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Music A Level at The Thomas Hardye School

Course description

Music students will study performance, composition, theory & harmony, and discover a wide range of music from across the globe. The balance between academic and practical study is fundamental to the course. Students will be able to develop their creativity through study of a range of composers across a wide variety of genres, implementing the theories and methods learnt in their own compositions. Students will have the opportunity to perform in a wide range of venues, as well as taking lead roles in school ensembles.

Course content


Students will begin their free composition, studying techniques and spending time analysing examplar student work. They will also be studying the methodology of Bach’s Chorales, and work towards ABRSM Grade 6 theory to support their composition. Students will study works by J S Bach, Mozart, Danny Elfman, Stravinsky, Saariaho and others. They will be learning about their musical contexts and language and learn to make critical judgements about the music. Students will perform recitals in Stratton and Dorchester.


Students will study pieces by Vaughan Williams, Bernard Hermann, The Beatles, Courtney Pine, Kate Bush and others. They will continue to develop their evaluative and comparative skills. The second composition, based on Bach’s Chorales, will be completed and students will work towards ABRSM Grade 7 theory. Students will perform their final recital in the Dorset Corn Exchange.


There is one exam which is 2 hours long worth 40%. The examination includes listening questions, dictation, and two essay questions. The coursework consists of a recital of at least 8 minutes and two compositions with a combined length of at least 6 minutes. The coursework is worth 60%.

Future opportunities

Music A-level is recognised and highly respected by all universities for degrees in all subjects due to the wide range of transferable skills learnt through studying music. A level music provides students with full preparation for any music or music-related degree course. Music specific careers include: solo performer, orchestral musician, composer, arts management, teacher, radio or TV presenter or broadcaster, music publisher

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact The Thomas Hardye School directly.

Last updated date: 06 December 2017
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