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Music AS/A-Level at Rickmansworth School

Course description

The Music syllabus is designed to build on the key skills learnt through GCSE Music, to produce well-rounded musicians. Students develop the ability to contextualize key musical processes in their historical setting, and draw comparisons and conclusions across time.

Course content

The syllabus is divided into three components during both years. The EDEXCEL syllabus is ideally suited to the majority of young musicians as 30% of the grading is awarded for performance, of which students can select all of the music they are to perform themselves. The composition units balance individual stimulus and creativity with a strong understanding of the foundations of compositional process through harmonic analysis. The listening exam each year places higher priority on developing analytical skills, listening skills and applying knowledge than learning extensive musical fact about a few pieces of music. All groups are taught by the Head of Department plus one other member of staf

All students are expected to take further private tuition on their selected instrument(s) for recital. These lessons can all be taken with the schools visiting peripatetic staff, and are timetabled to make effective use of students study periods. The school provides financial subsidy to all A Level Music students to have a 30 minute instrumental lesson each week of the school year.

The course content covers 6 Areas of Study, including:

  • Vocal Music
  • Instrumental music
  • Music for Film
  • Popular Music and Jazz
  • Fusions
  • New Directions

Entry requirements

B Grade in Music

Grade 6 standard to achieve full marks in Performing


COMPONENT 1 - PERFORMING Non-examined assessment: 30% of A Level mark externally assessed. 60 marks

COMPONENT 2 - COMPOSING Non-examined assessment: 30% of A Level mark externally assessed. 60 marks

COMPONENT 3 - APPRAISING Written examination 40% of A Level mark 100 marks

Future opportunities

Music at A Level develops well-rounded students, not just musicians. The course is ideally suited to preparing students for musical study at both university and as a performance specialist at a Music Conservatoire. It provides a strong foundation for a wide number of careers within the music industry, including Sound Engineers, Arts Management, PR and Publishing. This mix of skills and dedication, make Music a highly valued subject by universities.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 21 September 2016
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Key information

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