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Music A Level (AQA) at Brigshaw High School and Language College

Course description

You will build upon your Knowledge gained from GCSE through a mainly practical approach. You will work on solo and ensemble performances as well as develop your composing skills and you will expand your analytical skills by listening to and appraising music.


How will I learn?

·         By performing in an ensemble

·         By performing as a soloist

·         By listening to and analysing a variety of set works and other examples of music.

·         By improvising and developing your own musical ideas.


The end result will be 1 A level if continuing into Yr13 or 1 AS level if finishing at the end of Yr12.

Course content

Component One – Appraising Music

What's assessed

·         Listening

·         Analysis

·         Contextual understanding

How it's assessed

·         Exam paper with listening and written questions using excerpts of music.


·         Section A: Listening (56 marks)

·         Section B: Analysis (34 marks)

·         Section C: Essay (30 marks)

This component is 40% of A-level marks



















Component 2: Performance

Component Two – Performing Music

What's assessed

Music performance

How it's assessed

Solo and/or ensemble performing as an instrumentalist, or vocalist and/or music production (via technology).


A minimum of ten minutes of performance in total is required (no more than twelve minutes).

This component is 35% of A-level marks (50 marks in total).

This component will be externally marked by AQA examiners. Work must be completed between 1 March and 31 May and sent by post/uploaded to AQA.

Component 3: Composition

Component Three – Composing Music

What's assessed


How it's assessed

·         Composition 1: Composition to a brief (25 marks)

·         Composition 2: Free composition (25 marks)


A minimum of four and a half minutes of music in total is required (no more than six minutes).

This component is worth 25% of A-level marks (50 marks in total).

This component will be externally marked by AQA examiners. Work must be completed by 31 May and sent by post/uploaded to AQA.


Entry requirements

In order to make the most of the course it would be helpful if you have a Grade C or above GCSE Music and Grade C or above at GCSE English. Other performance qualifications from other organisations e.g. a Rockschool Exam or Associated Board exam at around Grade 5 or above are desirable but not essential.


It is key that you must be prepared to undertake at least five hours practise per week if you are an instrumentalist / singer. If you don’t take up opportunities by playing or singing in other musical groups you will not maximise your potential.


  • ·         Component 1 – Appraising music (AS and A-level 40%)

    AS two hour paper 96 marks

    A-level two and a half hour paper 120 marks

    Externally marked.

    ·         Component 2 – Performance  (AS 30% and  A-level 35%) -  50 marks

    Externally assessed

    AS: perform a minimum of six and maximum of eight minutes.

    A-level: perform a minimum of 10 and maximum of 12 minutes.

    ·         Component 3 – Composition  (AS 30%  and A-level 25%)  - 50 marks.

    Students must compose two pieces: Composition 1 – composition to a brief

    ·         Composition 2 – free composition.

    ·         AS and A-level both have a combined composition time of four and a half minutes.

Future opportunities

Teaching Music- privately / in school. Performer. Recording Industry. Music Retail. Concert Promoter. Artist Manager. Composer. Song-writer. Musical Director. Music Therapy. Primary School Teacher (primary schools love teachers that are musical). Vital for anyone wanting to study music at university.

Further information

For more information contact Mrs Walker or Mr Truscott

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: 11 November 2015
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Key information

  • Start date: Next September
  • Duration: 2 years