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Music IB Higher Level at Parkside Sixth

Course description

Students studying music for their IB diploma will be able to develop their musical skills and understanding, and enrich their appreciation of a huge diversity of musical styles from different times and places. The course will be a mixture of theory and practice. It will offer excellent preparation for students who wish to study the subject further after Parkside Sixth, as well as being enjoyable and informative for the student who wants to ensure that they keep a creative subject as part of their overall IB profile.

Course content

The IB course encourages students to develop a high level understanding of music from a range of styles and cultures. Students will also develop their ability in performing and/or creating music.


Higher Level:

Music Perception. You will study and compare music from different cultures. This will include set works and pieces chosen by you and your teacher.

Creating. A practical unit. Students can specialise in a range of options drawn from composition, arrangement, improvisation, music technology composition, and exploring the composition styles of others.

Solo Performing. A practical unit. Students can specialise in any instrument, including the voice and the computer, and should perform contrasting pieces in their choice of musical style(s).


Standard Level

Musical Perception

your choice of either the Creating or the Solo Performing Route.


Entry requirements

Five GCSEs or equivalent at grade C or above, including English and Maths.
IB students take six subjects in total which consists of three subjects at Higher level and three at Standard level. 
For Higher level subjects, you should have GCSEs (or equivalent) at grade B or above in those subjects or related ones. We recommend Higher level Maths, Chemistry and Physics only for those with a grade A or above in GCSE Maths and Science. 
Further information about entry requirements can be found in our  prospectus or on the website. Students also have timetabled sessions for Theory of Knowledge.
If you are applying for the International Baccalaureate, you need to choose six subjects, from a range of different subject areas. For information can be found in our prospectus.
A paper copy of the prospectus can be obtained by phoning the Sixth Form Administrator on 01223 712600.


You will be assessed by a range of coursework, practical and exam work.

  • Listening exam, assessing your musical perception course.
  • Musical links investigation: a 2,000 word media script investigating links between pieces from different cultures. This coursework will be marked by the IB Organisation.
  • Creating coursework: recordings and a written commentary
  • Solo Performing coursework: recordings selected from public performances

Future opportunities

Students who wish to pursue their studies in music further, will find the IB course excellent preparation, covering as it does a range of styles and a mixture of theory and practice. Students who wish to specialise in different traditions, such as 'traditional' music or music technology, will be able to shape their creating and performance profile to support this.


All students will find themselves enriched by studying music further, and will also benefit from the fact that employers and universities value well-rounded individuals.


Further information

How will I study?

You will be taught in stimulating and thought-provoking seminars, which will help you to explore the skills and knowledge you need for the course. You will work individually with your teacher and in groups with other students to develop your performance and creative abilities. Seminars and individuals practice sessions will take place in our brand new purpose-built Arts block.


What extra-curricular activities will there be?

Music students will be encouraged to play a full part in extra curricular music activities at the school, and will have the chance to lead younger students. There will be many performance opportunities both inside and outside of school. We will also plan to arrange plenty of visits to concerts and other musical events.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 16 October 2017
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