Is a level music that hard? Watch

Rumpadum
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Deciding on my a levels and ive been told by many how insanly podantic and hardmusic a level is, so i was wondering how other people found it. I did gcse which felt relatively easy but too much. Im grade 7 piano (my main instrument), grade 4 guitar and grade 5 violin. Is that a good enough level for me to be able to get an A? And how strict/difficult is the composition and performance aspect in comparison to gcse? I did gcse aqa and probably the same for a level if i take it btw. Any opinions would be great thanks!
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Belle_22
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I did a level music at AS and they're very strict in everything, I'm a diploma level singer and got a C in my performance. Also with composition I found it was based on music taste as to whether they liked it or not. But I met the best people and they made it so fun
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Terry Tibbs
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It's a bit of a weird one because it's very different depending on which exam board you do, for all of them the exam is probably quite hard/awkward but if you're good at performing you can boost your overall grade up quite a bit in that module (I got an A in AS purely from getting maximum marks in the performance module).
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jmet117
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Hi, I've just finished A-level Music and in my experience you should be fine on the performance side with your Grades 7 and 5, so don't let that put you off. However, you need to remember that there's more to the A-level than that (i.e. doing well in the performance modules might not get you an A overall). So in the composition modules for AS and A2 you will most likely need to do both free composition and some kind of skill-based work, e.g. Bach chorale harmonisation, counterpoint writing, minimalist composition, etc., which means you need to have a decent head for music theory. As well as that, depending on your exam board the written exams will be 30% or 40% of the AS and A2, so bear in mind you'll need to be able to answer questions on new extracts of music and/or set works you've studied, and you'll need to be able to write essays about music. And yes, in my experience the examiners are quite pedantic when it comes to marking!

I did OCR Music; if they are your board I would think twice about taking the A-level. The syllabus and mark schemes are horribly vague about what you actually need to know, and organisation is just generally poor so the whole thing was made more stressful than it needed to be. Also 40% of your AS and A2 rides on the one day each year that you do your performance exams with external OCR assessors, which I hated.

I don't want to give too much of a negative impression – I love music as a subject (about to go off to do it at uni!). But just be aware that the A-level isn't an easy option!
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leahdw
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I've just finished Edexcel Music A Level, which was a lot of work but I really enjoyed it - the performance will be fine as long as you're prepared, the composition is quite hard but I loved doing harmony (I think because it was very logical, and once you know the cadences it pretty much writes itself, especially if the phrase modulates!), and the written exam is a lot to remember and some unprepared questions are a little more difficult.

It's definitely not an easy option, but I don't think it was the hardest subject I did at A Level and I really enjoyed it!
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HazMusicPanda
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You've got brilliant grades! I did A Level music with working on grade 5 piano and working on grade 6 singing (and I have grade 1 flute buut.... :P ) so you'll be fine! Only thing is though, if you don't have it already, get grade 5 theory. I'm lucky that my school had a sixth form so the music teacher from GCSE to A Level was the same for me and he knew I could do it but had I changed schools, I don't think I would've been accepted without grade 5 theory. Apparently it's an entry requirement for the local college. What's annoying is that no one told me this so I tried to rush doing grade 5 theory, piano and grade 6 singing and do my AS exams within two terms but it didn't work out (still haven't got that piano... :P). But if you do all of that, you'll be fine! Performance will be a doddle, if you've done GCSE, I assume you're okay on composition? And the listening is the hardest I think. We did pop music and it went pretty good! The pop music question this year was a dream because we could use The Beatles to answer (literally, all we did first term was study The Beatles...). Well that was what I had to do, I'm on AQA for A Level (did Edexcel for GCSE). Good luck!
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HoratioMG
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From a Bath Uni student going into the 2nd year of a Maths and Physics degree, AS Music is the hardest subject I have ever taken.
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RedNebula
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If you play grade 7 piano pieces for the performance, you get scaled up to the higher marks which will help you I imagine playing piano and guitar you also have a decent understanding of chords and basic theory, circle of fifths etc so you shouldn't be too bad on the chords and lines and harmonising bach chorales. How do you do on the exam and essays?

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HKP24
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(Original post by jmet117)
Hi, I've just finished A-level Music and in my experience you should be fine on the performance side with your Grades 7 and 5, so don't let that put you off. However, you need to remember that there's more to the A-level than that (i.e. doing well in the performance modules might not get you an A overall). So in the composition modules for AS and A2 you will most likely need to do both free composition and some kind of skill-based work, e.g. Bach chorale harmonisation, counterpoint writing, minimalist composition, etc., which means you need to have a decent head for music theory. As well as that, depending on your exam board the written exams will be 30% or 40% of the AS and A2, so bear in mind you'll need to be able to answer questions on new extracts of music and/or set works you've studied, and you'll need to be able to write essays about music. And yes, in my experience the examiners are quite pedantic when it comes to marking!

I did OCR Music; if they are your board I would think twice about taking the A-level. The syllabus and mark schemes are horribly vague about what you actually need to know, and organisation is just generally poor so the whole thing was made more stressful than it needed to be. Also 40% of your AS and A2 rides on the one day each year that you do your performance exams with external OCR assessors, which I hated.

I don't want to give too much of a negative impression – I love music as a subject (about to go off to do it at uni!). But just be aware that the A-level isn't an easy option!
Hello, I know this is quite late
I'm currently doing A level Music for AQA and I'm aiming to get A/A*.
I'm looking to go to Music conservatoires and will be taking auditons this year.
As you're already studying Music but at university, I'd like to ask, how you are finding the course
Thanks
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tylersmells
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(Original post by Rumpadum)
Deciding on my a levels and ive been told by many how insanly podantic and hardmusic a level is, so i was wondering how other people found it. I did gcse which felt relatively easy but too much. Im grade 7 piano (my main instrument), grade 4 guitar and grade 5 violin. Is that a good enough level for me to be able to get an A? And how strict/difficult is the composition and performance aspect in comparison to gcse? I did gcse aqa and probably the same for a level if i take it btw. Any opinions would be great thanks!
who r u fam fight me
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username2235913
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(Original post by HKP24)
Hello, I know this is quite late
I'm currently doing A level Music for AQA and I'm aiming to get A/A*.
I'm looking to go to Music conservatoires and will be taking auditons this year.
As you're already studying Music but at university, I'd like to ask, how you are finding the course
Thanks
Hi! I do AQA Music too, and I've been trying to find students who do the same exam board, which is really difficult as Music is not a highly populated subject. do you do 7272? or..? and how are you getting along with it?
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HKP24
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(Original post by Yusrak)
Hi! I do AQA Music too, and I've been trying to find students who do the same exam board, which is really difficult as Music is not a highly populated subject. do you do 7272? or..? and how are you getting along with it?
Heyya
Thanks for your reply
I do AQA 7272 Specification Music a level
I'm finding it quite hard but also enjoyable
I'm studying the Operas of Mozart- Le Nozze de Figaro at the moment which is quite a big challenge
I'm also unable to find good resources online, do you have or know anywhere i can find music resources for analysis, notes, anything really.
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username2235913
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(Original post by HKP24)
Heyya
Thanks for your reply
I do AQA 7272 Specification Music a level
I'm finding it quite hard but also enjoyable
I'm studying the Operas of Mozart- Le Nozze de Figaro at the moment which is quite a big challenge
I'm also unable to find good resources online, do you have or know anywhere i can find music resources for analysis, notes, anything really.
Yeah...sometimes i feel like im not learning anything in music so its a bit rubbish for me
and how strange!! we've started learning the the same opera this term, too.

do you need resources for the opera or just in general? i'm also struggling too, i just use the aqa key words to help me with analysis. and resources my teachers have made. i could message you if you want to see how they're like..
also, sorry for another question, but which aos are you doing?
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HKP24
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(Original post by Yusrak)
Yeah...sometimes i feel like im not learning anything in music so its a bit rubbish for me
and how strange!! we've started learning the the same opera this term, too.

do you need resources for the opera or just in general? i'm also struggling too, i just use the aqa key words to help me with analysis. and resources my teachers have made. i could message you if you want to see how they're like..
also, sorry for another question, but which aos are you doing?
That's great we're on the same boat I need resources for the opera if you have any for overture, cavatina, duettino, anything really
Same as you, I use key words and the textbook but that's about it.
I'm doing music for media and art music since 1910
Also, is it possible for you to send me the key words you were talking about

Thanks
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tsteward
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edexcel music is the WORST. my soul was taken from me the moment i started the course. they seem to have made this course in order to drown your love for music and murder it.

...they're coming for me.....

HELP M--
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mooseflame
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(Original post by tsteward)
edexcel music is the WORST. my soul was taken from me the moment i started the course. they seem to have made this course in order to drown your love for music and murder it.

...they're coming for me.....

HELP M--
Rip tsteward. Unspecified - May 2018
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