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Music A Level at Heanor Gate Science College

Course description

If you decide to study Music at A level you will be offered tuition on your main instrument

You will have access to two practice rooms, computer and multi-track facilities and many opportunities to perform throughout the course

A level music demands hard work, a busy schedule, team work and offers great enjoyment.

Course content

Component 1: Performing (30% of total marks)

​This unit gives students the opportunities to perform as soloists and/or as part of an ensemble. Teachers and students can choose music in any style. Any instrument(s) and/or voice(s) are acceptable as part of an eight minute assessed performance.

Component 2: Composing (30% of total marks)

This unit encourages students to develop their composition skills leading to the creation of two pieces in response to chosen briefs. The compositions must total a minimum of six minutes.

Component 3: Appraising (40% of total marks) Content overview

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. 

  • Vocal Music,  
  • Instrumental Music,
  • Music for Film,
  • Popular Music and Jazz,
  • Fusions,
  • New Directions

Application of knowledge to unfamiliar works. The areas of study are: Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, Music for Film, Popular Music and Jazz, Fusion, New Directions.

Entry requirements

Minimum Grade B in GCSE Music and/or an equivalent of Grade 4 practial on any instrument.

  • A working knowledge of music theory to at least Grade 4 standard


One written paper of 2 hours, with a total of 100 marks.

One audio CD with the extracts to accompany questions on the paper will be provided per student.

This paper comprises two sections: A and B.

Section A: Areas of study and dictation (50 marks)

  • Three questions related to the set works (audio and skeleton score provided).
  • One short melody/rhythm completion exercise.

Section B: Extended response

  • Two essay questions – essay one (20 marks) and essay two (30 marks)
  • Essay one asks students to draw links from their study of the set works to the music heard as an unfamiliar extract.
  • Essay two gives a choice of three questions that ask students to evaluate the musical elements, context and language of one set work. Each option will be from a different area of study

Future opportunities

Performer, composer/arranger, session musician, recording engineer, music technology. Confidence gained from this course can be advantageous in teaching, nursery nursing, mental health work/therapies.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Heanor Gate Science College directly.

Last updated date: 07 September 2016

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