Careers related to studying Music:

Music is regarded highly by both universities and employers as it necessitates a wide variety of transferable and desirable skills. By studying A Level Music, you will be developing your imagination and creativity, self-expression and resilience, listening and analytical skills, diverse cultural and historical awareness and ability to work with and direct others.

Such skills can be used in many different study and career paths, but careers leading directly from the course are: performing, teaching, composing, recording and producing, sound engineering and media.

Course content:

During the course you will continue developing new skills in both performance and composition. You will also develop your analytical and aural skills by learning to listen to all genres of music in considerable depth. You will study music from the Western Classical tradition and learn how to recognise structure, form, instrumentation and compositional techniques, which have laid the foundations for contemporary musical genres. By contrast, you will also have the opportunity to explore and study other genres ranging from the beginnings of Jazz and Blues right up to the present day and the music of Muse and Labrinth.

Entry requirements:

Ideally, you will have a GCSE in Music at grade 5 or above. You may be considered if you have not taken GCSE Music but have passed Associated Board examinations on an instrument (approximately Grade 5) or you have considerable experience in a more contemporary field of music (eg pop/rock band, jazz, brass band etc)

Subject specific events:

You will be encouraged to take a lead role in performances throughout the course, including being part of the main show band. You will visit a variety of live concerts and rehearsals with leading professionals in the area and have the opportunity to take part in an Arts residential trip.

Methods of study:

Teaching groups are very practically based and usually small enough to ensure that you receive personal attention. You will be encouraged to work both collaboratively and independently on a variety of composition and performance tasks, allowing you the opportunity to develop techniques and explore ideas prior to your final examination work. You will also have regular aural and theory lessons and work together to analyse the set work strands and music from the areas of study.

You will be expected to practise regularly and will be offered one to one tuition (funded by the school) on an instrument of your choice.

Methods of assessment:

Component 1 Appraising Music

Examined by a written paper and divided into 3 sections

  • Listening questions following a CD based on aural and notation
  • Essay questions on set work strands (the operas of Mozart and piano music of Chopin, Brahms and Grieg)
  • Essay questions on 2 areas of study (chosen from pop music, music for media, music for theatre, jazz)

Component 2 Performance

Performance on an instrument(s) of your choice

Component 3 Composition

2 compositions for any instrument (following both a brief set by the exam board and a free choice)