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Music IB Higher Level at Parkside Sixth

Course description

Students studying music for their IB diploma will be able to develop their musical skills and understanding, and enrich their appreciation of a huge diversity of musical styles from different times and places. The course will be a mixture of theory and practice. It will offer excellent preparation for students who wish to study the subject further after Parkside Sixth, as well as being enjoyable and informative for the student who wants to ensure that they keep a creative subject as part of their overall IB profile.

Course content

What will I study? The IB Music course encourages
students to develop an in-depth understanding of
Music from a range of styles and cultures. Students
will build upon this knowledge and understanding
in the practical side of their course where they will
develop as musicians in response to performance
and/or creating (composing) challenges.
Higher Level:
Music Perception: students will study and compare
music from different cultures. This will include set
works prescribed by the IB as well as teacher- and
student-selected pieces.
Creating: in this practical unit students can
specialise in a variety of areas with options
including composition, arrangement, improvisation,
music technology composition, and exploring the
composition styles of others.
Solo Performing: in this practical unit, students
can specialise performance on any instrument,
including the voice and technology. Over the course
of the two years, students will present live recitals
of varied material in a range of performance
Standard Level:
• Musical Perception
• One of either Creating, or Solo Performing

Entry requirements

Five GCSEs or equivalent at grade C or above, including English and Maths.
IB students take six subjects in total which consists of three subjects at Higher level and three at Standard level. 
For Higher level subjects, you should have GCSEs (or equivalent) at grade B or above in those subjects or related ones. We recommend Higher level Maths, Chemistry and Physics only for those with a grade A or above in GCSE Maths and Science. 
Further information about entry requirements can be found in our  prospectus or on the website. Students also have timetabled sessions for Theory of Knowledge.
If you are applying for the International Baccalaureate, you need to choose six subjects, from a range of different subject areas. For information can be found in our prospectus.
For further information please contact 


How will I be assessed? Assessment will take the
form of coursework (practical and essay-based)
and examination work.
Listening exam: All students undertake a written
exam at the end of the two year course. This exam
assesses the Musical Perception element of the

Musical Links Investigation: This is a 2000-word
media script investigating links between pieces
from different cultures. This coursework will be
marked externally.
Creating coursework: This aspect of the course will
involve students creating pieces (including written
commentaries) that are recorded and marked
Solo Performing coursework: At the end of the two
year course, students will submit a performance
portfolio, which will comprise of recordings
taken throughout the course at various public
performances. This will be marked internally.

Future opportunities

Students who wish to pursue their studies in music further, will find the IB course excellent preparation, covering as it does a range of styles and a mixture of theory and practice. Students who wish to specialise in different traditions, such as 'traditional' music or music technology, will be able to shape their creating and performance profile to support this.


All students will find themselves enriched by studying music further, and will also benefit from the fact that employers and universities value well-rounded individuals.


Further information

How will I study?

You will be taught in stimulating and thought-provoking seminars, which will help you to explore the skills and knowledge you need for the course. You will work individually with your teacher and in groups with other students to develop your performance and creative abilities. Seminars and individuals practice sessions will take place in our brand new purpose-built Arts block.


What extra-curricular activities will there be?

Music students will be encouraged to play a full part in extra curricular music activities at the school, and will have the chance to lead younger students. There will be many performance opportunities both inside and outside of school. We will also plan to arrange plenty of visits to concerts and other musical events.

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: 19 October 2018
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    • 01223 310118 / 01223 271569
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