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A-Level (AS/A2) in Music at Archbishop Holgate's School

Course description

This subject is suitable for experienced performers who have a high level of musical theory knowledge. This course will allow you to develop your knowledge and understanding of many different styles of music, through in-depth study and analysis.

Performance, composition and analysis are of the highest importance. It is expected you will already have a high level of music theory knowledge, be able to read staff notation fluently and have experience both studying and performing music. You will be required to complete an audition and an advanced theory test prior to enrolment.

GCSE music is not required for this course, but you will need a solid grounding in music theory and performance (AS music requires grade 5 standard and above).

Course content

Within the performance module you will develop your instrumental technique and the ability to interpret the performance details of your chosen pieces.

During composition, listening and analysis sessions, you will develop aural perception and stylistic awareness skills, as well as an understanding of the different elements of music e.g. structure, instrumentation, harmony, rhythm, melody, etc.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for Sixth Form are 5 A*- C at GCSE, including English and Mathematics, although certain courses will have specific requirements.


You will undertake an assessed performance every half term, culminating in a five to six minute continuous recital at the end of the year. Composition is assessed during a 15 hour exam where you will create three minutes of music in response to a given brief.

You will also sit a written exam, with a listening element, at the end of the year where you will answer questions on the following; features of the set works you have studied, analysis of a short harmonic progression, and you will be expected to harmonise a short melody in SATB format.

Financial information

Over the duration of this course students may be required to attend visits to further their learning. If there are any cost implications student will be notified in advance and financial support may be offered to students who would have difficulty funding such visits.

Future opportunities

The course would be ideal preparation for a classical music degree either at university or at a specialist music school such as the RNCM. Career options in music include performer, composer, musical director, teacher and music critic.

Further information

You will also be encouraged to take part in subject-related enrichment activities such as recording workshops, ensemble performances, concert trips, guest speakers from the music industry and school productions. Additionally, you will have the opportunity to attend theatre visits, professional workshops and trips throughout the year.

To find out more about this qualification contact us on 01904 411341 or email (sixthform@, your school/college careers staff or get further information and advice from

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Archbishop Holgate's School directly.

Last updated date: 02 July 2014
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