The Advanced Higher Music course builds on the work done in Higher Music. As well as engaging pupils in performingactivities and providing them with a wide range of Composing and Understanding Music experiences, it also provides opportunities to enhance their literacy and numeracy skills.
The course consists of three units – Performing, Composing and Understanding & Analysing Music.
Performance based activities either solo or in a group, Teacher-led discussion, cooperative group work and formative assessment strategies are used to give pupils the opportunity to demonstrate and improve their performing skills and knowledge about music.
A significant amount of learning will be self-directed and require pupils to demonstrate a more mature approach to learning and the ability to work on their own initiative. Pupils will be encouraged to use an enquiring, critical and problem-solving approach to their learning. Ample opportunity will be given to practise and develop research and investigation skills and higher-order evaluation and analytical skills. Regular feedback sessions/discussions will be held on a one-to-one basis and on a group basis where appropriate.
Performing Skills has one outcome which is assessed at appropriate times during the course. This outcome involvesperforming music in a range of music styles by:
1.1 Developing a range of advanced musical, interpretive and technical skills, showing clear understanding and sensitivity to the composers’ intentions.
1.2 Critically self-reflecting and evaluating the quality and accuracy of their performing and refining their performing and technical skills.
Composing Skills has one outcome which is assessed at appropriate times during the course. This outcome involves creating original music by:
1.1 Analysing how a range of advanced compositional methods and music concepts are used by composers for specific effect and the contexts which influenced their work
1.2 Experimenting and using complex music concepts and compositional methods in sophisticated and creative ways to develop, refine and create original music
1.3 Developing musical ideas which make musical sense and realise their creative intentions
1.4 Critically reflecting on their music and on the musical impact of their creative choices and decisions.
Understanding & Analysing Music has one outcome which is assessed at appropriate times during the course. This outcome involves recognising and identifying music concepts and styles by:
1.1 Identifying and analysing the use of level-specific and other music concepts, signs and symbols
1.2 Analysing style and form, melody, harmony and rhythm and the impact of social and cultural influences on the development of music
In addition to the unit assessments, pupils also undertakecoursework assessments for Performing and Understanding Music.
The performing exam takes place in May of the exam year and is worth 60% of the pupil's final mark.
The remaining 40% is achievable in the final external SQA exam. In order to fully prepare pupils for success in the exam, they will undertake additional end-of-topic tests to re-inforce their knowledge and understanding of music concepts.
Homework is set regularly to support and consolidate classroom experiences. Some homework assignments will require pupils to carry out research in their own time. Pupils are expected to practise their instruments on a regular basis throughout the week.
Recording and Reporting
The unit assessment outcomes and end-of-topic tests form the basis for the comments in the pupil report issued to parents in March while the S5/6 parents’ night in mid-November provides an opportunity to discuss successes and/or concerns.