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Music A Level at Tytherington School

Course description

The AQA specification in Music provides a balanced course which gives scope for the development of individual interests and attitudes. It seeks to build on the skills learned at GCSE and develop new ones through performance, composition, listening, analysis and history. It is flexible in terms of the style of music in which you can compose and perform and in what you pursue for the independent study.

Teaching and learning operate in a variety of styles. Some parts of the course are teacherled in a formal way whereas others require candidates to research and compose independently whilst the teacher acts as mentor to guide the work. There is a good balance between academic and creative inputs.

Course content

The AS course comprises three main areas:
1) Influences on Music (30% of AS and 15% of A2 level)

Students focus on two areas of study. Students have to study The Western Classical tradition and then one of the following: Choral Music in the Baroque Period, Music Theatre or British Popular Music from 1960. Students answer two essay questions on these areas of study.

2) Composing: Creating Musical Ideas (30% of AS and 15% of A2 level)
Students have the choice of creating a free composition from a given brief, studying compositional techniques or arranging a piece that is already written.

3) Performing: Interpreting Musical Ideas (40% of AS and 20% of A2 level)
Students are required to submit two performances, which may be solo, ensemble and/or technology based. Each performance may be one longer piece or several shorter ones.

Entry requirements

Students need to have achieved at least grade B in GCSE Music and to be working at a grade 5 standard on instrument/voice. They also need to be attending regular instrumental lessons.


All candidates will do the AS qualification in Year 1 and take examinations at the end of this period, gaining the AS qualification at this time. The marks from AS are carried into Year 2 for the full qualification and written examinations are again taken at the end of this period. Compositions, performance, and independent study reports are recorded and marked internally, then sent away for moderation.

The set works are examined by a written paper and a listening paper covering history and analysis, and are taken in the summer term.

Coursework portfolio: 60 hours (controlled)
Unit 1 Listening Exam – 1 hour 45 minutes
Unit 2 Composition – 20 hours controlled assessment (marked externally)
Unit 3 Performing – Solo and Ensemble performances (internally marked) assessment (marked externally)

Future opportunities

Music will provide you with the ability to critically analyse work and relate it to a context. It will also equip you with the confidence to perform in front of others and allow for creativity within the composing area of the course.
Potential careers include:
Working in the recording industry
Arts Administration

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 29 June 2015

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