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Music A Level at Caldew School

Course description

The Edexcel A Level Music course will enable the students to:

  • Develop their performance skills
  • Extend their appreciation and understanding of a wide variety of music
  • Further their creative development through composition

Course content

Component 1: Performing 30% Content summary: This unit gives students the opportunities to perform as soloists and/or as part of an ensemble. Students can choose music in any style. Any instrument(s) and/or voice(s) are acceptable as part of an eight minute assessed performance. Notated and/or improvised performances may be submitted.

Component 2: Composing 30%. Content summary: This unit encourages students to develop their composition skills leading to the creation of two compositions. One composition must be either based on a list of briefs related to the 6 areas of study or a free composition, enabling students to develop their own ideas outside of a set brief. This composition must be at least 4 minutes in duration. The second composition must be from a list of briefs assessing compositional technique. This composition must be at least 1 minute in duration. Total time across both submissions must be a minimum of 6 minutes.

Component 3: Appraising 40%. Content summary: The purpose of this component is for students to develop their listening and appraising skills through the study of music across a variety of styles and genres. The content is grouped into six areas of study, each of which contains three set works.This component gives students the opportunity to reflect on, analyse and evaluate music in aural and/or written form.

Entry requirements

B or above in GCSE Music. 5 A*-C grades including English and Maths. Grade 5 Theory is preferred. Grade 5 or equivalent instrumental/vocal skills is preferred.


Component 1: Recorded and then externally assessed.

Component 2: Recorded and then externally assessed.

Component 3: This exam paper comprises of two sections

  • Section A - Areas of study and dictation.
  • Section B - Extended response: Essay one asks students to draw links from their study of the set works to the music heard as an unfamiliar extract. Essay two gives a choice of three questions that ask students to evaluate the musical elements, context and language of one set work. Each option will be from a different area of study.
  • Assessment: One written paper of 2 hours.

Future opportunities

A Level music will enable students to access to higher education in Music and Performing Arts. There are excellent opportunities for a wide selection of University courses and employment. Jobs directly related to this qualification include: Musician - Professional Performer or Composer, Sound Technician, Broadcasting/Film/Video, Music Therapist, Private Music Teacher, Secondary School Music Teacher. Jobs where your degree would be useful include: Arts Administrator, Broadcast Engineer, Community Arts Worker, Event Organiser, Radio Broadcast Assistant, Radio Producer, Theatre stage manager.

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 09 September 2016
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Key information

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