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A Level Music at Ousedale School

Course description

The A level music syllabus provides opportunity for students to:

  •  Study and practise critical listening skills.
  •  Develop an understanding of compositional techniques and creative music writing.
  •  Achieve confident, advanced performance skills.
  •  Acquire skills of study and research through written and listening papers.
  •  Develop a lifelong interest and enjoyment in listening to, and music making.

Course content

In the first year (AS) you’ll cover three study topics: ‘Influences on music’ (the written part), ‘Creating musical ideas’ (the composing part), and ‘Interpreting musical ideas’ (the performance part). You will study a Haydn Symphony for ‘The Western Classical Tradition’ unit, and also, in contrast, a collection of pieces from ‘British Popular Music or ‘The Musical from 1940 to 1980’. You’ll also study how to harmonise a melody and develop your melodic writing skills. Finally you will develop your solo and ensemble skills.

The second year follows the same format. The written part continues with ‘The Western Classical tradition’ and you will study the development of The Musical. The coursework focuses on ‘Developing musical ideas’ and covers compositional techniques in more detail including writing of Bach Chorale and String Quartet techniques. The final unit of the course culminates in a 15 minute solo performance on your chosen instrument or voice.

Students will need to be organised, able to meet deadlines and have an excellent attendance record. Desirable skills include being an analytical listener, confident performer and good essay writing skills.

Entry requirements

5 x A* - C at GCSE level Minimum Grade B in Music GCSE Grade 5 ABRSM or equivalent Commitment to School Ensemble making


Unit 1: 30% of AS Level (Exam) 15% of A2 Level
Unit 2: 30% of AS Level (Coursework) 15% of A Level
Unit 3: 40% of AS level (Exam) 20% of A Level
Unit 4: 20% of A Level (Exam)
Unit 5: 15% of A Level (Coursework)
Unit 6: 15% of A Level

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 06 May 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 Years