Music Accompaniment Policy

Music Accompaniment Policy

1. Overview

This policy applies to students who are performing for external assessment and who require accompaniment (e.g. melody line instruments such as flute, saxophone or trumpet). This policy does not apply to internally assessed performances in year 12.

Ashbourne is committed to supporting Music students to achieve the highest grades in all aspects of the Music GCSE (Edexcel) and A-Level (AQA) qualifications. Ashbourne, where possible, provides live accompaniment for all music students. The reason for this is to enable students to gain top band marks through facilitating expressive control, fluency, phrasing and improving the overall performance quality.

The aim of this policy is to explain the procedure with regard to accompaniment to ensure that students are able to perform to the best of their ability.

Due to the nature of the one-year GCSE programme, the decision to accompany students will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis as the academic year progresses. Therefore the remainder of this policy will focus on A-Level assessment.

All students must be well organised in making their repertoire choices so that suitable provisions can be made for them regarding accompaniment.

2. Requisite Accompaniments

All students who are performing with accompaniment must perform with an accompaniment written by the composer for that piece. For example, a flautist performing Poulenc’s Sonata will be required to perform with the corresponding piano accompaniment written by Poulenc.

Where there are multiple accompaniments available, any one accompaniment will be sufficient. For example, a student may choose to sing a contemporary song where only transcribed piano accompaniments are available. As long as the vocal part is accurate, any one transcribed accompaniment will be sufficient.

3. Deadlines for Submission of Repertoire

Students who wish to record performances with live accompaniment for their A-Level assessment must submit a complete list with full scores for all repertoire requiring a live accompanist before 6 pm on 31st May of year 12. Where students have played grade 7 or 8 exam pieces for ABRSM or Trinity boards, they are encouraged to perform these for assessment. Students who do not submit a complete list of repertoire and full scores before this date will be responsible for hiring an external accompanist at their own expense. This is true for all students, whether they are taking a two-year, 18-month or one-year A-Level programme.

Students who enrol for year 13 after 31st May should either be prepared to source their own accompanist or be flexible with repertoire choices.

In certain circumstances, it may be more appropriate for students to perform with a backing track.

Students who change their repertoire after the relevant deadline are responsible for hiring an accompanist at their own expense.

4. Student Accompanists

Student pianists are encouraged to accompany their peers for live performances and as part of internal assessments. However, only in exceptional circumstances, and with the agreement of the Director of Studies, will student pianists be allowed to accompany for A-Level assessment.

5. Recording

Recording takes place between the 1st of March and the 1st of May for GCSE, Year 12 and A-Level examinations.

Authorised by The Principal
Date September 2023
Effective date of the policy September 2023
Circulation Teaching staff / all staff / parents / students on request
Review date September 2026
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