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Music AS/A2 Level at Saint Cecilia's Church of England School

Course description

Music A Level offers the opportunity to study music in considerable depth. It will improve your knowledge of styles and genres and enable you to develop into an outstanding performer and composer. Music A level is both a practical and academic course. You will learn how to develop your own compositional style, performing skills and your understanding of music.

We have an extensive range of resources and recording equipment in the studio and 1.19 – our  dedicated classroom. Our PCs are specially designed for music and contain the latest versions of Cubase, Sibelius, Reason and the industry standard ‘Pro Tools’. We have an excellent range of instruments and performing opportunities. This course is ideal for musicians who want to extend their knowledge and skills, broaden their interest, study Music at university or just enjoy performing or composing.



Course content

Unit 1 – Performing                                                                             (30% AS, 15% of total A level)

Students perform some solo and/or ensemble items, carefully selected to display a variety of styles and technical skills. Students are required to submit a recording of 5-6 minutes.

Unit 2 – Composing                                                                            (30% AS, 15% of total A level)

Students develop their composition skills and create a 3 minute piece in response to a choice of briefs set by Edexcel. Students also learn how to create their own recording, score and CD sleeve notes.

Unit 3 – Developing Musical Understanding (40% AS, 20% of total A level)

Students develop their musical understanding through the study and listening of familiar set works. They learn about the musical features of the pieces and stylistic traits as well as the cultural and historical background. Students also learn about harmony and how to write a chorale. Assessment consists of a listening and written examination.

A2 Units:

Unit 4 – Extended Performance (30% A2, 15% of total A level)

This unit gives students the opportunity to extend their performance skills as soloists and as part of an ensemble. Students work towards performing a recital of 12-15 minutes of carefully selected pieces.

Unit 5 – Composition and Technical Study (30% of A2, 15% of total A level)

Composition skills are further developed and students create original pieces for a combination of instruments and/or voices.  Students create their own recording and CD sleeve notes. This unit also gives students the opportunity to build on their knowledge and awareness of harmony through composing in the style of other composers. Students can choose to write two compositions or one composition and one technical study.

Unit 6 – Further Musical Understanding (40% of A2, 20% of total A level)

Students build on the skills developed in Unit 3 and study different set works. They learn how to analyse in detail and identify relationships between styles and genres through the listening of familiar and unfamiliar music. Assessment consists of a listening and written examination based on the set works and unfamiliar works.


Entry requirements

You are expected to play at Grade 5 or above standard on one or more instruments.  If you are unsure of your ability, you may be asked to attend an audition with a member of the music department staff.  You should be able to read treble and bass clef proficiently or be prepared to learn it quickly. 



Further information

To find out more about this qualification, please contact us on 0208 7801244 or

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Saint Cecilia's Church of England School directly.

Last updated date: 22 October 2014
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Key information


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    • Main School

      Saint Cecilia’s is a co-educational comprehensive school for pupils aged 11-18 years in the Diocese of Southwark and the London Borough of Wandsworth. The school is highly successful and well-respected with a proven record of high academic standards taught in a caring, supportive and distinctly Christian environment.

      The school respects the unique contribution which every individual can make to the community and seeks to place this contribution within a clear structure which both embraces the highest possible academic aspirations and accepts individual differences in ability, aptitude and level of skills. Saint Cecilia’s is primarily a learning community and its culture of teaching and learning unlocks pupils’ potential for self-fulfillment and prepares them to take their place within adult life as well-rounded responsible and caring people.

      At the heart of the school is its Christian foundation, where Jesus Christ is reflected in every aspect of school life. This is true in the relationships we build, the choices we make, the attitudes we adopt and the goals for which we strive, and as a Christian school we are proud to declare that we exist to “Glorify God Through Outstanding, Enjoyable Education”.

      Our school community is enriched by a committed staff, good discipline and wide range of extra-curricular and enrichment activities aimed at broadening our pupils’ experiences. We pride ourselves on knowing each child personally, thereby enabling us to monitor carefully the all-round development of each child during his or her time with us.

      Indeed, we want all pupils to look back on their time at this school as the happiest time of their lives; this is what we strive for day in and day out. Our success is also built on the excellent partnerships developed with parents and carers, through which we can promote the kind of education that enables our pupils to prosper and receive the very best educational opportunities.

      Sixth Form

      Life in the Sixth Form is exciting and vibrant with a real sense of purpose. Students are encouraged to study a combination of courses that are most suited to their interests, particular skill set and future career and life ambitions. Students are encouraged to 'think big'  and 'aim high'. We want every student to at least fulfil, if not exceed, his or her academic potential, and there is a real drive towards achieving academic success.

      However, life in the Sixth Form at Saint Cecilia's offers much more than that. It is our desire for students to achieve their academic potential, but equally we want students to leave here having successfully managed the transition from child to adult, and to have developed the skills, abilities, confidence and character to lead fulfilled and happy adult lives and make a valuable contribution to the society in which they live.