The 20th Century American Musical – Rhinegold Publishing

The 20th Century American Musical


This is an A2 unit and students can be entered for the written examination in either January or June of their second year. It is worth 30% of A2 and 15% of the A level. The guided learning hours are 54 hours. The unit can be delivered over 12/13 weeks on approximately 4 hours plus a week. The unit can be delivered during the autumn term of the second year of A-level study.

There are four topics and students should choose one on which to answer an essay question. There is a choice of two questions per topic.
The four topics are:
  • Post-modern approaches to the performing arts since 1960
  • Politics and performance since 1914
  • The 20th century American musical
  • Approaches to performance in the Far East
This scheme of work will focus on the 20th century American musical. Students should study nine extracts from nine different musicals. These extracts must cover at least three practitioners, one for each of the three art forms – dance, drama and music. Students can study three practitioners for each art form so each extract could be by a different practitioner making a total of nine practitioners. When choosing the extracts try to cover a wide period of time as this will help students to discuss the changes that took place in the genre throughout the century. It is difficult to say how long each extract should be as this will vary from one work to another but the exam board recommend that the total duration of the nine extracts should be somewhere between four and six hours.

Scheme overview:
  • Week 1 – introduction to topic, fingerprints, mode of assessment and glossary of terms
  • Weeks 2-10 – the nine extracts
  • Week 11 – revision and pulling the strands together; discussion of essay questions and essay planning
  • Week 12 – the mock exam
  • Week 13 – feedback on the mock; suggestions for improvement; further essay planning
Number of schemes: 12

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