lirjonker
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Hi there, I'm currently choosing my A-Level subjects and I've got one big concern around A-level Music. Is it super difficult?
I'm Grade 7 Violin and around grade 6 in drums and I failed my Grade 5 theory a year and a half ago (but only by a few marks!) and plan to retake it soon because I definitely understand what I'm doing now. I'm doing Music GCSE and working at an 8. I hear it's a lot of theory and harmony... those aren't my strongest points. Also in all the sixth forms in my area, literally nobody has achieved an A last year, even though they have music specialism status for ks3 & 4.
Is it a bad idea?
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monnytonny
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Hey, I'm a year 13 doing A-level Music (AQA) honestly if your performance is at least grade 6 standard you should be fine. Theory will come in handy in terms of key words and compositional techniques used in appraisal but that only takes about 20% of the qualification. Most of the marks come from your performance (which you need 10 mins of you playing - either solo or ensemble but that doesn't matter as much as it did at gcse) and composition (one free and one to a brief like at gcse). I would definitely try and get your grade 5 theory as that's the standard of theory they expect you to know but I wouldn't base you decision to take the subject purely based on your music grades as I know at least 3 people in my class don't have even grade 1 but their performance is high level enough that it earnt them a 7 at gcse…
So if your performance is at grade 6/7 standard you'll do fine plus your music grades will add a bonus for UCAS Points when/if you consider applying to uni!!
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lirjonker
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(Original post by monnytonny)
Hey, I'm a year 13 doing A-level Music (AQA) honestly if your performance is at least grade 6 standard you should be fine. Theory will come in handy in terms of key words and compositional techniques used in appraisal but that only takes about 20% of the qualification. Most of the marks come from your performance (which you need 10 mins of you playing - either solo or ensemble but that doesn't matter as much as it did at gcse) and composition (one free and one to a brief like at gcse). I would definitely try and get your grade 5 theory as that's the standard of theory they expect you to know but I wouldn't base you decision to take the subject purely based on your music grades as I know at least 3 people in my class don't have even grade 1 but their performance is high level enough that it earnt them a 7 at gcse…
So if your performance is at grade 6/7 standard you'll do fine plus your music grades will add a bonus for UCAS Points when/if you consider applying to uni!!
Is being bad at composition a big problem because I’m so bad at composing, I over complicate everything and it ends up sounding confusing... that’s a big concern
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monnytonny
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I understand what you mean, I’m in the same boat aha I did both my gcse compositions the night before they were due 😶 but my best piece of advice there is to just listen to the style you plan on writing and play and improvise until you feel inspired with an idea and then just score it down. Then think about a structure - from there it’s like making a cake; you add the core ingredients (such as flour eggs sugar... but in this case melody rhythm harmony) and then you go back and decorate it! Composition, if you feel like you’ll struggle with it but do fine with appraisals and performance I’d still consider music really solidly (especially at grade 6/7!!!) but ask yourself, what parts of gcse music do you enjoy the most? Do you want to study them in more depth? Is it the essays/ 10 mark questions you enjoy? Or do you prefer the performance and more practical side? What would you take instead of music?
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