Tuesday 20 October 2020



This new webinar for students is led by James Reevell, author of resources for the music technology course, examiner and head of department in a large sixth form college. The webinar will explore feedback on the technology-based composition task for A Level Music Technology from Summer 2019 and James’s experience of student work from Summer 2020, discussing common pitfalls and strategies to improve students’ in light of this for Summer 2021.

James will give expert guidance as to how students can focus on the key elements of the mark scheme: synthesis, sampling and creative effects to address the common pitfalls students make when creating and manipulating sounds for their composition. The three types of brief will be discussed along with successful and high scoring examples of each.

Benefits of attending:

  • Find out more about the key challenges in the technology-based composition task for Summer 2021 and what the examiner is looking for in top quality work
  • Listen to and discuss exemplar work to find out what excellent work does to score well, and find out how lower scoring work could be improved to score more highly
  • Consider how you can best address the three most credit-worthy areas in the mark scheme; synthesis, sampling and creative FX and avoid the common exam pitfalls in doing so


4:00 – 4:30 – The task, the briefs, the mark scheme

  • Feedback from previous series – discussion of the pitfalls students face in and how best to overcome them to produce a composition that scores top marks
  • Synthesis, sampling and creative effects – what the examiner is looking for and how to address the mark scheme effectively.
  • The musical elements – composing with style and coherence. Feedback from previous years’ exam series and how the best compositions do this.
  • What the examiner wants to see in the logbook to show off your work in its best light

4:30-4:55 – Exemplar work

  • Exam feedback: the features high scoring compositions have in common – what can we learn from them in terms of how to approach your own work?
  • The difference between the three types of brief – what the examiner is looking for in top marks examples of each different brief
  • Recordings that could be improved – have your say and then listen to examiner commentary to discuss examples of recordings that needed a bit more work

4:55-5:00 – Q&A and close


James Reevell

James is currently Head of Music Technology at Greenhead College in Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, which has a national reputation for academic excellence and has a large, thriving music department, delivering A Level Music and Music Technology along with BTEC Music Performance. James also is a consultant and advisor for Music and Music Technology across the UK, working with secondary schools and colleges to deliver CPD and to help with planning, resourcing, teaching and learning and assessment. James has worked as a Head of Visual and Creative Arts with responsibility for A Level courses in Art, Dance, Drama, Music and Music Technology at Rochdale Sixth Form College. The college was rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2013, and students’ progress in music technology was described as exceptional; the college has since topped the sixth form college performance tables for value added for the best part of a decade. James has authored revision and study guides for A Level Music, Music Technology and GCSE Music for Rhinegold Education and CGP Revision Guides. He delivers teacher training with a particular focus on Music Technology and popular music, alongside his commitments as an examiner. He also is co-director of ‘Flat Cap Brass’ who have a busy performance schedule at festivals, weddings and corporate events. James recently composed the soundtrack and series of ‘composers’ impressions’ for pioneering project ‘A Dark Tour of the Universe’, which premiered at the British Science Festival in September 2019.