- Course Overview
- Assessment & Examination
- Prior Knowledge
- Beyond The Course
- Entry Requirements
The Music course covers four main disciplines - Performance, Composition/Technical Skills, Listening and Analysis. During the two-year course, you will develop skills acquired from GCSE, particularly analytical skills, in readiness for assessments that are completed in your second year.
You will study the following core genres: a) Baroque Solo Concerti; b) Mozart Operas: Marriage of Figaro; c) Romantic Piano Works
You will also choose to study two genres from the options below:
- Popular Music (Stevie Wonder, Joni Mitchell, Muse, Beyonce, Daft Punk and Labrinth)
- Music for Media (Bernard Hermann, Hans Zimmer, Michael Giacchino and Thomas Newman).
- Music for Theatre (Kurt Weill, Richard Rodgers, Stephen Sondheim and Claude-Michel Schönberg).
- Jazz (Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and Pat Metheny).
- Contemporary Traditional Music (Astor Piazzolla, Anoushka Shankar and Bellowhead).
- Art music since 1910 (Dmitri Shostakovich, Olivier Messiaen, Steve Reich and James Macmillan).
Assessment & Examination
You will be assessed based on three different modules:
Listening & Analysis: You will complete a written examination lasting 2 hours 30 minutes. This involves listening to unfamiliar extracts based on the areas of study, and answering questions regarding the excerpts. The genres covered range from the Baroque and Contemporary Art Music, to Popular music and Musical Theatre.
Performance -This involves at least ten minutes of repertoire, and can include purely solo material or some ensemble work as well. The expected standard of performance for this module is approximately Grade 7.
Composition - You have a choice of either Composition or Technical Skills. Composition requires you to compose one free composition and another based on briefs set by the exam board. Both compositions need to total at least four and half minutes.
You will be expected to bring your instrument into College on the days that you have your performance lessons. Additionally, manuscript paper is used frequently, so your own supply would be useful. Sibelius software at home would be beneficial, although is not essential.
It is essential that you have a firm understanding of score reading skills, as this is particularly important for analysis. We also recommend that you have achieved at least Grade 6 on your principal instrument, and Grade 5 Theory.
Beyond The Course
Beyond the A Level Music course, many students choose to study music at a higher level, and aspire to a career within the music industry, whilst others may choose a different pathway entirely. Some of our students have progressed on to conservatoire study, likewise at university, or have continued musical practice as additional studies at university.
GCSE Level 6 in Music or Grade 5 Music Theory. Students must have at least Grade 6 for their chosen instrument.
Entry to Sixth Form also requires:
- GCSE Level 5 in English Language or English Literature;
- GCSE Level 5 in Maths;
- Four other GCSEs at Level 5, in addition to English and Maths.