Music A Level

Head of Department
Mr M Whiteside

Why choose the subject?
The Music Department is housed, with the Drama Department, within the Performing Arts Centre at BSG. We are most fortunate to have a large performance studio, two good-sized classroom/rehearsal rooms, an ICT suite with 32 PCs running Sibelius and Cubase software, as well as a professional Recording Studio equipped with an iMac and industry-standard Logic X software, along with five practice rooms. A level Music offers the enthusiastic and interested musician the opportunity to develop aural, practical and analytical skills, and to broaden their knowledge and understanding of the subject. Some students taking Music intend to pursue their interest further – at university, music college or as part of a teacher training course – but others find the subject a rewarding complement to other subjects. A level Music is hard work and demands a high level of commitment – but it is also challenging and highly rewarding to the committed musician. Please note that since June 2020, Edexcel have not offered an AS examination in Music.

Who is eligible?
Students should have achieved a grade 6 or higher in GCSE Music and play at least one instrument (or sing) to a good standard – Associated Board Grade 5 or equivalent is a minimum requirement at the start of the course. Teaching assumes a knowledge of music theory approximately equivalent to Grade 5 Theory.

Qualification Type: A Level only (2 year)

Specification: Year 2023/2025 Advanced Level Award Examination Board: Edexcel

Our Music A Level course develops practical skills in performing and composing as well as a deeper understanding of music history, theory and analysis. Through listening to and studying a wide variety of music, both classical and popular, you will develop a more informed appreciation of how, and why, it was written. Our engaging course is led by inspirational staff specialising in the subject, and you’ll benefit from a dedicated teaching environment designed specifically for music study.

COMPONENT 1: Performing
An 8-minute solo or solo/ensemble recital. Candidates are expected to perform music that is equivalent to Grade 6 or higher. 30%, External assessment.

COMPONENT 2: Composing
Two compositions, one to a brief set by the exam board. 30%, External assessment.

COMPONENT 3: Appraising
A study of set works from various Areas of Study, including Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, Popular Music and Jazz, Music for Film and Fusions. 40%, Written examination (2 hours 10 minutes).

A music A Level gives you a broad base of skills including: good physical dexterity, memory and concentration, developed in practice and performance creativity, developed through a range of creative projects communication skills, developed through performing and engaging listeners teamwork, through working in bands or orchestras as a player, leader or manager self-management, physical and mental self-discipline achieved through regular practice performing under pressure, overcoming nervousness in order to perform well during exams, concerts and auditions planning and time management – organising and working towards a project/performance.

This course is commonly studied with:
As an A-Level subject, music complements several other A-Level courses, including drama, business, history, computer science and art and design.

Future Careers:
Music producer, Music therapist, Musician, Private music teacher, Secondary school teacher, Sound designer, Sound engineer, Sound technician, broadcasting/film/video, Special effects technician.