The Music Pre-U course aims to equip pupils with the skills and knowledge they need to make a success of their subsequent studies at university. Pre-U Music embraces the creative, interpretative, historical and analytical aspects of the subject and tests pupils' interpretative, comparative and critical thinking skills. A Personal Study allows pupils to extend their skills through a challenging project of personal interest, choosing between a dissertation, advanced recital, free composition, or music technology project.
The Listening, Analysis and Historical Study paper gives pupils the scope to study music from all periods of music: the Concerto in the Baroque and Classical era, vocal music in the Romantic era and seminal works, such as Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring representing the twentieth century.
For the performing aspect of the course, pupils are required to prepare and present a recital on one instrument or voice, lasting between 15 and 20 minutes. The programme may contain one extended work (e.g. a complete sonata), works based on a particular theme (e.g. a selection of Preludes), or works which make up a contrasting recital. Pupils must also present one further skill (which must be different from the first offered) in a programme lasting not longer than 10 minutes.
The composition section allows pupils to explore certain techniques, such as Bach chorale harmonisation and the completion of string quartets. Pupils also complete an extended composition based on a commission released by the examination board.
Music Pre-U will provide opportunities for pupils to develop a range of skills, knowledge and understanding in music, embracing creative, interpretative, historical and analytical aspects of the subject. The course allows for personal growth through the diversity of serious study in music, thereby promoting academic independence and self discipline, broadening intellectual and emotional responses, stimulating critical discrimination and heightening social and cultural awareness.
The course is, therefore, a suitable preparation for further study, while being particularly relevant to those who intend to continue their music studies, whether at university, college of music or other institution of Higher Education. Ultimately, it is hoped that the Music course will give pupils an informed and lasting love of music, either in a musical career or in the enjoyment of music as a leisure activity.
Music Pre-U frequently inspires pupils to study music technology, journalism, media studies and music or business administration degree courses. Possible careers beyond this include performing in classical and/or popular fields, the media, sound engineering and production, music publishing, music editing, reviewing, education, business and administration, acoustics, composing for film and television and the music industry in general.