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music Music - AS/A2

Exam Board: AQA

Music combines creativity, imagination and academic study in a way that no other subject does… "Without music, life would be a mistake" (Miles Davis, Jazz Trumpeter)

Is Music for you? • You must have at least 5 GCSEs at grade C or above. If you studied Music at GCSE you should have achieved at least a grade C, however, if this is not the case, grade V practical and/or theory exams also provide suitable preparation for the course. • You would like to engage with music more deeply as a performer, composer and listener and develop your particular strengths and talents.

You must be able to read treble and bass clef. You enjoy playing and listening to a wide variety of music, particularly classical music. You want to broaden your music knowledge and understanding and open up new areas of the subject not previously covered at GCSE. You wish to develop your musical style through the study of the works and performances of others.

What will I learn? AS Year

How will I be assessed? Music AS/A2 is assessed through exam (40%) and coursework (60%).

Influences on Music You will study set works from the classical repertoire from a range of musical periods. A listening and written exam will assess your knowledge of how the pieces have been put together and the techniques used within them.

Composing You will compose for any combination of instruments or singers, and in whatever style you wish.


You will have the opportunity to put your skills into practice by participating in the in student productions or performances which take place throughout the year. You will also have the chance to attend live professional musical performances. The College has lots of exciting enrichment and C.V building opportunities including the chance to earn the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award, learn a new skill, learn a language, join a club, take up or develop a sport or take on a new challenge. See the College Prospectus for further information about what is on offer.

Where does it lead?

You will perform as a soloist and as part of an ensemble. You can choose to play any piece(s) you wish and your performance should last between 5 and 10 minutes. The piece(s) should be a minimum of grade V standard.

A2 Year Music in Context Study will involve listening to music from two areas of study and gaining an awareness of the context in which the music was composed. Assessment will be by written paper with some questions using a CD of musical excerpts.

Composing You will demonstrate your ability to create and develop musical ideas with technical control and expressive understanding, in response to a brief.

Performing You will perform as a soloist. You can choose to play any pieces. The programme should have variety and the pieces should be of a minimum of grade VI standard.

Expect more from your sixth form

What activities can I get involved in?


Music combines well with related Arts subjects and foreign languages, whereas combination with science subjects can be useful in sound engineering. The course is an excellent grounding for students wishing to study music at Higher Education level. There are a wide variety of courses available to suit individual interests and strengths. Past students have gone on to study at the leading Conservatoires including the Royal Northern College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music. Music degrees at a wide range of Universities are also a very popular option. Possible careers in music include performing, composing and arranging, education and music therapy, music administration and management, music production and the wider creative industries. Even if you do not wish to study music at a higher level, advanced level study will extend your understanding of the essential role music plays in peoples’ lives. Although A-Level Music involves a lot of creative work, the theoretical study of music history and theory is sufficiently rigorous that it is accepted as a serious academic subject for entry to most university courses. The course will also equip you with a range of transferable skills for study in any subject such as critical thinking, research, communication and teamwork. The part of the brain responsible for planning, foresight and coordination is substantially larger in musicians. Studying music also develops the reasoning skills needed for subjects such as Maths and Science.

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Course Outline: Music  
Course Outline: Music