What does the course involve?
This course is taught jointly with BWS and combines academic rigour with the exploration of a fascinating variety of styles of music.

  •  Performing (30% of the qualification) Students perform for a minimum of 8 minutes. Grade 7 is the standard for A Level and a difficulty level grid will be applied to pieces above or below this standard.
  • Composing (30% of the qualification) 2 compositions. One, to last at least 4 mins, will be to a brief related to one of the Areas of Study or a free choice. The other, lasting at least 1 min, must be from a list of briefs assessing compositional technique. The total time across both must be a minimum of 6 mins.
  • Listening and Appraising (40% of the qualification) Students study set works and gain an understanding of analytical language, terminology, chronological and stylistic context. 6 Areas of Study: Vocal Music; Instrumental Music; Music for Film; Popular Music and Jazz; Fusions; New Directions- each with 3 set works. They also apply their knowledge to unfamiliar works.

What exams and coursework are involved?
How will you learn?

Students prepare for the performance options in conjunction with instrumental/singing teachers. For the other units they are taught in groups where learning takes place through discussion, analysis, research and presentations. Students are also expected to study independently, practising for the performing papers and preparing work for the written elements. Students should take up opportunities to explore music beyond the “set works”.

  • Performing: Recital to take place 1st March - early May Year 13.
  • Composing: Free composition briefs will be released on 1 Sept of Year 13. Free compositions may be started at any time. Briefs assessing technique will be released on 1 April.
  • Listening and Appraising: Written paper of 2 hours. An audio CD with the extracts to accompany questions will be provided for each student. There will be short questions and essays.

What are the entry requirements?
Grade 6 in GCSE Music. Grade 5 (music grades, not GCSE) standard in Theory and Instrument / Voice is also required. It may be possible to take A-Level without this if you are experienced enough.
What could you do after completing the course?
A level Music leads to a large variety of opportunities at university or Music college. It is a highly respected subject for university entry in many fields and combines well with anything.

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