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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.

Why should I study this subject?
A-Level Music is exciting and rewarding, unique in its combination of academic study and creative opportunity. The course is based around developing three key skill sets: performing, composing and listening, and appraising. You will build on your knowledge of musical theory, gain a solid understanding of the basic principles of performance, refine your practical skills, study and practice composition, and expand your knowledge of music history through listening and appraisal. In addition, you will gain valuable transferable skills in independent learning (having to be disciplined about practise), team work, performance and presentation skills, listening skills (these are highly developed in musicians and vital to the course), analytical and essay-writing skills, building confidence and self-esteem and creativity.

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 jazz. Your knowledge will be tested through listening exercises, a range of analytical questions and an essay.

What are the entry requirements?

Please check this subject table for full details of our A Level entry requirements.

“The music course at New College is phenomenal, it incorporates music from the 18th century right up to the 20th century, covering genres like classical, romantic and jazz. Alongside the academic content, we write compositions and take part in performances regularly.”
Luke Henson-Baines – Darton College