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Music A Level at Aquinas College

Course description

Music A Level supports students in forming personal and meaningful relationships with music through the development of musical knowledge, understanding and skills including performing, composing and appraising. Students are encouraged to engage critically and creatively with a wide range of music and musical contexts. This qualification also allows students to develop particular strengths and interests and inspires students to look at music holistically.

Course content

A Level Music is assessed in three units:

Performing 30%

Students perform a recital of 10 minutes on an instrument or voice in any style they choose.

Composing 30%

Students compose one piece of music of their own design or to a given brief. The composition should last a minimum of 4 ½ minutes but can be in any style and for any instrument/ensemble. This is accompanied by a harmony assessment in which students learn to harmonise melodies in the style of Bach: the building bricks of modern music and an essential skill to facilitate further study of Music.

Appraising 40%

Students develop their listening and appraising skills through the study of music across a diverse range of styles and genres. Students analyse and evaluate music in aural and written form and develop the specific musical vocabulary associated with a particular style or genre. The areas of study are Vocal Music; Instrumental Music; Music for Film; Popular Music and Jazz; Fusions and New Directions.

Entry requirements

Grade 4 in both GCSE English Language and Maths + 4 grade Cs in other subjects (which could include English Literature grade 4) 

Future opportunities

Music at Aquinas has a long tradition of a large percentage of students studying music in Higher Education. We currently have students studying at the most prestigious institutions in the UK including Guildhall School of Music and Drama; Royal Northern College of Music; Leeds College of Music; Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts; Universities of Manchester; Bath; Birmingham; Surrey and Newcastle.  Students are encouraged to forge their own interests and are supported in their decisions post-Aquinas in whichever field they choose. Music A Level not only supports the study of music on practical and academic Music courses but is also a very well respected academic A level supporting applications for all manner of courses in Higher Education. Past students have moved into varied music careers including professional musician (performing classical and popular music); composer (specialising in opera); composer for computer games; travelling workshop provider (steel drum); music therapy; sound engineer; teaching; conducting.

Further information

We have close links with the Royal Northern College of Music and regularly attend concerts. Recent trips have included Media City to watch BBC Philharmonic and take part in Q&A sessions with the conductor and performers;  the Beatles Experience in Liverpool; Halle St Peters to play the Halle Gamelan; Bridgewater Hall to watch Halle concerts. Aquinas College Music Department hosts masterclasses from visiting virtuosi and open rehearsals from professional performers.

We offer a wide range of peripatetic instrumental lessons from highly experienced and qualified staff and students have the opportunity to be involved in extra-curricular groups and activities.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Aquinas College directly.

Last updated date: 22 September 2017
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