Subject Information - Music

National 5

Director of Music: Mr David Elliott

Course Progression: Music

The Department

Music plays a major part of the life of George Watson’s College, and it is the aim of the Music School to provide every pupil with the opportunity to develop a skill in music, not only through formal study, but also through involvement in the broad range of extra-curricular activities on offer.

With 18 individual instrumental teaching rooms and 4 ensemble performance areas to complement classroom space, the outstanding purpose-built Music School provides an excellent centre for a wide variety of teaching situations. Our 216-seat concert hall, with its famous hyperbolic-paraboloid roof designed for its excellent acoustical properties, provides an ideal venue for the many public performances given by pupils throughout the course of each session. Each year two Music Scholarships are offered to pupils entering the Senior School and up to 40 Instrumental Music Tuition Bursaries are available to all pupils by competition.

Learning and Teaching

In S3 to S6, pupils may choose to study Music further at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher levels and the department also teaches A level Music and IB Music to SL and HL.

Music National 5

Course Units

There are three Units: Performing on first and second instruments, Composing and Understanding. 

Composing: pupils write original music to form an audio folio. Sibelius 7 and other computer software, linked to digital keyboards, is used to assist composition, and musical scores of professional standard can be produced.  Candidates are encouraged to perform their compositions live wherever possible.

Understanding: pupils develop their aural awareness, studying music of a wide variety of musical styles, techniques and forms.

Performing: candidates perform a short recital of prepared pieces of their own choice, either solo or in a group, on both first and second instruments.

Progression

It is intended that pupils can work their way through National 5 to Higher and Advanced Higher, but it is also possible for pupils to take Higher Music in S5 or S6 having not taken the subject at National 5 level, as long as they have continued to be involved in music-making of the appropriate standard.  Similarly it is possible to take Advanced Higher Music in S6 having not studied the subject to Higher in S5 if they are of an appropriate standard in their music-making and musical knowledge.

 

 

Higher

Director of Music: Mr David Elliott

Course Progression: Music

The Department

Music plays a major part of the life of George Watson’s College, and it is the aim of the Music School to provide every pupil with the opportunity to develop a skill in music, not only through formal study, but also through involvement in the broad range of extra-curricular activities on offer.

With 18 individual instrumental teaching rooms and 4 ensemble performance areas to complement classroom space, the outstanding purpose-built Music School provides an excellent centre for a wide variety of teaching situations. Our 216-seat concert hall, with its famous hyperbolic-paraboloid roof designed for its excellent acoustical properties, provides an ideal venue for the many public performances given by pupils throughout the course of each session. Each year two Music Scholarships are offered to pupils entering the Senior School and up to 40 Instrumental Music Tuition Bursaries are available to all pupils by competition.

Learning and Teaching

In S3 to S6, pupils may choose to study Music further at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher levels and the department also teaches A level Music and IB Music to SL and HL.

Music Higher 

Course Units

The general structure of these levels is the same.  There are three Units: Performing on first and second instruments, Composing and Understanding. 

Composing: pupils write original music to form an audio folio. Sibelius 7 and other computer software, linked to digital keyboards, is used to assist composition, and musical scores of professional standard can be produced.  Candidates are encouraged to perform their compositions live wherever possible.

Understanding: pupils develop their aural awareness, studying music of a wide variety of musical styles, techniques and forms.

Performing: candidates perform a short recital of prepared pieces of their own choice, either solo or in a group, on both first and second instruments.

Progression

It is intended that pupils can work their way through National 5 to Higher and Advanced Higher, but it is also possible for pupils to take Higher Music in S5 or S6 having not taken the subject at Intermediate 2 level, as long as they have continued to be involved in music-making of the appropriate standard.  Similarly it is possible to take Advanced Higher Music in S6 having not studied the subject to Higher in S5 if they are of an appropriate standard in their music-making and musical knowledge.

Back to top

 

Advanced Higher

Director of Music: Mr David Elliott

Course Progression: Music

The Department

Music plays a major part of the life of George Watson’s College, and it is the aim of the Music School to provide every pupil with the opportunity to develop a skill in music, not only through formal study, but also through involvement in the broad range of extra-curricular activities on offer.

With 18 individual instrumental teaching rooms and 4 ensemble performance areas to complement classroom space, the outstanding purpose-built Music School provides an excellent centre for a wide variety of teaching situations. Our 216-seat concert hall, with its famous hyperbolic-paraboloid roof designed for its excellent acoustical properties, provides an ideal venue for the many public performances given by pupils throughout the course of each session. Each year two Music Scholarships are offered to pupils entering the Senior School and up to 40 Instrumental Music Tuition Bursaries are available to all pupils by competition.

Learning and Teaching

In S3 to S6, pupils may choose to study Music further at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher levels and the department also teaches A level Music and IB Music to SL and HL.

Music Advanced Higher

Course Units

The general structure of these levels is the same.  There are three Units: Performing on first and second instruments, Composing and Understanding. 

Composing: pupils write original music to form an audio folio. Sibelius 7 and other computer software, linked to digital keyboards, is used to assist composition, and musical scores of professional standard can be produced.  Candidates are encouraged to perform their compositions live wherever possible.

Understanding: pupils develop their aural awareness, studying music of a wide variety of musical styles, techniques and forms.

Performing: candidates perform a short recital of prepared pieces of their own choice, either solo or in a group, on both first and second instruments.

Progression

It is intended that pupils can work their way through National 5 to Higher and Advanced Higher, but it is also possible for pupils to take Higher Music in S5 or S6 having not taken the subject at Intermediate 2 level, as long as they have continued to be involved in music-making of the appropriate standard.  Similarly it is possible to take Advanced Higher Music in S6 having not studied the subject to Higher in S5 if they are of an appropriate standard in their music-making and musical knowledge.

Back to top

 

A Level

Director of Music: Mr David Elliott

Course Progression: Music

The Department

Music plays a major part of the life of George Watson’s College, and it is the aim of the Music School to provide every pupil with the opportunity to develop a skill in music, not only through formal study, but also through involvement in the broad range of extra-curricular activities on offer.

With 18 individual instrumental teaching rooms and 4 ensemble performance areas to complement classroom space, the outstanding purpose-built Music School provides an excellent centre for a wide variety of teaching situations. Our 216-seat concert hall, with its famous hyperbolic-paraboloid roof designed for its excellent acoustical properties, provides an ideal venue for the many public performances given by pupils throughout the course of each session. Each year two Music Scholarships are offered to pupils entering the Senior School and up to 40 Instrumental Music Tuition Bursaries are available to all pupils by competition.

Learning and Teaching

In S3 to S6, pupils may choose to study Music further at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher levels and the department also teaches A level Music and IB Music to SL and HL.

Music A Level

The Music Department also offers a course in Advanced Level GCE Music.  This qualification is considered particularly useful for pupils intending to study Music further after leaving school. Students taking A level Music in S6 will also be entered for SQA Higher Music in S5.

Course Units

There are three Units at each level covering Performing, Composing and Listening & Appraising.

Performing: candidates perform a prepared recital, on one or more instruments or voice, playing solo or in ensemble.

Composing: candidates compose two pieces, one to a brief set by the exam board and one free choice. There is also an option of doing short harmony exercises. Candidates are encouraged to perform their compositions live wherever possible.

Listening & Appraising: candidates respond to recorded extracts and answer questions about prescribed set works in a variety of styles which they have studied, including Classical instrumental and vocal music, popular music and jazz.

Back to top

 

IB

Director of Music: Mr David Elliott

Course Progression: Music

The Department

Music plays a major part of the life of George Watson’s College, and it is the aim of the Music School to provide every pupil with the opportunity to develop a skill in music, not only through formal study, but also through involvement in the broad range of extra-curricular activities on offer.

With 18 individual instrumental teaching rooms and 4 ensemble performance areas to complement classroom space, the outstanding purpose-built Music School provides an excellent centre for a wide variety of teaching situations. Our 216-seat concert hall, with its famous hyperbolic-paraboloid roof designed for its excellent acoustical properties, provides an ideal venue for the many public performances given by pupils throughout the course of each session. Each year two Music Scholarships are offered to pupils entering the Senior School and up to 40 Instrumental Music Tuition Bursaries are available to all pupils by competition.

Learning and Teaching

In S3 to S6, pupils may choose to study Music further at National 5, Higher and Advanced Higher levels and the department also teaches A level Music and IB Music to SL and HL.

Music IB

Pupils studying Music at IB choose to study the subject at SL or HL.  The course requirements are: 

HL and SL Musical Perception

The study, analysis and examination, comparing and contrasting of musical cultures. Study of two prescribed works.

A Musical Links Investigation- a written script of no more than 2,000 words, investigating the significant musical links between two or more pieces from distinct musical cultures

  • A Listening Exam (At HL a further two questions beyond those answered at SL).

HL: Creating

Three pieces of coursework – composing, music technology composing, arranging, improvising or stylistic technique.

HL: Solo Performing

A programme of 20 minutes presented during one or more public performances on any instrument or voice or using the computer as a musical instrument.

SL: one of three options

SL Creating (SLC)
Two pieces of coursework – composing, music technology composing, arranging, improvising or stylistic techniques.
SL Solo Performing (SLS)
A programme of 15 minutes presented during one or more public performances on any instrument or voice or using the computer as a musical instrument.
SL Group Performing (SLG)
A programme of 20 – 30 minutes.

 

 

SCQF Musical Theatre

Director of Music: Mr David Elliott

Course Progression: Music

National Progression Award: Musical Theatre SQCF Level 6

This NPA award is a largely practical course covering Acting, Singing and Dancing and is an ideal foundation for those who wish to pursue a career/further education in Musical Theatre.

It is delivered by specialist Drama and Music staff.

Return to Departments Page