Music - Highers/Advanced Highers
St. Margaret’s  High School

New Higher Music
The Higher Music course is very comprehensive and allow pupils to further develop their musical skills. The course is centred around the core elements of Performing, Listening and Understanding Music. Pupils will perform a twelve minute programme of pieces on two instruments, which will be performed to a visiting examiner in February/March of the school year. Pupils will also have the opportunity to develop their creative skills in music through writing a portfolio of compositions using a variety of stimuli and a wide range of resources. The Understanding Music element is a comprehensive look at musical genres and is concept focused, allowing pupils to gain a greater knowledge and understanding of musical styles. This is assessed both informally during class time and formally by SQA written exam which takes place during the SQA exam diet in May. Higher Music is a recognised qualification for entry into most college and university courses.

Higher Music Technology Course
The new Higher Music Technology course is designed to teach pupils the skills required to record from various sources in a number of different real world contexts. The course consists of 3 units which integrate all the skills the pupils will learn. It will give pupils the skills and knowledge needed to apply for courses in sound engineering at college or university level.

Unit 1: Music Technology Skills
In this unit pupils learn a variety of recording skills and techniques using different types of microphones and recording sources which they will use to record different instruments and sound effects. Pupils will learn to use Music technology software where they can manipulate and edit what they have recorded.

Unit 2: Music Technology in Context
Pupils will build upon the recording skills they learn in unit 1 and use them in 3 specific real world contexts, such as recording a live band, recording an advert for radio, or recording the soundtrack and effects for a film clip. The unit is assessed based on the quality of the recordings, the effectiveness of the planning, and the pupils course log.

Unit 3: Understanding 20th and 21st Century Music
Pupils will learn about key technology innovators and items of music technology that have made a significant impact in the development of recorded sound. They will also learn about various genres of music in the 20th and 21st Century and the key concepts and features in each of them. Finally pupils learn about the importance of intellectual copyright and the problems that arise when the law is broken. All these elements are assessed by short essays or listening tests.

The course assessment will be based on a final recording project using different real world contexts such as those in the context unit. This is worth 70% of their grade. The other 30% comes from a listening test based on 20th and 21st century concepts.


St Margaret's High School, Waverley Drive, Airdrie, ML6 6EU    t.  01236 794888  f. 01236 747429    e.   d.  directions to school
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