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Music AS & A Level at Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School

Course description

The A level music syllabus provides opportunity for students to:

  • Study and practise listening skills.
  • Develop an understanding of compositional techniques and creative music writing.
  • Achieve confident, advanced performance skills.
  • Acquire skills of study and research through written and listening papers.
  • Develop a lifelong interest and enjoyment in listening to and making music.

In the first year (AS) you'll cover three study topics: 'Influences on music' (the written part), 'Creating musical ideas' (the composing part) and 'Interpreting musical ideas' (the performance part).

You will study a wide variety of music including western classical music and modern popular music. You'll also study how to harmonise a melody and develop your melodic writing skills. Finally you will develop your solo and ensemble skills. The second year follows the same format. The coursework focuses on 'Developing musical ideas' and covers compositional techniques and pupils will learn a variety of ways to create music.

The final unit of the course culminates in a 15 minute solo performance on your chosen instrument or voice.

Entry requirements

GCSE Grades A*-C in 5 subjects (including English and Mathematics) GCSE Music Grade B or Grade 5 ABRSM (or equivalent)



  • Unit 1: Influences on Music (Listening) (Examination) 30% of AS Level 15% of A Level
  • Unit 2: Creating Musical Ideas (Composition) (Coursework) 30% of AS Level 15% of A Level
  • Unit 3: Interpreting Musical Ideas (Performance) (Examination) 40% of AS level 20% of A Level


  • Unit 4: Music in Context (Examination) 20% of A Level
  • Unit 5: Developing Musical Ideas (Coursework) 15% of A Level
  • Unit 6: Musical Performance 15% of A Level

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School directly.

Last updated date: 07 December 2016
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