Students will be encouraged to engage critically and creatively with a wide range of music and musical contexts, and reflect on how music is used in the expression of personal and collective identities.
Why study this subject at A-Level?
The most important thing for anyone wanting to take this course is a passion for and a commitment to music. You will also need an ability to work independently and to a deadline.
There are many career options in the music industry including performing in an ensemble or as a session musician, production, studio engineering, music journalism, arts administration, recording and editing, composition and many more.
Summary of the course
- Composition – taught at SGHS terms during terms 1 & 2 for techniques, but free composition could be monitored by either teacher. You should start composing this year.
- Core Western Classical Unit – probably taught at SGHS
- Aural and Theory Unit – Theory related to exam paper – to be taught at EGS
- Optional Units – Jazz, Music Theatre, Music Media
How is the qualification assessed?
Like most courses, the A Level splits down into three sections: Performing, Composing, and Understanding or Appraising Music.
For Performing you will have to submit 10 minutes of performance (solo or ensemble) recording together with the sheet music or one of the technology options – 35%
For Composing you will have to submit two compositions totalling 4 ½ minutes. One will be completely free choice, started in the first year (and finished in year two). The other will be to a set brief (wide range of choices) which will be issued in the second year – 25%
For Listening/Appraising you will have to study Western Classical Music plus two other options. In fact, we are going to do three so that you have more choice, and you could always look at other options yourself. This will be assessed in an exam paper – 40%
Applicants will require at least a Grade 6 in GCSE Music.
Students who are working at an ABRSM level equivalent to Grade 5 (practical or theory) will be considered.
The ability to play a keyboard instrument is extremely useful. Knowledge of treble and bass clef is essential.
Component 1 (35%)
Component 2 (25%)
4 1/2 minutes