Component 1 recording timetable

Component 1 Recording Timetable

In Component 1 by phoenixgreen3 Comments

Quite often, I am asked the question “How do you go about planning and completing the A Level Music Technology Component 1 – Recording task?”

As an organisational challenge, this one is tough and my best answer is to try and get the bulk of the recordings completed as early as possible in yr13. Through bitter experience, I’ve found the longer you leave it, the more that can go wrong.

I aim to get the bulk of the recording completed in one block with semi profession musicians, and I usually get the students to all record the same song which streamlines the whole process. Below I have outlined my timeline.

Component 1 – Recording

Term 1:

  • Which song?
  • Work out the structure and key so song fits with requirements
  • Give song to band to prepare
  • Preparation recording sessions for students
  • Get students to setup and save their component 1 project file 
    • “Component 1 – Song Name – Student Name”

October Holiday Recording Sessions:

  • Session 1 – Drums and bass
  • Session 2 – Guitars and keyboards
  • Session 3 – Main and backing vocals 

Terms 2 and 3:

  • Start Component 2
  • Start mixing and mastering Component 1

Lets get recording!


  1. Hi,

    Thanks for this. This will give some structure to the students I teach at the moment. Although you are saying to get all students recording the same song, I just wondered what your thoughts were on the exam reports saying:

    “With regard to song choice, many centres had clearly encouraged candidates to make
    independent song choices, and this approach is to be applauded. It is highly recommended
    that centres insist that all candidates record a different song, which negates any possibility
    of file sharing malpractice, either deliberate or inadvertent, and also stops the ‘production
    line’ approach that some centres seem to favour where all candidates record the same
    song with often identical microphone set ups in group recording sessions. Teachers should
    look carefully at the guidelines set out on pages 13-14 of the specification document in
    relation to this practice.”



    1. Author

      Hi John
      Thanks for your feedback and for highlighting the possible problem with getting the students to all record the same song. I have emailed Jeffery Hole for further clarification on this as I believe this could cause unnecessary confusion to the specification.

      As it currently stands, the specification is clear, and states, that all students should be responsible for every part of the Component 1 Recording project and that teachers should make every effort to make sure that students do not copy or share any part of their work including microphone setup. However, the specification doesn’t say that students can’t all record the same song.

      The main issue I have with getting every student to record different songs is that it always results in needing a massive amount of my time to prepare the materials and musicians to get ready for the recording sessions.

      Once I have heard back from Jeffery, I will update this post with the verdict.

      1. Author

        Hi John
        I wrote to Jeffery and ask the question “If a centre follows the rules set out in the specification, e.g. all students are responsible for their recordings from start to mastering, but all students record the same song, will they be penalised for this decision?”

        Jeffery’s response “If a student is responsible for their entire recording then this meets specification requirements. If a centre has all candidates record the same song but they are all in sole charge then that would be fine and there wouldn’t be any penalty. However, there is obviously a greater opportunity for malpractice to occur.”

        I hope this helps

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