Accessibility links

Music A Level at Burlington Danes Academy

Course description

Unit 1- Performing Music

Unit 2- Composing

Unit 3- Appraising

Course content

Unit 1: Performing Music

An 8 minute performance, consisting of one or more pieces of your choice. Any instrument or voice can be used, you may perform as a soloist or as part of an ensemble. 

Unit 2: Composing

You will have to create two pieces of music, of a combined duration of at least 6 minutes.

1. Free composition or based around an area of study. This composition must be 4 minutes in duration.

2. One composition must be from a list of four briefs assessing technique. This must be at least 1 minute in duration. 

Unit 3: Developing Musical Understanding

Two hour exam paper relating to the areas of study and the set pieces of music analysed throughout the year. Vocal Music, Instrumental music, Music for Film and Popular music is studied in Year 12. Two sections:

a) 50 marks – Four question based on the set works.

b) 50 marks – one essay question

Entry requirements

·At least 6 A*-B grades at GCSE including English and Maths (grades 5 and above).

· Students on this pathway will take 3 A' levels, studying linear courses for 2 years.

· Students need to achieve at least a B at GCSE in their chosen A' Level subjects, or closely related subjects (e.g. English and Science grades are used for Psychology entry. See subject-specific entry requirements)

 · Minimum of 4 B grades required not including BTEC or vocational equivalents

Key skills required to complete this course

For the A level Course students will develop performance skills (solo and/or ensemble), compose music and learn about harmonic and melodic techniques. In addition students learn about the most important features of classical, Popular, Jazz and Fusion. 


Unit 1 = 30%

Unit 2 = 30%

Unit 3 = 40%

Controlled Assessment Year 12

Final exams taken in Year 13 

Future opportunities

A Level music is taken in combination with a wide range of other A level subjects. It is a pre-requisite for degrees in Music offered at both Universities and Conservatoires. Russell Group Universities consider the A Level highly when considering applicants to a range of courses. You can prepare for external music auditions as part of your A level course and there are a wide range of extra-curricular activities within the school in which to participate. This course could lead towards careers such as music therapy, arts performance and management, musician, session player, song-writing, or support applications to other courses.

Further information

Key tips for success

Practice your instrument- performance counts for 30% of the course, so independent work is key

Listen to the set works using Show My Homework in addition to other pieces- this is traditionally where most students lose marks.

Use your study periods to work on your compositions and get additional support.

There is not enough curriculum time for your compositions and performances to be worked on in class.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Burlington Danes Academy directly.

Last updated date: 02 December 2016
Provider logo

Key information