Outstanding A-Level Music Technology Teaching: The Written Papers

Course Code:


This course, brand new for Autumn 2023, is designed for all teachers who wish to ensure their students maximise their potential in components 3 and 4 in Pearson A-Level Music Technology. Focus will be on student learning and teaching techniques and approaches for teaching the content, knowledge and understanding students need to succeed in the written papers. Students often struggle with the tough topics (and occasionally teachers) and this course will offer a range of effective, interesting, stimulating and exciting strategies for students. Led by music technology expert James Reevell, a senior examiner for A level Jusic Technology and Head of Music Technology in a renowned Sixth Form College, this course is a must for a music technology teacher preparing their students for success in 2024 and beyond.


  • Gain teaching approaches and methods for Components 3 and 4
  • Examine in detail the most challenging areas of the course
  • Develop greater understanding of the precision and detail that examiners are looking for in top level students
  • Gain an Examiner’s insight into the common mistakes and key errors made where students lose marks and how these can be addressed


Introduction to the Written Components

10.00 – 10.30am
  •  Overview of Components 3 and 4
  • Summarised feedback from 2023 examination
  • How do you approach NEA vs exams?
  • Key points students ultimately have to demonstrate to an examiner at A-Level to access top level marks
  • Common issues raised by examiners

Getting Started with Component 3

10.30 – 11.15pm
  • Introduction – How does the student sit the paper? General exam technique for component 3
  • Practical teaching strategies, approaches and methods for teaching eras, styles and recording media
  • Case Study and Workshop – Building and developing students skills; ‘Briefly describe each music technology eras in terms of what you would expect to hear in a track recorded at the time’ Eg; Linking expectations of technical features to an era – Teaching Chronology and history – underpinning music technology history
  • Getting to grips with Technical Numeracy

Morning break

11.15– 11.30am

Component 3: Extended Response Questions

11.30 – 12.30pm
  •  Question 5 Comparison between two tracks
  • Examplar – Chris Rea – On the Beach (1986) – Evaluate the production techniques used in each version
  • Devising comparisons
  • Marking extended response answers – examplars, critical analysis, discussion, commentary
  • Question 6: Evaluate aspects of music technology in track and wider impact – – Examplar – Fatboy Slim – The Rockafeller Skank (1997) ‘Evaluate how sampling has been used in this track and the wider impact of sampling since 1990’ – analysis, discussion, scoring high marks , commentary


12.30 – 1.30pm

Listening and Analysing – Component 3

1.30 – 2.30pm
  •  Feedback from the most recent exams, common mistakes when answering questions in component 3
  • The extended response questions – teaching strategies to support able students
  • Listening with criticality: building, and extending skills in the most able students
  • Ways to stretch and challenge top grade students in the comparison question
  • Exam technique and tactics – sitting the paper as a student
  • Assessment and Exam preparation – examples of past papers and how best to prepare; introducing AO3 and AO4

Component 4: Producing and Analysing

1.30 – 2.30pm
  •  Getting started with Component 4 – basic principles
  • Scrutinising questions which make the biggest impact on a student’s mark
  • Common errors with the audio in component 4
  • Focusing on precise, concise and accurate terminology
  • Common MIDI tasks
  • Preparing students for the shorter 8 mark evaluation questions – examplars, analysis, discussion, short workshop session
  • Building student’s confidence in technical numeracy – graphs, sample rate, parameter settings, calculations to describe sound waves
  • Question 5 – practical teaching ideas and methods and guidance on how to support students in responding successfully in question 5


Afternoon Break

2.30 – 2.40pm

Component 4: The Extended Response

2.40 – 3.30pm
  •  Question 6 Examplar – ‘Evaluate the suitability of a routing, effect or mic placement
  • Answering question 6
  • Practical strategies to build up skills evaluation, examples

Bringing it all Together

3.30 – 3.40pm
  • Final summary
  • Discuss & Depart


London | Monday 11 December 2023

Please select your preferred date

London | Monday 11 December 2023

This course, tailored to suit, can be delivered in your school. Discuss this further with our CPD team on 01625 532974 or click below to make an enquiry.


James Reevell is currently Head of Music Technology at Greenhead College in West Yorkshire and has over a decade of experience as an examiner, trainer and author. Greenhead was recently featured in the Sunday Times as the highest ranked state-funded sixth form college in the North of England. James has contributed to and authored study and revision guides published by Rhinegold and CGP and he delivers nationwide training to teachers with a particular focus on Music Technology and Popular Music.


  • Teachers of A-Level Music Technology
  • Heads of Music
  • Teachers of A-Level Music about to start teaching A-Level Music Technology


  • A Specially prepared notes, practical advice and guidance by the course leader
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance

Enquiry Form

Please complete the form below and we’ll get back to you shortly