Please note, courses will be held online if they are not possible to run in venues.


This newly revised music technology course will demonstrate how to guide your best students to achieve Grades A & A* in future Pearson/ Edexcel A Level Music Technology examinations. Lead by our highly respected and successful presenter, James Reevell, the course will demonstrate teaching and learning ideas for all components which will stretch and challenge able students and develop their higher level skills. Using feedback from 2019; the first year of examination on the new specifications, the course will outline what is expected of high ability students and explore ways to build your teaching practice around this.


  • Focused on identifying the demands of the grades A and A* and providing strategies and materials to help teachers prepare students effectively
  • A detailed look at the different demands of assessment and questions across the components and papers
  • Take away effective methods to develop students’ critical listening, comparison and evaluation skills for the written papers
  • Take away approaches to addressing the briefs for students’ recording and composing work
  • A chance for discussion and analysis of sample answers at Grades A and A*
COURSE DATE London | Monday 01 June 2020
  • Heads of Music and Music Technology Departments
  • Teachers of Music Technology
  • Teachers of A level Music Technology returning to teach the course
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
  • A specially prepared folder of 50+ pages full of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance
  • Two course restaurant lunch
  • Refreshments throughout the day
  • Guaranteed high quality venues

10.00 – 10.50am
The new exam: reflections and approaches

  • The outline and expectations of the new exams: what is it essential to be aware of?
  • Discussion of changes experienced by all delegates on the first year of the course
  • Feedback and grading analysis from the first year (2019) exams and what this tells us about the standards which top students are expected to meet.
  • Analysis of the mark schemes – what are the examiners looking for?
  • Grades A & A*: what do they involve?
  • Key attributes of Grades A and A* students in the classroom
  • Avoiding potential hazards: what can cost a student their A grade?

10.50 – 11.10am
Discussion: coffee break

11.10 – 11.45am
Component 1: Recording

  • What are the characteristics of A/A* recordings and exemplar work
  • Supporting students in manipulating sounds with technical control and style to produce excellent recordings
  • Addressing all of the requirements of the brief
  • Getting the instrumental requirements right – additional instruments and playing time
  • Adapting the arrangement – supporting students in making appropriate choices
  • Making successful choices when using effects and processing plugins
  • Aiming for excellence: strategies for success and logistics of submission, along with effective completion of the logbook

11.45 – 12.30pm
Component 2: Technology-Based Composition

  • Transition from Year 11 – building up the necessary DAW and technical skills in Year 12 with top level students
  • Planning for and supporting students in the greater emphasis on sound design in this task for A/A* grades
  • Using the musical elements as a basis for technological innovation and to demonstrate effective control and development
  • Successful approaches to addressing the brief – style and coherence in responding to the requirements of the three A level briefs
  • Balancing lo-fi approaches with legibility when using samples
  • Refining students’ work – ensuring compositions are convincing and demonstrate sophisticated use of musical and technological elements
  • Moving up a grade and appraising work – discussion of how to support students in achieving A/A* grades for their music technology compositions

12.30 – 1.30pm
Lunch and informal discussion

1.30 – 2.20pm
Component 3:  Listening and Analysing: the written examination

  • Practical strategies to support students in identifying and analysing production techniques in unfamiliar recordings
  • Musical styles; strategies to deliver the depth and breadth required by the paper
  • Practical considerations for teaching students how to approach the extended response questions to achieve a top band answer
  • Focus on the extended response 15-mark and 20 mark questions and essays: what does a grade A/A* candidate need to do and addressing AO4
  • Strategies to help students make the most of opportunities for wider listening to approach the extended response questions

2.20 – 3.20pm
Component 4: Producing and Analysing: the written examination

  • Teaching and learning strategies to build students’ abilities in editing, mixing and production techniques with attention to detail
  • Application of knowledge; building students’ skills in evaluation and critical judgement when applied to unfamiliar contexts
  • Strategies to integrate the teaching of component 4 into coursework; a holistic approach
  • The shorter questions: what are the potential pitfalls?
  • Focus on the extended response question 8-mark and 20 mark questions and essays: what does a grade A/A* candidate need to do and addressing AO4
  • Inspiring students to aim for, and achieve high marks and top band answers in the extended response question

3.20 – 3.30pm
Preparing for Examination Success

  • Preparing Grade A and A* students for their exams

James Reevell

James Reevell is an experienced teacher of Music and Music Technology, and is currently Subject Leader for Visual and Creative Arts at a sixth form college in the North West of England. As part of this role he is responsible for the leadership and management of both Music courses, Art, Drama and Dance. He has over 5 years examining and assessment experience in Music and Music Technology and has set up both Music and Music Technology courses in a sixth form that went on to be graded as ‘Outstanding’ in its recent OFSTED inspection.  He has also led projects and training on stretch and challenge, effective use of data and effective transition from GCSE Music to A Level. Alongside his teaching role, he has recently been appointed as a Bridge Fellow for Music and Music Technology at the University of Huddersfield.

View all courses led by James Reevell >