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Music at Outwood Grange Academy

Course description

A Level Music continues from the work you have completed in GCSE Music. You will be assessed in Performing, Composing and Appraising. This course enables you to specialise in Performance or Composition and the choice of studying either Rock and Pop, Jazz or Musical Theatre for Appraisal exam.

The UK music industry helps drive economic growth by creating jobs and opportunities for young people. The 2017 UK music survey ‘Measuring Music’ identified that the music industry supported more than 142,208 full-time jobs in the UK, of which 89,800 are singers, musicians and composers/songwriters. The music industry contributed £4.4 billion to the UK economy, which is an increase from the previous year of 6 per cent.

Course content

What will I learn at A Level?

Performance: You will continue your performance studies in an instrument of your choice or singing. The expected standard for A level is Grade 6 and must include a range of styles appropriate for your instrument including pop and rock.

Composition: You will learn to compose using traditional and modern methods and must create at least two pieces of original music. One of these will be written to a selection of briefs which are released by the exam board in the September of Year 13.

Appraising: All students must study the development of the Symphony and music from the 20th Century. There are only 3 set works that have to be covered in depth. You then have a choice of another unit which means you can specialise in Pop and Rock, Jazz or Musical Theatre. Musical language is key to success in this exam and you will be confident in describing the elements of music in relation to the music on the exam.

Entry requirements

You should have studied GCSE Music and achieved a Level 6 or above. You should be a dedicated performer and/or composer working at roughly Grade 4 standard on your instrument. If you are not sure what standard you are, please speak to your music teacher for advice.


How will I be assessed at A Level?

You can opt for the Performance (Option A) or Composition pathway (Option B). All coursework is externally assessed and performance exams are conducted by a visiting examiner.

Option A

Performance – 10 to 12 minutes – 35% of the qualification

Composition – 4 to 6 minute – 25% of the qualification

Option B

Performance – 6 to 8 minutes – 25% of the qualification

Composition – 8 to 10 minute – 35% of the qualification

The Appraising exam is 2 hours and 15 minutes and consists of different style questions, from multiple choice to short and extended writing tasks. There is one essay and students will also be tested on their dictation and aural awareness.

The requirements of the qualification will mean that students develop the transferable and higher-order skills that are highly regarded by higher education and employers. For example, creativity, communication skills, team working, and an opportunity to focus on their personal vocal/instrumental technique. This qualification has a strong focus on performance and creativity, these are key skills for progression to higher education.


Future opportunities

Of the 142,208 jobs in the music industry, there are a wide range of different roles that you can undertake. Just a small selection of careers include:

  • Performer
  • Musical Director
  • Music Therapist
  • Film Music Composer
  • Creating Jingles
  • Teacher/Lecturer/Professor
  • Instrumental Tutor
  • Songwriter
  • Session Musician
  • Video Game Composer
  • Sound Designer
  • Musicologist
  • Music Librarian
  • Ethnomusicologist
  • Instrument Technician

Further information

What skills will I develop?

Creativity, adaptability, communication, literacy, characterisation, performance skills, academic writing, confidence, choreography, practitioner approaches and technique.

How to apply

You can apply for this course through UCAS Progress. Add this course to your favourites so you can start making an application.

Last updated date: 25 October 2018
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 Years
  • Number of planned places: 30