King James' School

Music

What’s it all about? 

Music at A level covers all aspects of musicianship, from performance and analysis to composition and historical enquiry. 

The music industry is a multi-billion pound industry in Great Britain and permeates through all aspects of life.  There are few places you can go without hearing music of some sort. All of this music has been created by someone - could that be you in the future?  Do you have a passion for music and do you want to take your music making to the next level?  Then A level Music is for you! 

The course is very versatile and covers all aspects of music making which are relevant to the working world of music. We have a very high rate of continuation to university or conservatoires to study music at some of the best institutions in the country. 

We use state of the art music production software for composition and have a full suite of Apple Mac computers to use. For students who wish to record compositions live then we have a recording studio for 6th form use. 

There are also many opportunities to get involved in the wide variety of ensembles we have at school and take part in public performance to develop your musicianship. 

Our members of staff all have different specialities, from performance to composition and analysis. We are all trained to post-degree level in both practical and theoretical music. 

Modules covered in this course: 

  • Performance on instrument or voice - solo and/or group pieces - a programme of pieces between 10 and 12 minutes in duration 

  • Analysis of set works - music from 1650 - 1910 and 20th/21st century music including popular music forms 

  • Listening and Aural Discrimination - similar to GCSE listening with more content and detail. 

  • Two musical compositions  - one free choice and one based on a set brief/arrangement or Baroque chorales. 

Exam and Assessment Information: 

AQA 

AS and A Level - Code 7272 

Component 1 : Appraising Music - Listening and Analysis Examination - 40%

Component 2 : Performance - Programme lasting 10 - 12 minutes - 35%

Component 3 : Composition - 2 original pastiche pieces - 25% 

All coursework is marked externally by examiners. 

NB: AS equivalent qualification is approximately half of the A level content delivered in one year.

To get started: 

You should be around grade 5 on your chosen instrument or voice by the start of the course to enable you to gain good marks in the performance element. It is vital that you are able to read both treble and bass clef notation and have had experience of composition (preferably at GCSE level).

What next? 

Music has multitude of possibilities after A level. Not only is it very good for cognitive development and a great contrast to many other subjects, but it has real applications if you wish to pursue a career in music which is a growing industry in the UK. It prepares you very well for university or conservatoire courses in analysis, composition or performance. It is also a great course for deepening your interest in the area of music and seeing it from a different perspective.

Our students say … 

“A level Music has enabled me to develop my performance technique and has given me the skills to analyse all styles of music in detail. My main area is performance and I want to go to a Conservatoire to study this.”  Jonny Vaux 

“As the course covers all types of music, I have been able to learn more about the periods of music that interest me and gain an insight into other styles I wasn´t so familiar with.”  Becky Bowe

Music