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Music A Level at Dunraven School

Course description

Music A Level is a stimulating and enriching course.
In the new Edexcel qualification, students study all three main musical disciplines of performance, composition and appraisal. Students work individually, in pairs and as part of a group, analysing music, studying music history, exploring concepts over time and composing and performing.
Students will be encouraged to engage critically and creatively with a wide range of music and musical contexts, develop an understanding of the place of music in different cultures and contexts, and reflect on how music is used in the expression of personal and collective identities.
Students have full access to Music ICT resources and support throughout the course.
Final composition submissions will be written and presented using Sibelius score writing software. Attending external performances is an essential part of the course and students are expected to attend a variety of concerts, workshops and seminars across London throughout the two years.

Course content

Component 1: Performing 30%
A public performance or one or more pieces, performed as a recital.
Total performance time of 8 minutes (recorded after 1 March in year 13)
Component 2: Composing 30%
Two compositions, one to a brief set by the board and one either free composition or also to a brief. Total time - minimum of 6 minutes
Component 3: Appraising 40%
One written paper of 2 hours, with a total of 100 marks.
Section A: Three sections related to total of 18 set works studied over the course (Twelve in year 12 and six in year 13); One short melody/rhythm completion exercise
Section B: Two essay questions relating to set works studied.
As above - 100% Externally assessed in year 13.

Entry requirements

Grade A or Grade 8 above in GCSE Music, Grade 5 and above


Unit 1 Recital 5-6 minutes
Unit 2 Vocal or Instrumental composition and sleeve notes. 60 marks
Unit 3 2 hours listening paper at end of year.

Future opportunities

A Level Music is an academically rigorous and creative course which is well regarded by higher education institutions. Students develop performance skills as well as advanced skills in musical analysis and composition. This course would be suitable for any students wishing to pursue a course in Music at University and as a traditionally highly specialist subject Music A level would be a strength on any students UCAS application form going through the process of University application.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Dunraven School directly.

Last updated date: 03 October 2017
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 1-2 years