Subject Intent: Why Music?

Music pervades life and is all-encompassing. The Music curriculum helps students develop, engages them creatively and challenges them in an intellectual sense. We intend to unlock our students’ potential through Music and instil a genuine love of the subject through listening, composition, performing and analysing music from a wide range of styles and cultures helping students develop a greater sense of appreciation of the power of music throughout the world. It supports the development of a range of transferable skills such as, communication, memory skills, creativity, collaboration and problem solving that students can employ in their next steps whether that be higher education or employment.

What will I study?

The course also involves:
  • Performance (25% or 35%). You will give a solo performance of between eight to twelve minutes in front of a visiting examiner.
  • Composition (25% or 35%). You are required to create two compositions. One is a piece in the Western Classical tradition and the other is a free choice in any style.
  • Listening and appraising exam is worth 40%. You will study the Classical and Romantic symphony, music of the early twentieth century and pop/rock. Your knowledge will be tested through listening exercises, a range of analytical questions and an essay.


Please note: Subject videos have been filmed from colleges across our Trust.

What are lessons like in this subject?

A-level Music lessons are centred around developing musical knowledge and skills by analysing and discussing a wide range of music from 1750 to 2000. Performance skills are very important as they can form 35% of this course so this is a regular feature, as is composition where skills are built quickly through focused exercises and individual teacher feedback. All in all, music lessons are very busy!

We have a suite of practice rooms which can be used for private practice, instrumental and vocal teaching and developing composition ideas. In addition, we create compositions using a number of industry standard notation software packages and digital audio workstations. Student performances take place around college and within the local community. Trips to see professional concerts, musicals, and universities are arranged throughout the year. In addition, professional musicians and speakers regularly visit college to talk to our students.

What our


The course has developed my confidence as a musician and also increased my knowledge of music theory at a higher level whilst still maintaining an engaging atmosphere in every lesson. There are multiple opportunities for work experience and trips to further our knowledge of the industry, and the teachers are supportive of every student’s needs.

Edith Senior, Minsthorpe Community College

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