lead to the Subsidiary Diploma qualification (equivalent to A-level).

A wide range of professional music equipment is available for the use of students studying this subject, including digital recording equipment, sound processors, microphones, synthesisers, guitars, and electronic drums and drum machines. In addition, you will be using specialist music computers and gain experience of software such as Reason, Cubase and Sibelius.

The ability to play a musical instrument is not a prerequisite of the course, although basic piano keyboard skills would be of advantage. Of greater importance is a musical ear, the ability to use a computer with confidence, and the readiness to experiment with new musical skills and techniques to create and manipulate music of all types.

Year 1:
Unit 25: Music Production Techniques (Core Unit).
Unit 1:  Acoustics for Musicians.
Unit 32: Sequencing Systems and Techniques.

Year 2:
Unit 26: Music Technology in Performance.
Unit 29:  Live Sound Techniques.
Unit 35: Sound Creation and Manipulation.


MUSIC TECHNOLOGY: KS5 (ACOUSTICS).
Music Technology is a well established occupational area, and this BTEC National Award – which we are offering in partnership with Coleg Glan Hafren – offers a coursework-based qualification that focuses on particular aspects of this sector of the music industry. It would be particularly useful to those wishing to broaden their musical experience or to explore aspects of music technology and sound engineering. This is a BTEC Level 3 course, equivalent to a full A-level (A – C).

Over two years the course aims to provide the underpinning knowledge and skills for those who would like to obtain a level 3 qualification in Music Technology (Acoustics) and to develop their understanding of sound engineering concepts and practices (including MIDI).

Core Units:
Unit 1: Studio Production Process.
Unit 2:  Studio Production (Project).

Specialist Units:
Unit 1: Introduction to Acoustics.
Unit 2:  Listening Skills.
Unit 3: Specialist Subject Investigation.
Unit 4: Sound Recording Techniques.