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Music - A Level at Lordswood Sixth Form Centre

Course description

New Linear A Level 

Course content

Component 1: Performing

This is a non-examined assessment where students are required to perform publicly one or more pieces as a recital for a minimum of 8 minutes. Performances can be playing or singing solo, in an ensemble, improvising or realising music using music technology.

Component 2: Composing

This is a non-examined assessment for which students must complete two compositions, one to a brief set by Pearson or as a free composition and the second composition is set to a musical techniques brief. The first composition set to a brief must be at least four minutes in duration and the other must be at least one minute in duration and a joint minimum duration of six minutes in length.

Component 3: Appraising

This is a two hour written examination which comprises of two sections. Section A relates to the 18 set works studied on the course and short melody/rhythmic completion exercises. Section B comprises two essay questions where students are marked upon your extended response. One essay draws links from the set works studied to music heard as an unfamiliar extract. Essay two gives students a choice of three questions where they will be asked to evaluate the musical elements, context and language of one set work.

Entry requirements

B grade or above in GCSE music.

C grade or above in English and mathematics.

To succeed in the performance unit you should be working towards ABRSM/Trinity College Grade 5 or higher.


Examination (40%) and coursework (60%)

Future opportunities

Studying music at A Level gives students the power to understand music better as a performer, composer and listener. There are many courses available at university and conservatoires, from which music graduates enter a diverse range of professions. Although A Level music involves a lot of creative work, the theoretical study of music history and theory is sufficiently rigorous so that it is accepted as a serious academic subject for entry at most universities.

Further information

What skills do I need to develop to be successful on this course?

Over the course of their A level studies students will gain experience of a wide range of musical skills including performing, composing and analysing as well as developing an understanding of the historical and contextual uses of music.

Students will develop their:

• Analytical skills.

• Knowledge and understanding of performance.

• Knowledge and understanding of compositional processes.

What other subjects compliment A Level Music?

Music students often study other subjects which require a similar skills base in the arts, language, analysis and essay-based subjects such as drama, art, government and politics, English literature, history, modern foreign languages, science, and mathematics.

How will I be taught?

Students are taught in a department of committed staff who have many years experience in leading students to A level success in music. In 2015, 100% of our students achieved A*- C at both AS and A2 studies. To ensure students are fully prepared for the performance unit, they will be provided weekly instrumental tuition free of charge on their first instrument throughout the duration of the course. Lessons are taught through weekly drop-in individually sessions and as a group. In music students can expect small class sizes which will enable them to have more contact time with their teacher and a more personal approach towards their learning needs.

What extra-curricular opportunities are there?

The department encourages students to take advantage of extra-curricular opportunities in music, participating in the school orchestra, sixth form wind ensemble and dhal drumming ensemble, gospel choir, school production and the annual music and drama trip to London.

Student Testimonial, why study A Level Music?

Music A Level allows you to develop your performing, listening, analysis and compositional skills. It is enjoyable and it allows you to think in a completely different way. A level music allows you to explore a wide variety of genres and music styles that you wouldn’t necessarily listen too. So not only do you study classical pieces by Bach that one might associate with studying music, but, you also get to study contemporary, world and film music. Additionally, you receive a free music lesson per week which means you can either learn a new instrument to widen your musical abilities or have more lessons on your primary instrument to develop your playing. The music teachers at Lordswood are always willing to help you if you struggle with anything and their office is always open for any help or advice that you may need. Catriona Sharples

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Lordswood Sixth Form Centre directly.

Last updated date: 23 November 2015
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