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Music - A Level at Heckmondwike Grammar School

Course description

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Course content

Year 12


You will develop as a performer during the year, building on initial performances to learn about repertoire and practice techniques.


By studying and applying various compositional techniques you will prepare for your free composition.

A variety of styles will be studied, from traditional to pop and film scores to contemporary music.


The first part of the year is about building your study skills by undertaking work on a wide variety of music. You will increase your aural awareness and understanding of scores, notation and occasion. The first set works will be studied, including the Beatles, Berlioz and three film scores from Batman, The Duchess and Psycho.


You will prepare for your recital performance during the year which you can undertake as many times as you wish after March 1st.
You will complete your free composition (any style) before studying the techniques composition paper. For this you will complete either a chorale, counterpoint, arrangement or a remix.
The remaining set works will be studied, including jazz, instrumental, vocal music, pop, fusions and contemporary music.


Entry requirements

Minimum requirements for admission to the Sixth Form:

A grade 5 in mathematics, with a 6 preferred.
A grade 5 in English language or English literature, with a 6 preferred.
Achieving at least 3 other GCSEs at grade 6 or above.

Subject specific requirement

  • Grade 6 in Music or Grade 5 Voice or Instrument and Grade 5 Theory



Component 1: Performing

Recital Performance of 8 minutes - solo &/or ensemble.

60 marks (30% of total A-level)

Component 2: Composing

Two compositions, one to a set brief and one free composition. Total of 6 minutes combined.

60 marks (30% of total A-level)

Component 3: Appraising

2h written examination on knowledge and understanding of musical elements, contexts and language. Application of knowledge through the context of six areas of study, each with three set works.

100 marks (40% of total A-level)

Extended Learning

Concert visits for wider listenting.  Numerous performance opportunies both in and out of school.


Future opportunities

Career Opportunities

Ideal preparation for a University Degree, including all Music courses, Performer or Composer (pop, classical, jazz, theatre, etc.), TV/Radio industry, Teaching, (primary & secondary), Military Bandsman (RAF, Marines etc.), Recording & Audio Engineer, Computer Games Industry, Event Management, Arts Administration, Music Therapist, Instrument Manufacture, Journalism, Publishing and Editing.


Further information

Special Features

We have an impressive array of equipment including multiple workstations operating Sibelius and Cubase, plus a large range of instruments, including 3 acoustic pianos and 5 Clavinova-style pianos. The department employs 2 full-time music teachers and 6 visiting peripatetic staff who have complementing skills covering all disciplines of music. The department has a large teaching room, a music computer lab, a fully equipped digital recording studio and 5 practice rooms, with use of a drama studio for large ensemble rehearsals.

Exam Board: Edexcel

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 08 October 2018
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 52 Weeks

Contact details