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A Level Music at Newquay Tretherras School

Course description

The A Level music course gives plenty of opportunity for self-expression.  By studying a range of different genres students are able to increase their own musical repertoire and gain all the skills to develop their own style. The course is suited to all those that have an interest in music and a desire to deepen their understanding of live and recorded music.   The course has a heavy practical element and students will be expected to be at least Grade 4 standard on their voice or instrument.

Course content

Year 1 and 2 Topics studied
In the first year (AS) students cover three topics:
Unit 1: Influences on Music (the written element)
Unit 2: Creating Musical Ideas (the composition)
Unit 3: Interpreting Musical Ideas (the performance)

The second year (A2) follows a similar format but in more depth and the composition element is more substantial.  The performance element once again allows students to present solo vocal, instrumental or electronic pieces of work.

Entry requirements

Usually students will be required to have a Grade B at GCSE Music and to be at least Grade 4 vocal/instrumental standard. On occasions some advanced musicians may take up the subject at A level without a GCSE in music. Please see a member of the music department if this might apply to you.


Performance 40%
Listening and Analysis 30%
Composition 30%

The performance can be recorded at any point during the course. This is marked by the subject teacher. In A2 the performance recording is moderated by an external examiner.

The composition in both AS and A2 is coursework based and externally marked.

There is an exam for the Listening and Analysis paper in both years of the A Level. This will feature a listening exam followed by written answers based on analysis of set works.

Future opportunities

A Level Music gives students a strong foundation for higher education and a career in composing, performing, to work in the music industry for TV, radio or film composers. It may also lead on to teaching or using the cross-curricular skills to other careers.  A high percentage of our A Level music students go on to study music at higher education level and/or to pursue successful careers as professional musicians.  Destinations include Birmingham Conservatoire, London College of Music, Bath Spa, Cardiff University and a round the world Cruise Ship as a professional musician!

Further information

Students will be expected to receive instrumental or vocal lessons where appropriate and to participate in the many performance opportunities that are available to them.  Students sing in the staff and Sixth Form choir to improve their musical skills and are encouraged to lead groups wherever appropriate.  There is a Sixth Form music study room in the music department where students can work on their compositions, essays, research etc.  They also have priority for the use of practice rooms when preparing for their performance.

Outside of the Classroom
In addition to the Sixth Form music trips to go to concerts both locally and further afield there are plans to run an arts trip to London next year.  There are also numerous opportunities for students from Y7 to Y13 to be involved in the extensive musical extra-curricular programme here at Tretherras: Jazz Band, Samba Band, Vocal7, A Capella, Rock Shop, Ukulele Orchestra, Newquay Strings, a Staff and 6th Form Choir, several thriving rock bands plus the regular Musical Productions staged in conjunction with the Drama department.  Sixth Form Music students are encouraged to attend these where appropriate and help to lead where possible.

There is a great enthusiasm for performance work both in the school and in the wider community. The Jazz Band regularly tour and recent trips have included Paris and Italy.  Last year they were lucky enough to perform in the Royal Albert Hall, the band are now looking forward to touring Barcelona in 2015.  It is common for many of our instrumentalists to progress to area and county ensembles.  Some of our talented singer/songwriters have been extremely successful in National competitions such as X Factor and Teen Star.

How to apply

If you want to apply for this course, you will need to contact Newquay Tretherras School directly.

Last updated date: 27 April 2015

Key information


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    • I believe that Newquay Tretherras has a unique family identity, offering something special to its students. Our aim at Post 16 is to continue to provide you with an excellent education, combined with a wide range of opportunities to develop the qualities and personal social skills you need to make a successful transition to the next stage in your lives. We have an extremely positive Sixth Form ethos, and all students enjoy being part of a community in which they come first.

      We are proud of the contribution our Sixth Form makes to the life of NT. Not only do we achieve great results, we aim to make your time in the Sixth Form an enriching, worthwhile experience. Our Tutor team is highly experienced and dedicated: we pride ourselves on the level of care and guidance we offer, and the team will constantly monitor individual progress to ensure that no one falls behind.

      Our key guarantees to you are:

      • High quality academic teaching, with a friendly and adult approach
      • Excellent relationships with staff who know you well
      • Outstanding individual personal support to motivate and inspire you to succeed
      • Involvement in leadership and elite programmes
      • Involvement in our unique “Future Pathways” schemes to ensure successful transfer to the next stage
      • Opportunities to participate in innovative “Internship” programmes
      • Dedicated Sixth Form facilities, including a fully staffed and well equipped private study room
      • Bursaries and financial support for transport for those in need
      • Forging a strong bond between students, Newquay Tretherras and our Parents who remain a major part of our partnership

      I look forward to welcoming you into NT6.