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Music A-level ELL at Invictus Sixth Form

Course description

The Ellowes Hall Music Department is an exciting place to be right now. There are many extra-curricular ensembles that include 'Poco Louco' (samba band), Invictus choir, woodwind and several rock bands. There is also the opportunity for students to participate in a variety of roles within the school production.

As a member of one of the extra-curricular ensembles you will also get the opportunity to travel to London and abroad. There are also music workshops with external professional musicians.

The department is housed in purpose built accommodation which includes a recording studio (housing iMacs with Logic Pro sequencing/recording software), practice room suite, two spacious music rooms and a central theatre area. The rooms are very well equipped with up to date keyboards/pianos, electric and acoustic guitars, bass guitars, a range of percussion (including two drum kits), a PA system, Allen & Heath 24 track mixing desk and eighteen workstations (both Mac and PC).

A Level students are given the opportunity to sharpen their performance skills in most of the above ensembles, as well as having access to specialist instrument teachers from Dudley Performing Arts.

Course content

COMPONENT 1: Appraising Music

This component assesses listening, analysing and understanding skills. It covers the following areas of study:

1. Western classical tradition 1650–1910 (compulsory)

2. Pop music

3. Music for media

4. Music for theatre

5. Jazz

6. Contemporary traditional music

7. Art music since 1910.

(Students need to pick two areas from 2-7)

There is an exam paper with listening and written questions using excerpts of music.

Section A: Listening (56 marks)

Section B: Analysis (34 marks)

Section C: Essay (30 marks)

This component is 40% of A Level marks

COMPONENT 2: Performance

This is can be a solo or group performance as an instrumentalist, vocalist or music production (via technology). A minimum of ten minutes of performance is required, however this can be covered over several performances.

This component is 35% of A-level marks

COMPONENT 3: Composition

There are two compositions. A free composition where students can choose to write music in any style they wish and a composition set to a brief. A minimum of four and a half minutes of music in total is required.

This component is 25% of A Level marks

Entry requirements

Specific Entry Requirements for this course ( in addition to at least 5 grades 5s inc Eng and Maths): At least Grade 5 on an instrument or the ability to perform to that level, GCSE Music


Both AS and A2 Music consist of three units, each based around the components of performing, composing and listening.

AS - Coursework includes solo and ensemble performances totalling 5 minutes in length (of at least Grade 5 standard) and a 3 minute composition based on one of four briefs provided by Edexcel. There Is a 2 hour exam (‘Developing Musical Understanding’) based on aural perception and questions about set works.

A2 - Coursework includes solo and ensemble performances that total 15 minutes in length (of at least Grade 6 standard), a composition and a technical study based on briefs by Edexcel. There is a 2 hour exam (‘Further Musical Understanding’) based on aural perception and questions about set works.

Assessment combines both teacher and external assessed coursework, a visiting examiner (at A2 only) and an externally assessed written examination. Areas of study are fundamental to the specification. Each area provides opportunities not only for the study of repertoire but also for the development of musical ideas through composing and performing activities.

The specification encourages integration of the various musical disciplines throughout. There are three areas of study:

• Instrumental

• Vocal music

• Applied music

Future opportunities

This course will enable students to continue their music education at university or a specialist music conservatoire. It is also very beneficial towards being a professional musician in an orchestra or session player. Previous students have also moved into the music education sector themselves, by becoming teachers in schools and colleges or teaching privately.

Further information

Stuart Eaves (Head of Music)

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: 19 October 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 Years
  • Course code: AQA
  • Web url:
  • Number of planned places: 25

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