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Music at Tring School

Course description

Awarding Body: Edexcel

A Level Music provides plenty of opportunity for pupils to perform, compose and learn about musical analysis and harmony, whilst also building up their aural skills. The aim of the course is to enable candidates with a genuine interest and enthusiasm for Music, to thrive and establish themselves as confident musicians.

The extracurricular opportunities are varied and all inclusive. Some of our Sixth Form students have undertaken to run groups and conduct for the various choirs and ensembles. Trips and study tours to Barcelona and London are always well attended and add to the richness of the Music A Level course. Music is a very well thought of at Tring School. Concerts and festivals are very well attended by members of the school community as well as the residents of Tring and the surrounding areas, and the various choirs sing regularly in the local churches.  

The Music Department has achieved excellent results from its students at A2. We often celebrate 100% pass rate at A2, and in 2016 -17 we achieved 100% A* to C.  



Course content

The A Level course is a two year experience comprising:

Component 1: Performing

Non-examined assessment: externally assessed

30% of the qualification

60 marks

Assessment overview

  • A public performance of one or more pieces, performed as a recital.
  • Performance can be playing or singing solo, in an ensemble, improvising, or realising music using music technology.
  • The total performance time across all pieces must be a minimum of 8 minutes.
  • Performances must be recorded after 1 March in the year of the certification and all materials for assessment submitted to arrive by 15 May in the year of the certification.

Component 2: Composing

Non-examined assessment: externally assessed

30% of the qualification

60 marks

Assessment overview

  • Total of two compositions, one to brief set by Pearson and one either free composition or also to a brief.
  • One composition must be from either a list of briefs related to the the areas of study, or a free composition, carrying 40 marks for this component. this composition must be at least 4 minutes in duration.
  • One composition must be from a list of briefs assessing compositional technique, carrying 20 marks for this component. This composition must be at least 1 minute in duration, unless the brief specifies a longer minimum duration.
  • Total time across both submissions must be a minimum of 6 minutes.

Component 2: Appraising

Written examination: 2 hours

40% of the qualification

100 marks

Content overview

  • Knowledge and understanding of musical elements, contexts and language.
  • Application of knowledge through the context of six areas of study, each with three set works.

                  Vocal Music

                  Instrumental Music

                  Music for Film

                  Popular Music and Jazz


                  New Directions

  • Application to knowledge to unfamiliar works. The areas of study are: Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, Music for Film, Popular Music and Jazz, Fusions, New Directions.





Entry requirements

Students would need to have achieved a GCSE grade 5 and be at Trinity Exam grade V in one or more instruments.


Components 1 and 2 are internally marked and pupils will be given numerous opportunities to perform at recitals both in and outside school. Work is continually assessed throughout the two year course according to the exam board specifications. Both verbal and written feedback form an integral part of the students’ learning, and the Year 12 exam gives an indication of progress through the first year of the course.

At A2 the written paper makes up the final 40% of the course and is externally marked. The paper is sat by the students in the Summer Term.


Future opportunities

Music would provide an excellent balance to the sciences and the humanities and is an excellent 4th subject for those with a proven practical ability on their instrument.


How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Tring School directly.

Last updated date: 23 November 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1 year