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Music A Level at Congleton High School

Course description

If you have an enthusiasm for musical performance and would like the opportunity to create and develop original music, then this course is for you. The subject has particular appeal to those students who enjoy all three aspects of music from Listening and Appraising to Performance and Composition. The course also has an appealing and balanced academic content. This is a very formal course that will allow students to access some of the top University courses. If music is likely to be a subject that you may wish to study further, this is a good course to choose.

Of course, the principal skills of musicianship are the main focus. Musical performance, creative ability and analytical skills are developed through listening and historical research. Your skills in music -technology applications will also improve (use of recording equipment, sequencing software packages). The course of study will also improve your communication skills in a general way.

Course content

There are 3 Units over the two-year course. They are based around the three essential elements of musical study and expression: ‘Listening and Appraising’ (this involves detailed study of set pieces) ‘Composition’ and ‘Performance’ (an ensemble performance/solo recital).

Entry requirements

Ideally, you will have completed the GCSE Course and would have achieved a Grade B or above. This, however, is desirable rather than essential. It is essential that you play a musical instrument and a recommended minimum level would be about Grade III performance standard for the first year and Grade V for the second and final year.


This ranges from whole-group seminar-style teaching and learning to individual tutorials. For practical music-making, this will range from wholegroup to smaller ensembles. Private study and practise are important requirements. Assessment is generally informal and you will be encouraged to be self-critical whilst developing the skills to artistically criticise the work of others. Formal testing does occur, mainly through the submission of written assignments. These are invariably linked to the set works for study.

Future opportunities

For any careers centred on musical performance or composition, Music at A Level is, not surprisingly, essential. Students have gone on to read music at University and Musical Conservatoires. They have, quite often, chosen to embark on a joint-honours course in order to keep their options deliberately wide. For work in Broadcasting, Media and especially Primary School Teaching, the study of Music has a special value.

Further information

This course can be taken in conjunction with other vocational or academic courses at Congleton High School Sixth Form or The Congleton College. Typically, students have combined the subject with other
Performing Arts, Media and Fine Arts courses. The subject also has a natural affinity with the study of Language, both our native language and, increasingly, with Modern Foreign Languages. For some students, Music offers a complete contrast to their other subject choices (e.g. for those who are studying Science and Maths courses).

How to apply

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

Last updated date: 12 October 2016
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