A-Level Music

What will I be learning? 

You will study 3 units within the course. These will be as follows:  

  • Performance on your instrument or voice
  • Composition (split into two parts: a free composition and a technical composition)
  • Appraising: analysing a variety of musical works within the following categories – Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, Film Music, Fusions Music, Popular Music and Jazz, and New Directions (more modern music)

How will I be assessed?

  • Coursework (50%): Your performance must be recorded between March and May in Year 13, but can be re-recorded multiple times to achieve your best performance. You will work on your free composition across Year 12 and 13, ready to submit in the Spring term of Year 13
  • Controlled assessment (10%): You will complete your technical composition across 6 hours in controlled conditions
  • Written exam (40%): There is a written exam in the summer of Year 13 to test your understanding of the pieces studied
  • All work is externally assessed

Independent study opportunities

You will have opportunities to take part in performances, workshops, and trips. You will be invited to take a full part in the school’s extra-curricular programme. 

What resources do I need? 

We recommend buying an A-Level Music Anthology (there are many being sold second-hand these days) if you like to write colourful annotations, though a copy will be provided on which you can write in pencil.Taking one-to-one instrumental or vocal tuition is extremely helpful. The school currently provides a 40% subsidy for instrumental/vocal lessons to those taking GCSE and A-Level Music. 

Will I go on any trips?

Past trips have included evensong song at St Pauls Cathedral and concerts in Cambridge and the English National Opera, Royal Festival Hall and Royal Albert Hall in London

What careers could this lead on to? 

Arts administrator, Sound engineer / Production, Animateur / Community arts worker, Musician
Instrumental teacher, Higher education lecturer, Secondary school teacher

What grades do I need for this course? 

An Average Point Score of a 4 is needed, plus grade 4 or higher in GCSE Music or Grade 5 Music Theory.