Accessibility links

Music - A Level at Kings Norton Girls' School & Sixth Form

Course description

The A Level in Music is 100% externally assessed, and consists of one written paper and two non-examined assessment components. The course covers a wide variety of musical styles ranging from Baroque, Classical, Romantic and 20th century music, to World Music, The Beatles and David Bowie.

Course content

Component 1: Performing 30% of the A Level qualification.

Assessment overview

  • A public performance of one or more pieces, performed as a recital.

  • Performance can be playing or singing solo, in an ensemble, improvising, or realising music using music technology.

  • The total performance time across all pieces must be a minimum of 8 minutes.

  • Performances must be recorded after 1 March in the second year of the course.



Component 2: Composing 30% of the A Level qualification.

Assessment overview

  • Total of two compositions, one to a brief set by the exam board, and one either free composition or also to a brief.

  • One composition must be from either a list of briefs related to the areas of study, or a free composition, carrying 40 marks for this component. This composition must be at least 4 minutes in duration.

  • One composition must be from a list of briefs assessing compositional technique, carrying 20 marks for this component. This composition must be at least 1 minute in duration, unless the brief specifies a longer minimum duration.

  • Total time across both submissions must be a minimum of 6 minutes.



Component 3: Appraising 40% of the A Level qualification.

Content overview

  • Knowledge and understanding of musical elements, contexts and language.

  • Application of knowledge through the context of six areas of study, each with three set works.

    • Vocal Music,

    • Instrumental Music,

    • Music for Film,

    • Popular Music and Jazz,

    • Fusions,

    • New Directions.

Students will also have to apply their knowledge to unfamiliar works of music; not just the set works.

Entry requirements

GCSE Music grade 6 or equivalent. Practical Music to grade 5.


Exam Board: Edexcel

Future opportunities


Studying music at A Level can open a wide variety of doors to students. They may choose to continue on to degree level with their music education, and nowadays there are a lot of options to choose from. These range from music technology, music therapy, arts administration, performance or academic study. Many students who take A Level Music also use the transferable skills learned to study longer degree courses like medicine whilst choosing to continue developing their passion for music at university by joining a musical society.

Further information

Come to one of our Sixth Form Open Events to experience our vibrant and thriving community first hand:

Open Evening - Monday 18th September, 2017 from 5pm - 8pm

Open Morning - Tuesday 19th September, 2017 from 9am - 11am

Meet the Sixth Form and Careers Fair - Wednesday 15th November, 2017 from 3.30pm - 5.30pm

A copy of our application form and prospectus can be downloaded from or by contacting Zoe Nelmes, Sixth Form Administrator –


How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Kings Norton Girls' School & Sixth Form directly.

Last updated date: 04 August 2017
Provider logo

Key information