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Music - A Level at Canon Slade CofE School

Course description

What does the course aim to do?

The syllabus is designed to provide a balanced course in music which at the same time gives scope for the development of individual interests and aptitudes. The means of study can include music technology wherever its use is appropriate. During the course candidates will be encouraged to:

a. study and practise critical listening and performance;

b. develop understanding of compositional skills and written techniques;

c. acquire the skills of study and research, through an investigation of selected topics and works;

d. develop lifelong interest and enjoyment in listening to and making music.

How will I study?

With a firm foundation of basic knowledge you will be expected to practice new techniques in harmony, analysis, essay structure, composition technique and performance.  

Course content

Component 1 – Appraising Music

Component 2 – Performance

Component 3 - Composition

Entry requirements

Grade 5 in English and Mathematics plus 3 A*-C grades at GCSE with a points score of 5.5+ (which equals roughly 4xB/6 and 4xC/5), from the top 8 GCSEs taken in the first sitting.

Additional Subject requirements are as follows:

Grade C in GCSE Music


By the examination board at the end of Year 13.

Component 1 – Appraising Music – 40% of A level – 2 hours 30 minutes

Music that will be appraised in detail will include music such as Mozart Operas and Chopin piano works. Music for Media through film composers such as John Williams and Hans Zimmer and Popular Music through composers such as Stevie Wonder, Muse and Daft Punk will also be studied.

Component 2 – Performance – 35% of A level – 15 minute recital.

Component 3 – Composition – 25% of A level – Free Composition + Composition to a brief.

Future opportunities

Music can be studied as an academic and/or a practical discipline at degree and diploma level in higher education, leading to administration, teaching, recording, librarianship. For the very gifted the specialist musical colleges have highly competitive entry.

Further information

Am I suited to this subject?

You should be able to demonstrate a keen interest in developing your powers of analysis in all components of this course, with particular attention to wide listening and reading. Participation in school or other musical groups will be evidence of your enthusiasm. You will be required to use Sibelius software to complete composition course.

What will I need to do myself?

Homework is set weekly. Altogether at least five hours per week of listening, reading and composing are required. You will also be required to attend weekly ensemble rehearsals and concerts where appropriate.

Why should I come to Canon Slade to study Music?

Canon Slade Music Department offers specialised staff in historical analysis, composition, instrumental and vocal studies and music technology. There is a purpose-built recording studio and two computer/keyboard laboratories. The Music Department currently employ 12 peripatetic teachers who give free instrumental tuition to those studying GCSE and A level music. We also offer over ten extra-curricular ensembles including orchestra, stage band, concert band, chapel choir, lads’ vocal group, senior brass ensemble and percussion ensemble. Musicians are used to forming the pit orchestra for school productions. Our most notable recent productions being Our House and Bugsy Malone.

Additional information from Mr A.Pettitt.  

To find out more about this qualification, contact us, ask your Connexions Personal Adviser or school/college careers staff.

For more information about this course contact us directly on 01204 333343

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: 01 November 2016
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