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Music A Level at Wallington High School for Girls

Course description

The A level Music course develops a wide range of musical skills, introducing students to a variety of styles of composition and performance and developing analytical and listening skills.

The vast majority of A level musicians will have achieved highly at GCSE, but it is possible to access the course without having studied a specific GCSE specification. To do well at A level, students should be aspiring to the highest instrumental grades and be receiving regular professional instrumental lessons. It is also essential that students participate in departmental ensembles.

Students will have valuable access to the department’s ICT resources, instruments, and other equipment. They will be given the chance to direct instrumental groups, meet professional musicians, and attend live music events.
The specification has yet to be published in final form at the time of writing. However, the board have confirmed that the specification will include the components listed below.

Music is delivered in conjunction with Wilson’s school and students will be sitting the AS exam at the end of Year 12. Lessons take place at their site.

Course content

Students perform (either solo and/or ensemble) for a minimum of 8 minutes.

Students compose two pieces.
One piece is either in response to a brief set by the board from a choice of four or a free composition in the style of your choice. This composition carries 40 of the 60 marks available for this component (20% of the entire A level). The other piece is in response to a brief from a choice of four assessing compositional technique. This composition carries 20 of the 60 marks available for this component (10% of the entire A level).

Listening paper covering six Areas of Study. Each Area of Study has three set works. Two of the set works are those covered in the AS level course. The third set work in each area of study is:

Vocal Music Vaughan Williams, On Wenlock Edge
Instrumental Music Berlioz, Symphonie Fantastique
Music for Film Danny Elfman, score for Batman Returns
Popular Music and Jazz David Bowie, Low
Fusions A R Rahman, music from Slumdog Millionaire
New Directions Schoenberg, Two Piano Pieces

Entry requirements

A pass at Grade 5 theory and regular and on-going professional instrumental/vocal tuition are required or, where music has been studied at GCSE, at least an A grade and on-going professional instrumental/vocal lessons.


Coursework, coursework under supervision and examination.

Future opportunities

In many cases students will pursue the subject beyond A Level at music colleges and universities, and some will continue into a career in performing, music technology, composing or teaching. Music is an excellent subject for students hoping to study Medicine, Law or other unrelated subjects as it develops lateral thinking, broadens the mind and reinforces effective learning strategies; this is a highly respected A Level at elite universities (it is on Cambridge University’s ‘A-list’ of suitable A Level courses).

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Wallington High School for Girls directly.

Last updated date: 29 September 2016
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