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Music A Level at Sir John Lawes School

Course description

In A level music you will further your understanding of musical styles and develop your skills in Composition and Performance. The study of set works looks at music in its context and compares and contrasts the development of musical styles over time - from Western Classical Traditions to modern pop, including music from different countries and cultures around the world.

Creative and expressive, yet academic and analytical, A level music will challenge you, inspire you, and hopefully make you think a little differently about music and its relationship to our world. It is an opportunity to embrace and express your creative passions but also critically evaluate a range of musical styles, developing your skills in literary analysis.

As an A level musician you may take on responsibilities within the musical community such as leading ensembles or running extra-curricular groups. A level music places a great emphasis on independent learning, preparing you well for university life. It is highly regarded as an academic subject by Oxbridge and other top universities. Students that have studied Music A level go on to read a variety of subjects at degree level including Law, English, Economics, Psychology and Sciences.

Course content

You will gain more experience of practical music making, including composition and both solo and group performance. You will also have the opportunity to study a wide range of music including Music for Film, Popular Music and Jazz, Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, Musical Fusions and New Directions in Music. 

Entry requirements

You would be expected to have achieved a good pass, (B or above) in GCSE Music and be Grade 5 level on your instrument or voice. We would consider students that haven’t studied GCSE Music if they have passed or are working towards Grade 5 Theory. If you have not taken GCSE Music but are interested in pursuing A level Music please come and have a discussion with the Music Faculty. All students must have an APS of 4.5 or above.


Unit 1: Performing Music

Perform either as a soloist or as part of an ensemble for a mini-recital lasting 8 minutes.

Externally assessed.                                                                                                        

30% of the A level course.

Unit 2: Composing

Compose 2 pieces of music: one free composition of any genre, and one following a set brief.

Externally assessed.

30% of the A level course

Unit 3: Musical Appraising

This unit explores a range of musical styles and traditions. Through studying 18 set works from six areas of study: Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, Music for Film, Popular Music and Jazz, Fusions and New Directions. The unit is assessed by a 2 hour written paper.

Externally assessed.

40% of the A level course

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Sir John Lawes School directly.

Last updated date: 06 January 2017
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