While prior music experience is strongly recommended for those students who opt for Higher Level (HL), it is not mandatory for Standard Level (SL). The course provides an appropriate foundation for further study in music at university level or in other music career pathways. It is designed to offer students the opportunities to build on prior experiences in music while encouraging a broad approach to the subject and developing new skills, techniques and ideas. The course also aims at developing the student’s potential as musicians, either as a soloist or in ensembles, and as composers and creators of music. The programme of study builds on a strong fundamental and theoretical base, but weights the practical performance and developing of performance skills highly.
This course is designed to offer students the opportunity to build on prior experience while encouraging them to develop and use new skills, techniques and ideas. While it is possible to take this without previous experience, this is helpful, particularly at Higher Level option A (HLA). The course encourages an active exploration of visual arts within the students’ own and other cultural contexts. The study of visual arts and the journey within it encourages respect for cultural and aesthetic differences and promotes creative thinking and problem solving. Study of visual arts provides students with the opportunity to develop a critical and intensely personal view of themselves in relation to the world as well as enable students to engage in both practical exploration and artistic production, and in independent contextual, visual and critical investigation. The course has two components through which it encourages pupils to explore their aesthetic, imaginative and creative faculties and trains them to become artists, critics and communicators. The studio part of the course includes opportunities for structured learning of the formal elements of a wide range of artistic expression, together with extensive exploration of a more experimental nature. The Research Workbook is a working journal, which allows the students to undertake adventurous and critical research into the Visual Arts. The books represent a highly personal record linking research closely to work done in the studio.