Mastering A-Level Music is surely a goal for all our students. But at times it can be hard to know where to turn for support, resources and ideas. Imagine if there was a website, created by an examiner and music expert that would provide a complete resource for Edexcel A-Level Music.
Well that is now a reality, and I am so pleased to be able to review this wonderful new website:
About the site
What I want you to understand about Mastering A-Level music is that it covers everything. Written from the ground up by Alex Aitken, this covers all aspects of the course. From composition, to listening, Chorales to set works, it is packed full of everything you need. Your students will be guided through the exam, the essays, the chorales and the listening. It has examples, videos, and audio guides. I can’t stress enough how complete this resource is.
It has taken Alex over 5 years to complete this project and it is instantly clear that a great deal of hard work has gone into it. It will not only change the way we teach, but it will support students as they move through the course.
With content amount to 325,000 words, you are looking at the most complete A-Level Music resource on the market. The website also includes 600 audio clips, and 300 embedded YouTube videos.
As mentioned, this is a complete resource, broken down into clear sections for the user. students will be able to find all they need for the course including questions, mark schemes and various tips & tricks. The content is vast, detailed and incredibly helpful. Alex has not only given analysis, but also guidance.
One particularly helpful section is “Alex’s Hyper-Example”. This is basically an essay that Alex explains is 40 out of 30. His reasoning is that if he provides an answer that is above and beyond what is needed for the exam, then students are more likely to reach that 30/30 mark that we all want them to achieve.
The Bach Chorale area of the website is a particularly impressive feature. Students have all they need to walk through the chorale process from the ground up. But it is more than just rules and guidance. Alex provides the history of chorales as well as examples, examiner tips and mark scheme. It really is going to revolutionise my teaching of the component 2 chorales.
Alex also provides advice for recitals, compositions, university prep and essay questions. Comprehensive support is very much the driving force of this website. The only thing not available are listening questions for section A.
I have had the pleasure of chatting to Alex on many occasions and I must say he has one of those voices that I love listening to! So when I logged on and found that he has provided an audio description of almost every page, I was thrilled. And yes, it is Alex reading them himself, and my students and I agreed that his voice is really easy to listen to.
This is a real bonus for students and teachers. They can sit back and listen to Alex talk them through the full analysis of each and every set work.
Studying set works is a joy, but there is a lot to cover. I am particularly pleased to see Alex providing a full and comprehensive analysis of each set work. He break it down into three areas – Context, Analysis and Final Bits. With every set work there are YouTube examples embedded into each page, as well as great links to Wider Listening. The context is well written and will help students go the extra mile with their musical understanding.
This website is a complete resource for Edexcel A-Level Music, and as you can imagine there is a cost associated. It is a subscription website with a monthly, quarterly or annual options available. Having watched my students using this website this week, I can already see that it will be value for money.
But for some schools, mine included, budgets are tight (or non existent). Therefore Alex is offering bursaries. His firm belief is that there should be no barriers to education. He has provided a Bursay form that you can complete to ensure that you are able to afford the service. I will be completing this form and I really appreciate Alex taking into account school budgets. That said, this is a resource I know I will use, and one that I will be investing in.
Mastering A-Level Music
It is hard to sum up this resource in one blog, so please do check it out for yourself. I have been using it with Sixth Form this week, and I must say the timing is great for the exam season. My students love the website, and have already enjoyed revising set works and embracing new ones. The audio description feature is excellent and there is no stone left unturned. This website is going to support my teaching, and provide the students will all they need when they are at home.
I want to thank Alex on behalf of music teachers up and down the country for proving this wonderful website. It is something that will really help us all in our teaching.
So I think you need to go and check out www.masteringalevelmusic.co.uk
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