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Sixth Form

Part of the Avonreach Academy Trust


“Without music life would be a mistake.”                                    

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche 


A-Level Music provides you with the opportunity to develop as a creative, analytical, critical and independent learner and is a pathway to a diverse and exciting range of Post-18 study and employment.  You will increase in confidence through the development of your skills as an individual performer and there are numerous opportunities for you to perform throughout the course.  You have the opportunity to explore and extend your creative skills in the development of your own unique composition work as well as gaining a practical understanding of the principles that underpin music of the Western Classical tradition.  Critical analysis, evaluation and the written presentation of musical arguments, as well as aural analysis of a wide range of music are also fundamental aspects of the course.  Study of A-Level music is exciting, challenging, relevant in today’s society and is a valuable and extremely well-regarded qualification.


It is helpful (although not essential) to have studied GCSE Music and achieved a grade 5 or above.  Instrumental/vocal ability at grade 5 (or equivalent) or above is essential and you should be receiving regular specialist tuition.  Music theory is also desirable although not necessarily required; you should be able to read music.


During the course you will learn: 


  • to develop and demonstrate musicianship skills through performing, composing and appraising 
  • to perform for a set amount of time 
  • to compose either freely or to a set brief 
  • to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of musical elements, musical contexts and musical language 
  • a minimum of 3 areas of study from both the Western Classical Music and non-Western Classical Music tradition 




  • Performing (30%): Total performance time of at least 8 minutes as a solo and ensemble performer. (20% of marks for difficulty) 
  • Composing (30%): One composition is to a free or set brief and the other is to a set brief assessing technique. There is a minimum duration of 6 minutes for the portfolio. 
  • Appraising (40%): 2 hour exam based on the study of at least 3 set works within the within six focus areas: Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, Music for Film, Fusions, Popular Music and Jazz and New Directions. 


Useful Links

Edexcel A-Level Music Specification 


Careers-Based Links 


Music Theory 


At degree level students can choose to specialise in Musicology, Performance or Composition. Music graduates enter a wide range of careers; Performer, Composer, Teacher, Music, Journalist, Music Publisher, Music Editor, Arts Administration and Accountancy are just a few, and many people enter non-Music professions with a Music degree as the skills developed are readily transferable to a wide range of careers. 


“Music is fun, exciting and you are able to express yourself in both composition and performance. I find it fascinating to understand how pieces of music have been put together and I really enjoy listening to music in a new and different way.”                          Year 13 student 



For further details please contact Keith Walden