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 skills; 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?

Students will learn about a range of types of music, including:

The development of the symphony jazz music and music created in the twentieth century

The course also involves:

Performance is 25% or 35% of final score. You will give a solo performance of between eight to twelve minutes in the final year of studies in front of a visiting examiner

Composition requires you to create two compositions. The piece is set by the exam board, usually from a choice of options plus a free brief

Listening and appraising/understanding is worth 40% of the final score. This is the only exam

What are the entry requirements?

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

What skills do I need?

Ability to read music fluently. To be able to work independently on coursework.

How will I be taught?

3 lessons a week, with free tuition on one instrument for 30 mins per week from a specialist teacher.

How will I be assessed?

Appraising – 40%

Performing – 35%

Composing – 25%

What will the course prepare me for?

Music A-Level supports progression to higher education in music and related subjects. It gives you a platform for a lifelong interest and enjoyment in music.

How much private study should I expect to do?

You will get up to 4 hours of homework each week, including working on subject specific software to complete composition tasks and performance rehearsal.

What materials will I need to purchase?

A pair of good quality headphones. Music for your performance recital.

What is the exam board?


This subject is for you if…
you enjoy performing and creating music.

This subject is not for you if
you don’t like analysing music of all styles and if you cannot read music.