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Music - AQA A Level at Countesthorpe Leysland Community College

Course description

Head of Department: Mrs. T. Brown   Department Information

​The music department is located in a purpose built block. There are two large teaching rooms, 6 individual practice rooms and a recording studio. A further teaching room is located in the nearby history block, housing 14 PCs and 10 iMac computers. These run specialist music software (i.e. Sibelius and Logic Pro). Students have ample opportunities to learn about music technology as well as more traditional elements of the subject. The department runs a number of thriving extra curricular ensembles and puts on regular concerts.


Why study this course?

A level music provides a natural progression from GCSE music and allows students with an interest and ability in all kinds of music to further explore all aspects of the subject. It is a challenging course, but also highly enjoyable and rewarding.


Aims of the course

The course aims to broaden students' musical understanding and appreciation across the areas of performing, composing, listening and appraising; allowing them to build upon their existing skills whilst also developing them further.

Course content

Course outline

Unit 1: Appraising


Written paper 2 hour 30 minutes


Section A contains structured listening questions using a CD of musical excerpts. Section B requires candidates to analyse set pieces from three different strands: The baroque concerto, The operas of Mozart and the piano music of Chopin, Brahms and Grieg. Finally section C requires an essay showing contextual understanding of music from a two further areas of study (Jazz and Musical Theatre).


Unit 2: Performing


Externally assessed


Candidates will offer two (or more) contrasting pieces to form a short programme (10 minutes) for either solo acoustic performance and/or performance via music technology. The expected standard is equivalent to grade 7.




Unit 3: Composing


Externally assessed coursework completed in controlled time.


Candidates create two pieces of music, lasting four and half minutes in total. One piece is composed in response to an externally set brief. The second piece is a free choice of compositon.

Entry requirements

It is not compulsory to have taken GCSE Music to undertake these courses.  However, a grade 5 in theory or above would be desirable. Proficiency on an instrument (or voice) is essential for Music A Level and desirable for Music Technology.  Grade 5 theory is desirable for Music A Level, but not for Music Technology.  GCSE music is not a requirement for either course.


How am I assessed?

​All units are assessed externally.


Performances are recorded at school on a given date in Year 13.


Compositions are undertaken as controlled assessment during lesson time.


Listening and Apprasing is assessed by a written and listening examination.

Future opportunities

Where does this course lead?

​Students who study music at A level often go on to study a variety of courses at undergraduate level. The music course provides a challenging opportunity for students to develop a range of skills from performing and composing, to listening and analysis, which are combined with a wider range of transferrable skills that enable them to succeed after they have completed their formal studies. It

Further information

Students will be encouraged to take part in the many musical events that the Music department runs, take opportunities to perform elsewhere as well as participating in the College‘s individual instrumental tuition programme. First study instrumental/vocal lessons are free for those studying Music A Level. Membership of College Ensembles, (i.e. Jazz Band, Orchestra and Choirs) is compulsory for all students studying post 16 courses in Music.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 04 October 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 year