This NEW course is designed to support new music technology teachers and experienced music teachers in delivering high quality teaching and learning for Pearson/Edexcel A Level Music Technology. Led by our highly respected presenter and experienced examiner, James Reevell, the programme will take delegates through the most important aspects of each assessment component including the demands of the Non-Examined Assessment (NEA) and written examinations, with a particular focus on strategies for exam success.

The course aims to develop strategies for successful planning and preparation to ensure strong outcomes for students, what examiners are looking for in assessing each component based on feedback from previous exam series, along with chance to consider and discuss the logistics and day-to-day running of the course. The day is designed to balance breadth with depth, ensuring take home strategies and resources to support you.


  • Find out about the standard and depth of knowledge and skills students need for exam success in A Level Music Technology
  • Listen to strong student work and find out what examiners need to see and hear when assessing recordings and compositions.
  • Be assured of knowing the exam standard and level of what counts as outstanding work in each component
  • Explore how to integrate non-examined assessment work and theory to ensure students develop their skills in application and evaluation for exam success
  • Focus on extended response questions and what the examiner is looking for to award top marks
COURSE DATE Online | Wednesday 28 April 2021
  • Heads of Music and Music Technology Departments
  • Teachers of A level Music Technology
  • NQTs looking to build their Music Technology experience
  • Teachers considering starting running AL Music Technology
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


 The essentials for student success: the theory underpinning the entire course

  • The big picture – starting off with the specification; clarifying the standards and the depth required for exam success.
  • What is the core content in A Level Music Technology that needs teaching straight away to secure a solid start to the course? Exploring strategies to get students started straight away with the key concepts
  • Setting up a course – the important logistics, the essential equipment and the key systems

Structuring and planning an excellent two-year linear course

  • Working with the exam in mind: a targeted approach to the key mark scheme criteria of capture, dynamics, EQ and FX for recording, and synthesis, sampling and creative FX for composition.
  • Focusing on the most important and credit-worthy exam tasks to scaffold and support student progress
  • How to sequence the theoretical concepts in year 12 and year 13 to ensure a synoptic and holistic approach to technical theory.
  • Developing students’ skills for non-examined assessment work – how to build independence working in a studio setting, encouraging critical listening for recording and producing and linking this to what the examiner is looking for.


Practical strategies to maximise student achievement in the non-examined assessment briefs

  • What are the absolute essentials required to produce an excellent recording and composition, and what guidance should I provide as a teacher to facilitate this?
  • What is the examiner looking to see in a good, well written NEA and how can you build up to this with your students
  • Addressing the mark scheme headings; what to listen out for and what the examiner needs to see/hear in successful recording and composition work
  • Treating the brief as a non-negotiable exam question – making sure students fulfil every aspect of the recording and composition briefs and the exam pitfalls that students experience at each stage of their work
  • Discussion of exemplar work to set the standard and listen to excellent NEA work with examiner commentary. Opportunity to apply the mark scheme and discuss.

Teaching Components 3 and 4 – listening & analysing / producing & analysing

  • Quick review of the demands of both papers – comparing the content base for both and the differing (and similar) skillsets students need to develop
  • Examples of good and less good responses in the listening paper
  • Developing listening skills – managing the content and teaching styles and recording era alongside technical theory and aural perception and supporting students in demonstrating them to the examiner in component 3
  • Strategies to support students in applying listening skills to the exam paper
  • Developing producing skills – integrating theoretical knowledge and practical skills from NEA work and supporting students in demonstrating them to the examiner in component 4


 Preparing students for the challenge of the written papers

  • Decoding the technical numeracy element – the types of exam question students need to be prepared for and how best to prepare them.
  • Strategies to help students tackle the challenge of the exam questions.
  • Questions, question types, the challenges to students and teaching approaches to work these into question response success
  • Developing appropriate examination technique, practical strategies and modelling approaches when answering the extended response questions for component 3 and 4
  • Practical strategies to develop student confidence in the light of what the examiner is looking for

 Every mark matters: focusing on the key areas students miss out on marks

  • What are examiners listening out for when assessing the audio in component 4? Modelling feedback to facilitate student progress.
  • Embedding a focus on terminology throughout the course to achieve the appropriate standard of written work for the exams from day one
  • Getting the exam technique right; clarifying command words so that students know what the question is asking them and how to format their answers.
  • What is the examiner looking to see when addressing AO4 in exam questions?

Putting it into practice

  • The first six weeks – planning for progression from previous experience (GCSE Music or not).
  • Developing the basic sequencing, theoretical and analytical skills to provide solid foundations for the remainder of the course.
  • A linear approach to year 12 and year 13 – organising the content, assessment and review whilst taking a synoptic approach to skills development.

Q&A, evaluation and close


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 >